GCC Indirect Tax Weekly Digest

March 3, 2022

UAE developments

FTA publishes updated Voluntary Disclosure user guide

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has published an updated version of its Voluntary Disclosure (VD) user guide.

The updated guide includes new sections providing guidance on VDs for tax groups (section 3.3). The guide states that VDs for tax groups can be submitted by the representative member of the tax group, while other members can only view the VDs submitted by the tax group.The guide provides an overview of the process for submitting a VD, which can be submitted against a previously submitted VAT return, an acknowledged VD, or a tax assessment.

The guide also includes a new section on VDs for deregistered tax groups (section 3.4). The FTA states that for already deregistered tax groups, the last representative member of a tax group can submit a VD against a previously submitted VAT return, acknowledged VD, or tax assessment, and provides an overview of this process.

Dubai Customs publishes a new customs policy on client registration for acquiring customs code

Dubai Customs published a new customs policy no. 53/2022 on February 14, 2022.

This Policy takes effect on the date of its publication and replaces all previous rules and regulations mentioned in policy no. 28/2009, issued October 22, 2009.The Policy establishes the registration procedure for obtaining a Customs Importer Code, as well as the customs duties and responsibilities of the importer and exporter of records (i.e. customs code holder).

The following are some changes from the new policy:

  • The importer and exporter of records are required to renew their Customs Importer Code when it expires. In the previous Customs Policy from 2009, the renewal of the Customs Importer Code was given a 60-day grace period from the expiration date. The grace period provision has been eliminated from the new Policy, indicating that the grace period facility for the renewal of the Customs Importer Code has been withdrawn. 
  • The new Policy also emphasizes "periodic “updating of the Customs Importer Code rather than "annual" updating of the Customs Importer Code, as mentioned in the previous Policy from 2009.
  • The new Policy does not mention expressly that if no customs transactions are processed for six months, the Customs Importer Code will be suspended which was stated in the previous Policy of 2009.

For further information please refer to the following detailed Policy.

KSA developments

ZATCA removes fees on the issuance of Customs Statements for Saudi exports

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (“ZATCA”) recently announced a key change aimed at empowering the local manufacturing sector and enhancing exports out of the Kingdom, by removing fees for the issuance of Customs statements for Saudi exports.

This reduction of administrative costs for exports is a welcomed boost for homegrown industries and should positively impact the growth of exports from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Additionally, this is expected to increase the competitiveness of Saudi exports in the global market.

For further information on this development, please click here.

Saudi Ports Authority (“Mawani”) reduces the Import Storage Fees Exemption period to 3 days

Effective from 24 February 2022, Mawani has cut the exemption period for storage fees for imported goods from 5 days to 3 days. This move is aimed at enhancing the various clearance procedures at the ports and ensuring expedited movement of cargo.

Further, this will necessitate importers to ensure they fulfil their role to safeguard quick clearance of their imported goods i.e., within 3 days after goods arrive at the port. Failure to do so, will result in payment of storage fees as outlined in the new guideline.

For further information on this development, please click here.

This digest is for information purposes only and should not be construed as advice. It does not necessarily cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. You should not act upon the contents of this alert without receiving formal advice on your particular circumstances.

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