UAE Economic Substance notification updates
22 April 2020
Update on annual notification deadlines
Detailed below are the latest economic substance (ES) notification deadlines.
Update - Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The revised notification deadline is 30 June 2020. Guidance on the filing process is available on the ADGM website.
Update - Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA). We understand the 3 May 2020 notification deadline has been extended to 31 May 2020. Guidance has been shared with DAFZA licensees via email.
Update - Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). The notification deadline is 30 June 2020. The notification is expected to be available on the portal on or around 15 May. Guidance can be found on the DMCC website.
Update - Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ). The notification deadline is 31 May 2020.
Update - Securities and Commodities Authorities (SCA). We understand the 31 March 2020 notification deadline has been extended to 30 June 2020.
Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) - The notification deadline is 30 June 2020. Guidance has been shared with AFZ licensees via email.
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The notification deadline for licensees registered in DIFC is 12 June 2020. Guidance on the filing process is available on the DIFC website.
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA). The notification deadline was 31 March 2020. Guidance on the filing process has been shared with DSOA licenses via email.
Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC). The notification deadline is 30 June 2020. Guidance on the filing process has been shared with RAKICC licensees via email.
In the absence of deadline information from the remaining regulatory authorities, companies should aim to be in a position to file their annual notifications at the latest by 30 June 2020.
There remains some uncertainty on whether these deadlines are only applicable to 31 December 2019 financial year ends. We expect further clarity on the deadlines for Licensees with non-calendar financial years in due course.
It should also be noted that a number of the above Regulatory Authorities require all Licensees to file a ES notification, regardless of whether they were conducting a relevant activity in the period.
Therefore, it is important that all Licensees consider the specific filing requirements of its Regulatory Authority. In the absence of clear guidance and to be prudent, we would recommend filing a notification regardless of whether the entity performs a relevant activity.
Update - Licensees in liquidation
There remains some uncertainty as to whether entities in liquidation should file a notification. In the absence of guidance and taking into consideration guidance issued by other jurisdictions, including Jersey, we recommend all licensees in liquidation file a notification. Entities are unlikely to be exempt until they are liquidated or struck-off as they could still be performing a relevant activity whilst in liquidation.
Helpfully, DIFC has confirmed that DIFC entities that have been dissolved, struck-off or liquidated prior to the deadline for submission of the Notification, are not required to file a Notification. We expect confirmation on the position in the remaining Regulatory Authorities to be released in due course.
All Licensees should assess whether they are undertaking any relevant activities for purposes of the ES regulations and file their notification within the applicable deadline. Financial and non-financial penalties apply for non-compliance.
Useful links and resources
Various resources are available on the Ministry of Finance’s website, including a recently released a Relevant Activities Guide. Some of the Regulatory Authorities have also set-up dedicated economic substance pages online.