UAE FTA Introduces New E-commerce Related VAT Obligations

Dubai March 17, 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has introduced new e-commerce reporting and record-keeping obligations for resident taxpayers. These obligations, published in an amendment to the UAE VAT Executive Regulation, change the sourcing rules for e-commerce supplies made by residents in the Emirates. Amendments to the voluntary disclosure procedure have also been enacted.


The new reporting and record-keeping obligations are applicable from July 1, 2023, or the first tax period following the calendar year in which the threshold was exceeded.

  • Taxpayers that meet the threshold should be subject to the e-commerce reporting obligation for a set time period.
  • For taxpayers that have exceeded the threshold during year 2022: 18 months from the first tax period on or after July 1, 2023.
  • For taxpayers that have exceeded the threshold after calendar year 2022: two years from the first tax period of the calendar year following the year the taxpayer has exceeded the threshold.
  • After this time period, whether it be 18 months or two years, the taxpayer should re-assess whether it has met the threshold in the calendar year that has just ended.

The voluntary disclosure rules will be applicable from March 1, 2023.

View the document to know more about the amendments’ impact and obligations for taxpayers.

UAE and Turkey sign Trade Agreement

Dubai March 15, 2023:

The United Arab Emirates and Turkey signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) in Abu Dhabi. The aim of the deal is to increase trade between the two countries to $40 billion in the next five years and create thousands of new jobs.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said in Abu Dhabi that the agreement was a milestone for the region.’It promises to write a new chapter in the UAE-Turkey bilateral relations, transforming long-standing friendship into a dynamic partnership for growth’ he said. ‘The agreement, which is expected to come into effect from the middle of this year, will create 25,000 highly skilled jobs in the UAE and 100,000 jobs in the Turkish market in the next 10 years’, Dr Al Zeyoudi told.

Speaking in Istanbul Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said ‘The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will certainly take economic and trade relations between the two countries to a new phase’.

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FTA Issues Excise Tax Public Clarification EXTP010 on Registration of Warehouse Keeper

Dubai March 13, 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) of UAE has issued the Excise Tax Public Clarification EXTP010 on ‘ Registration of Warehouse Keeper and Registration and Renewal of Registration of Designated Zones’. This new issue replaces EXTP005 effective from 1st April 2023.

Every designated zone in the UAE is required to have an appointed warehouse keeper who is responsible for overseeing the operation of the designated zone and ensuring that the conditions and security requirements imposed over the designated zone continue to be met. A warehouse keeper must apply to the FTA to be authorised to oversee a designated zone.

This Public Clarification provides more details on these conditions and criteria to register as a warehouse keeper and to register or renew the registration of a designated zone, effective from 1 April 2023.

Dubai Custom Reinstates Previous Import Value threshold of AED 1,000 for Shipments

Dubai March 7, 2023:

The new customs duty, which was to be levied on goods bought internationally with a value of more than AED 300 will no longer apply in Dubai as of March 1, 2023. This is according to an email sent by Dubai Customs, which also announced that as of March 1, 2023 the previous threshold of AED 1,000 for the exemption of parcels and shipments has been reinstated.

In January this year, Dubai introduced new customs duty on goods bought internationally with a value of more than AED 300, which earlier only applied to goods exceeding AED 1,000.

The email said, “Kindly be informed that Paragraph (a) of Article (2) of Customs Notice 5/2022 related to exemption of consignments with value not exceeding AED 300 has been suspended and that it has been decided to re-establish the previous threshold for exemption of parcels/shipments of AED 1,000 effective March 1, 2023, until further notice.”

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OTA Launches App to Combat Counterfeit Goods

Muscat March 5, 2023:

The Oman Tax Authority (OTA) has launched an app called ‘Ta’akad’ to protect consumers from counterfeit goods and verify the validity of tax stamps on products.The app is available on both Android and IOS devices and allows consumers to report any commodity which violates the law.

An official at Tax Authority said, ‘The app aims to prevent the spread of counterfeit goods in the local markets and ensures the validity of the tax stamp on the products and protects the consumer.’ He added, ‘The consumer can now report any commodity that violates the law through the application.’

The Tax Authority is also working with the Royal Oman Police and the Consumer Protection Authority to prevent the entry of cigarettes and tobacco products without the distinctive tax stamp into the country.

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NBR to Prevent the Import of Hookah Tobacco Products without Digital Stamps

Manama March 4, 2023:

The National Bureau of Revenue (NBR), in cooperation with De La Rue International Ltd., successfully completed the first phase of applying the distinctive mark system (digital stamps) on hookah tobacco products (Moassel). Under this control system, digital stamps containing security codes are placed on the excise goods to track them from the manufacturing stage to the point of consumption, which helps reduce illegal trade and prevent the circulation of counterfeit products.

The NBR indicated that registration in the digital stamp system is concerned with selective importers of hookah tobacco products (Moassal), manufacturers and related institutions in the supply chain starting from production and import until offering products in the local markets in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The agency stressed the importance of the first phase of implementing the system which began on November 20, 2022, and is concerned with receiving requests to purchase digital stamps by those subject to selectivity registered with the agency, through the electronic system designated for that, while allowing the trading of products that do not contain digital stamps in the markets.

The importance of complying with this stage is to ensure the readiness of importers before March 19, 2023 for the second stage, in which importers must ensure that all products arriving at the ports of the Kingdom of Bahrain for customs clearance bear digital stamps.

The last stage is the application stage within local markets, where it is prohibited at this stage to possess, trade, sell or supply any hookah tobacco products that do not contain digital stamps from June 18, 2023.

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Federal Tax Authority Teams Up with SAP to Advance Digital Transformation Efforts

Dubai March 03, 2023:

FTA has signed an MoU with global technology company SAP, which specialises in enterprise software solutions and cloud computing, to collaborate towards advancing the FTA’s standing in the international tax sector.

The agreement also underlines FTA’s role in driving sustainable financial diversification, leading digital transformation efforts, and efficiently implementing innovation and smart technology plans.

The MoU was signed by His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the FTA, and Zakaria Haltout, Managing Director of SAP UAE.

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ZATCA Authorities Carry Out more than 10,000 Inspection Visits

Riyadh February 17, 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) carried out more than 10,000 inspection visits during the month of January, on markets and shops in various cities of the Kingdom. The Authority stated that the visits carried out by its supervisory and inspection teams, in cooperation with the National Program for Combating Commercial Concealment, included a number of commercial sectors, most notably retail, the food sector and professional services. The inspection visits aimed to enhance compliance with the provisions of the tax regulations in force in the Kingdom.

The Authority iterated that its inspection visits to markets and shops come in the context of its oversight efforts, which it implements through field inspection teams, aim at enhancing the degree of tax compliance among taxpayers from the business sector and limiting commercial transactions that violate the instructions and controls that fall within the jurisdiction of the Authority.

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FTA issues VAT Public Clarification P033 – Amendments to Emirates’ Reporting – Electronic Commerce Supplies

Dubai February 26, 2023:

Following the Ministerial Decisions on which the Criteria and Conditions for Electronic Commerce for Record Keeping of the Supplies Made, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued a Public Clarification VATP033 guide of the approved amendments for the Emirate Reporting.

VAT Public Clarification P033 – Amendments to Emirates’ Reporting – Electronic Commerce Supplies by Qualifying Registrants covers reporting guidelines for taxable e-commerce registrants on the reporting of standard rates supply. In addition, taxable e-commerce registrants are required to track and keep records of supplies made from and to each emirate.

View the VAT Public Clarification P033 for more details.

MoF issues a Ministerial Decision on the Criteria and Conditions for Electronic Commerce for Record Keeping of Supplies Made

Dubai February 25, 2023:

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued a Ministerial Decision on the Criteria and Conditions for Electronic Commerce for Record Keeping of the Supplies Made.

The decision came following the issuance of Cabinet Decision No. 99 of 2022 on the amendment of some provisions of Cabinet Decision No. (52) of 2017 on the Executive Regulation of Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT, which has amended Article 72 of the Executive Regulation and introduced for some taxable persons (whose value of e-commerce supplies of goods and services exceeds AED 100 million) the requirement to keep records of e-commerce transactions according to the emirate in which these supplies are received.

As per the decision, a supply of goods and services shall be considered to be an electronic commerce supply made via an electronic commerce medium where all the following criteria and conditions are met:

  • The goods and services are listed or advertised on an electronic commerce medium;
  • The goods and services are ordered through the electronic commerce medium, regardless of whether the payment is made online or not;
  • In the case of a supply of goods, the goods are delivered to a location specified by the customer whereby this location is not owned by the supplier nor operated by that supplier.
  • In the case of a supply of services, the services are provided, or the right to receive the services is granted to the customer with minimal or no human intervention.

The decision defines an electronic commerce medium as “A website, portal, gateway, interface, platform, marketplace, programme interface (API), or similar application which facilitates the sale of Goods or Services, including electronic means, electronic platform, a store in social media and electronic applications or similar applications.”

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