UAE Economic Substance Regulations: Updated notification filing requirements

Start adding items to your reading lists:
or
Save this item to:
This item has been saved to your reading list.

28 June, 2020

In brief

The UAE introduced Economic Substance Regulations (“the Regulations”) that became effective as of 1 January 2019. There are potentially two broad filing requirements under the Regulations: (i) Notification form and (ii) Annual substance return. Under the ESR, all filing requirements fall under the remit of the relevant Regulatory Authority, and as such it is the Regulatory Authorities that set the requirements, deadlines and format for notification filing as they believe is appropriate and which may vary. Below, we have summarised the most up to date filing requirements as released by some of the Regulatory Authorities.

In detail

  Who is required to file 1 How to file When to file Form released
DIFC All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity Via DIFC portal By 30 June 2020 (extended from 12 June  2020) Yes
ADGM Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out relevant activity Via email By 30 June 2020 Yes
DAFZ All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity Via DAFZ portal By 15 June 2020 (extended from 31 May 2020) Yes
DMCC All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity Via DMCC portal By 30 June 2020 Yes
RAK ICC

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via RAK ICC portal by a registered agent only (online form)

By 30 June 2020 Yes
Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) SCA have contacted via email all Investment Management Firms, Management Company Firms regulated by SCA requesting submission of the notification form Via e-mail By 30 June 2020 (extended from 31 March 2020) Yes
AJMAN FZ All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity Via email By 30 June 2020 Yes

RAK EZ

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via RAK EZ portal (online form)

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Dubai World Trade Centre

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via email

By 7 July  2020

Yes

Dubai Aviation City Corporation

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via email

By 23 June 2020 (extended from 7 June 2020)

Yes

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)

Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out relevant activity 

Via DHCC portal (online form)

By 7 June 2020 (extended form 31 May 2020)

Yes

Ministry of Economy 

Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out relevant activity 

Online form here

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA)

Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out relevant activity

TBC

By 30 June 2020

TBC

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF)

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Online form here

By 30 June 2020

Yes

International Free Zone Authorities (IFZA)

Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out relevant activity 

Online form here

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via email

By 9 June 2020 (extended from 31 May 2020)

Yes

Dubai Development Authority (DDA)

Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out relevant activity 

Via portal link here (excel form to be downloaded and uploaded once completed)

By 25 June 2020

Yes

Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Online form here

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ)

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via UAQ portal

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Fujairah Freezone

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via email

By 15 June 2020

Yes

KIZAD

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via email

By 20 June 2020

Yes

Jebel Ali Freezone (JAFZA)

All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity

Via email

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Central Bank

All banks and other licenses financial institutions

Via CBUAEIRR - CBUAE Integrated Regulatory Reporting System hosted in Central Bank Service Portal (online form)

By 30 June 2020

Yes

Insurance Authority (IA) TBC Via IA's portal By 30 June 2020 Yes

1 This information is based on the guidance issued by authorities and may be applied differently in practise

The approach of the different authorities in relation to which entities should be filing the initial notification is currently inconsistent, and therefore it is important to monitor announcements/ clarifications that are made by the relevant Regulatory Authorities.

We expect the authorities to clarify this and other points as and when they release notification forms.

Immediate actions

To avoid non-compliance with these rules and potential penalties, as a first and immediate step all UAE entities (both companies and branches) should assess whether they fall under the UAE Economic Substance rules (in 2019) and which of the below compliance obligations they may have (if any):

  1. Notification filing
  2. Having sufficient substance in the UAE and how to demonstrate this
  3. Filing of an annual substance return

If the entity does fall under these rules and has to demonstrate sufficient substance in the UAE, it should also make an assessment as to whether it can satisfy the economic substance tests prescribed by the regulations.

Are you ready?

  • Does your UAE entity (company or a branch) fall under these rules?
  • What compliance obligation does it have in respect to the 2019 financial year?
  • Can your UAE entity satisfy the economic substance test?

How we can help

If you haven't yet considered the impact of the UAE Economic Substance Regulations on your company/ branch in the UAE and require any of the below:

  • Assessment on whether you fall within the rules
  • Assessment on whether you can satisfy the Economic Substance test
  • Notification filing assistance

Our experienced team will be happy to analyse your business activities, determine whether you are within the rules and guide you as to what actions are required to ensure full compliance.

Contact us

James Pollard

Tax Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0)4 304 3039

Tatyana Rahmonova

Manager - International Tax Services, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0)50 900 3521

Follow us