Economic Substance Reporting

As part of the UAE’s commitment as a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework, the UAE issued Economic Substance Regulations (Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 31 of 2019), on 30 April 2019.

As part of the UAE’s commitment as a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework, the UAE issued Economic Substance Regulations (Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 31 of 2019), on 30 April 2019.

Relevant Activities:

  • Banking Business
  • Insurance Business
  • Investment Fund management Business
  • Lease – Finance Business
  • Headquarters Business
  • Shipping Business
  • Holding Company Business
  • Intellectual property Business (“IP”)
  • Distribution and Service Centre Business

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The Regulations apply to financial years commencing on or from 1 January 2019.

Entities that are within the scope of the Regulations are required to submit an annual Notification form to their Regulatory Authority, and complete and submit to the same Regulatory Authority an Economic Substance Report within 12 months from the end of their financial year (e.g. 31 December 2020 for entities with a financial year ending 31 December 2019).

An entity is not required to meet the Economic Substance Test and file an Economic Substance Report for any financial period in which it has not earned income from a Relevant Activity or if it meets the conditions for being exempt. A Notification form will need to be submitted regardless.

Failure to comply with the Regulations can result in penalties, spontaneous exchange of information with the Foreign Competent Authority (as defined in Article 1 of the Regulations), as well as other administrative sanctions such as the suspension, revocation or non-renewal of the entity’s trade license or permit.

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