The Ministry of Finance, MoF, revealed on Thursday that over 1,500 federal government services fees will either be reduced or cancelled. This latest move follows the Cabinet decision issued on the reduction and cancellation of fees for the services of some federal entities, which took effect on 1st July 2019.
Certain fees have been reduced by up to 50 percent to enhance the appeal of the national economy, and reduce the cost of doing business and bolster the competitiveness of the UAE. According to the decision, the changes will be applicable to more than 1,500 federal services for three main federal ministries - Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry Human Resources and Emiratisation.
Specifically, 1,200 fees were reduced or cancelled at the Ministry of Interior, 80 at the Ministry of Economy, and 200 at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The decision follows a study of service fees in the UAE in comparison with those in neighbouring countries. The study also identified the requisite measures in accordance with the government's aim to strengthen the economy and increase the competitiveness of the UAE.
Commenting on the announcement, Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, said, "During the preparation of the Federal Fee Review Project, the Ministry of Finance ensured that a standard study of fees was conducted and contrasted with international best practice. It then analysed the findings of this study to make recommendations to launch a well-conceived initiative that supports the gradual transformation of the existing government revenue system based on services charged into a tax-based system."
"Following the completion of the study and consequent analysis, the Ministry of Finance proposed immediate measures to reduce fees by setting a fixed ceiling on incoming revenue. This will enhance business competitiveness and encourage innovation in services, which in turn will support the government's vision of developing the national economy on a robust and sustainable foundation," he added.
The first package of reduced and cancelled government services, which was announced in accordance with the Cabinet resolution, covers a wide range of services provided by the Ministry of Interior, Economy, and Human Resources and Emiratisation. The fees for services reduced for the Ministry of Interior include the issuance or renewal of security licences, security guard licences and surveillance systems licence. The list of cancelled fees includes a wide range of business and industrial licencing services, which is a boost for investors and SMEs.
The reduced service fees at the Ministry of Economy, meanwhile, include a range of services including renewing the registration of foreign subsidiaries, registration and renewal of foreign trademark registration, sale or acquisition services for foreign companies and dispute services. While the list of cancelled service fees includes requests for information, annual fees for years of protection, requests for renewal and registration of an agent, and other services that will reduce financial burden on companies operating in the country.
The list of fees for reduced and cancelled services in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation encompass more than 200 services, including the issuance and renewal of work permits, the amendment of employment contracts, training permits within the country, work permits outside the nation, permits for workers to move from one facility to another, and other services that help support companies' competitiveness and enhance their ability to grow and invest in the market.
These decisions are expected to further enhance the business environment in the UAE, empower entrepreneurs and encourage them to create new investment opportunities in the UAE. The move will also contribute to the creation of more jobs in the country and strengthen its competitive standing as a global business hub.
The Ministry of Finance will continue to review all fees for federal services and conduct the necessary studies to establish a framework of fee determination, as well as formulate policies to determine fees and to evaluate their impact on the market and business.