Jebel Ali Free Zone Regulations

Implementing Regulations No. 1/92

Issued pursuant to Law No. 9 of 1992

Of H.H. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai

 

1. These Implementing Regulations are issued by the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority Pursuant to Law No. 9 of 1992 of H.H. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. Ruler of Dubai. Concernign the formation of legal establishments at the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

2. In these Implementing Regulations the following expressions shall have the following meaning:

“Authority”

The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority

 

“Free Zone”

The Free Zone of the Port of Jebel Ali

 

“FZE”

A Free Zone Establishment formed and registered ( or to be formed and registered) pursuant to these Implementing Regulations

 

“FZE Conditions”

Conditions relating to Free Zone Establishments issued or to be issued by the Authority, as the same may be amended by the Authority from time to time.


“FZE Department” 

The department of the Authority having responsibility for the formation, registration and regulation of FZE’s hereunder.

 

Owner

The person, whether an individual, company or other establishment, which is the single shareholder of any Free Zone Establishment formed and registered in accordance with these Implementing Regulations.

 

“Owner’s Declaration”

A Declaration in writing by the owner as regards any matter

decided by the owner in respect of the Free Zone

Establishment as described in this Implementing Regulations

Formation and registration
 
3. Any company or any other establishment or person wishing to form a Free Zone Establishment must complete, execute and submit to the FZE Department an application form as prescribed from time to time by the Authority and provide the FZE Department with all such information and documentation as it may from time to time require.
 
4. Approval of any application to form any Free Zone Establishment shall be at the discretion of the Authority which reserves the right to reject any application or to require that such undertakings or guarantees be provided by or on behalf of any applicant as a condition to permission being given by the Authority for the formation of any Free Zone Establishment or as regards its registration or continuation of its registration in the FZE Register as the Authority in its sole discretion, may consider appropriate.
 
5. The Authority shall notify each applicant of the Authority’s decision as to whether or not permission is granted for the formation of any Free Zone Establishment and regards what (if any) undertakings or guarantees it requires as condition to such permission being granted pursuant to paragraph 4 above within 30 days of receipt by the FZE Department of a valid application form from the applicant in question duly completed and executed by or on behalf of the applicant and together with all such other information and documentation as the Authority shall have required.
 
6. Upon permission being granted by the Authority for the formation of a Free Zone Establishment and the Authority being satisfied that the relevant share capital of the Free zone Establishment to be formed has been fully contributed in accordance with paragraphs 8 to 10. Below, the Authority shall cause all relevant details concerning such Free Zone Establishment to be entered in the FZE Register and for a Certificate of Formation, duly executed by or on behalf of the Authority, to be issued.
 
7. Each Certificate of Formation shall specify, among other things, the date of registration of such Free Zone Establishment in the FZE Register. A Free Zone Establishment shall be deemed duly formed with effect from the date of registration thereof in the FZE Register. Each such Free Zone Establishment Shall then be capable of exercising all the functions of a Free Zone Establishment but with such liability on the part of its shareholder to contribute to its assets in the event of its being deregistered pursuant to these Implementing Regulations being limited to the full extent of the shareholder’s share capital contribution to such Free Zone Establishment.
 
Share Capital
 
8. The capital of each Free Zone Establishment shall be denominated in UAE Dirhams. The minimum capital of a Free Zone Establishment shall be Dhs.1 Million or such other amount as the Authority may from time to time determine.
 
9. The capital of each Free Zone Establishment shall be divided into shares. Each share shall be numbered and shall be for UAE Dhs. 1 Million or multiples thereof. Each share shall be represented by a share certificate in such form as the Authority may prescribe from time to time.
 
10. The share capital of a Free Zone Establishment may only be paid in cash unless the Authority otherwise authorizes that the share capital be paid by way of contribution in kind or by a combination of cash and in kind contribution. Any such authorization shall be subject to such conditions as the Authority may require.
 
11. The share capital of a Free Zone Establishment may be altered by Owner Declaration subject to the prior approval of the Authority. Details of each alteration in the share capital of a Free Zone Establishment shall be entered in the FZE Register and shall take effect from the date of such registration.
 
Name
 
12. The name of a Free Zone Establishment must end with the initials FZE. A Free Zone Establishment shall not be registered in the FZE Register with a name which is not approved by the Authority. A Free Zone Establishment may change its name by Owner’s Declaration subject to the proposed new name being approved by the Authority. The new name of the Free Zone Establishment shall be entered in the FZE Register and a Certificate of Change of Name issued by the FZE Department. Each Certificate of change of Name shall specify, among other things, the date of registration of the new name in the FZE Register, being the date on which such new name shall take effect.
 
 
Registered Office
 
13. Each Free Zone Establishment shall at all times have an office in the Free Zone to which all communications and notices may be addressed. Details of such office, which shall be its registered office, and of any change of address, shall be notified within 7 days to the FZE Department and details thereof promptly entered in the FZE Register.
 
Sign-Name Plate
 
14. Every Free Zone Establishment shall affix, and keep affixed, its name on the outside of every office or place in which its business is carried on in a conspicuous position and in letters easily legible in accordance with the requirements of the Authority.
 
Business letters etc.
 
15. Every Free Zone Establishment shall have its name mentioned in legible characters in all its business letters, notices and other official publications, on all promissory notes, cheques and other bills of exchange and orders for money, goods or services purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the Free Zone Establishment and on all its parcels. Invoices , receipts , letters of credit and guarantees.
 
16. Every Free Zone Establishment shall mention its registered office in legible characters in all its business letters and order forms.
 
Shares
 
17. No share in a Free Zone Establishment may be issued unless the capital thereof is fully paid.
 
18. No Free Zone Establishment shall have more than one shareholder.
 
19. All shares issued by a Free Zone Establishment shall be of the same class.
 
20. No Free Zone Establishment may acquire its own shares. However any Free Zone Establishment may own all of the shares in any other Free Zone Establishment or shares in any company or other establishment subject to compliance with all applicable laws.
 
21. Every Free Zone Establishment shall complete and issue a share certificate to the owner in respect of all shares held by it of such Free Zone Establishment forthwith upon the share capital in respect of such share being duly contributed in accordance with these Implementing Regulations.
 
22. The secretary shall enter in the Free Zone Establishment’s share register details concerning the number, amount and owner of all shares issued by it. No shares shall be issued in bearer form.
 
 
 
Share Transfer 
23. Any purported transfer any share or shares in any Free Zone Establishment shall be invalid unless a duly executed instrument of transfer has been delivered to the Free Zone Establishment’s secretary and details registered in the FZE Register. Any share transfer shall be effective as from the date of registration thereof in the FZE Register.
 
24. No share in any Free Zone Establishment may be transferred without the prior approval of the Authority.
 
Directors and Secretary 
 
25. Each Free Zone Establishment shall have at least one director, and at least one secretary although the offices of director and secretary may be held jointly by a single person. Each director and secretary shall be individuals and at least one of the directors, and the secretary, must be resident in the Emirate of Dubai.
 
26. The persons named in the FZE Register as directors or secretary of the Free Zone Establishment are, on the formation of the Free Zone Establishment, deemed to have been respectively appointed as its first directors and secretary.
 
27. Every Free Zone Establishment shall keep at its registered office a register of directors and secretary and the register shall contain details as to the identity and address of the directors and secretary of the Free Zone Establishment, and of any changes thereto. Any such changes shall be notified to the FZE Department within 7 day thereof and details promptly entered in the FZE Register in the prescribed form.
 
28. Any Director and the secretary may be appointed and removed by way of Owner’s Declaration subject to the provisions of paragraph 25 above.
 
29. The acts of a director, secretary or manager are valid notwithstanding any defect that may afterwards be discovered in his appointment, that such an appointment should be made by an Owner’s Declaration.
 
Directors’ Meetings
 
30. The business of a Free Zone Establishment shall be managed by the directors who may exercise all the powers of the Free Zone Establishment. The directors may regulate their proceedings as they think fit. Any director may call a meeting of the directors and any question arising at a meeting of the directors shall be decided by majority of votes, each director having one vote. The directors may elect a chairman and may vest in him a casting vote. Any director may appoint any other director as his alternate who shall be entitled to vote in accordance with the appointing director’s instructions (if any) separately  from his own vote.
 
31. A resolution signed by a majority of all the directors shall be as valid and effectual as if passed at a valid meeting of the directors and may consist of several documents in like form each signed by one or more directors.
 
32. A director shall not be entitled to vote nor be counted as part of the quorum in relation to any resolution which concerns a matter in which he has any direct or indirect or duty which is material and which conflicts or may conflict with the interests of the Free Zone Establishment unless his interest has been disclosed in writing to the other directors in sufficient detail to provide an accurate statement thereof and the other directors (or a majority of them) resolve that such director should be entitled to vote and / or be counted as part of the quorum.
 
33. The secretary shall cause minutes to be kept in books kept for the purpose of each meeting of the directors and of all appointments of directors or secretary.
 
Objects
 
34. The objects of each Free Zone Establishment shall be to carry on all such business within the area of the Free Zone as the Authority may permit under the terms of the Special licence issued in respect of the Free Zone Establishment (as the same may be amended from time to time by the authority) and elsewhere in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and all business and other matters ancillary, conducive or related thereto. Such matters will include power for each Free Zone Establishment to borrow, grant security, guarantee any obligation of any person or indemnify any person, to enter into all types of banking and financial transactions, to issue, make endorse or draw any negotiable instruments (such as sheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes or bills of lading) in relation to its business and Power for each Free Zone Establishment to make, alter or dispose of any investments (whether or not within the UAE) in relation to its business.
 
Seal
 
35. A Free Zone Establishment may have a Seal but is not required to have one. A Free Zone Establishment which has a Seal shall have its name engraved in legible characters on the Seal.
 
Contracts etc.
 
36. Any contract may be made by a Free Zone Establishment by writing (a) under its Seal together with the signature of any director of the Free Zone Establishment or (b) with the signature of any director and expressed in whatever form of words to be executed by the Free Zone Establishment. Any contract may be made by a Free Zone Establishment by writing on its behalf by any person acting under the authority of the Free Zone Establishment whether such authority be express or implied.
 
37. Any contract which purports to be made by or on behalf of a Free Zone Establishment if made, accepted or endorsed in the name of, and by or on behalf of or on account of, the Free Zone Establishment by a person acting under its authority.
 
38. A promissory note, cheque or other bill of exchange is deemed to have been made, accepted or endorsed on behalf of a Free Zone Establishment if made, accepted or endorsed in the name of, and by or on behalf of or on account of, the Free Zone Establishment by a person acting under its authority.
 
Accounts etc.
 
39. Every Free Zone Establishment shall keep accounting records sufficient to show and explain the transactions of such Free Zone Establishment and be such as to disclose with reasonable accuracy, at any time, the financial position of the Free Zone Establishment at that time and enable the directors to ensure that any balance sheet and profit and loss account of the Free Zone Establishment prepared under these Implementing Regulations complies with the requirements of these Implementing Regulations.
40. The accounting records shall in particular contain a record of the assets and liabilities of the Free Zone Establishment and entries from day to day of all sums of money received and expended by the Free Zone Establishment and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place.
 
41. The accounting records of each Free Zone Establishment shall be kept at its registered office in the Free Zone and shall at all times be open to inspection by the officers of the Free Zone Establishment Department and by its Owner and representatives of the Owner.
 
42. The first “financial year” of each Free Zone Establishment shall commence on the date of its registration as disclosed in its Certificate of Formation. The Owner may determine the length of the financial year of its Free Zone Establishment by Owner’s Declaration (a copy of which shall be delviered to the FZE Department within 7 days of being made and details thereof promptly entered in the FZE Register) provided that no first financial year may exceed 18 months or be for less than 6 months. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 43 below successive financial years shall be of 12 months duration beginning immediately after the end of the previous financial year.
 
43. The Owner of a Free Zone Establishment may alter the financial year of its Free Zone Establishment by Owner’s Declaration (a copy of which shall be delivered to the FZE Department and details thereof promptly entered in the FZE  Register) save that in no case may the financial year of a Free Zone Establishment exceed 15 months or be shorter than 6 months.
 
44. The directors of every Free Zone Establishment shall prepare for each financial year of the Free Zone Establishment a balance sheet as at the last day of its financial year and a profit and loss account.
 
45. The balance sheet shall give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Free Zone Establishment as at the end of the financial year and the profit and loss account shall give a true and fair view of the profit and loss of the Free Zone Establishment for the financial year.
 
46. The Authority reserves the right to require that the balance sheet and profit and loss account of each Free Zone Establishment comply with provisions to be set down by it from time to time.
 
47. Where any Free Zone Establishment owns any other Free Zone Establishment or owns more than half the shares in or otherwise controls any other company or establishment the first mentioned Free Zone Establishment shall also prepare group accounts on a consolidated basis. Where any Free Zone Establishment neither owns less than half the shares in Company or other establishment (not being a Free Zone Establishment) nor controls such company or establishment but nevertheless is in a position to exercise a significant influence over such company or other establishment, then such company or other establishment shall be treated as an associated company for accounting purposes.
 
48. The annual accounts of each Free Zone Establishment shall be approved by its directors and signed by or on behalf of the directors. At  least one director shall sign the balance sheet and profit and loss account of the Free Zone Establishment.
 
49. A copy of the annual accounts of each Free Zone Establishment shall be delivered to the FZE Department within 3 months of the end of the financial year of the Free Zone Establishment. Or such longer period as the Authority may determine.
 
50. Each Free Zone Establishment shall be required to appoint auditors from among those approved by the Authority to make a report to the Owner of the Free Zone Establishment on all annual accounts of the Free Zone Establishment on all and state whether, in the auditor’s opinion, such annual accounts have been properly prepored in accordance with these Implementing Regulations and whether a true and fair view is given (a) in the case of the balance sheet of the Free Zone Establishment of the state of affairs of the Free Zone Establishment at the end of its financial year, (b) in the case of the profit and loss account of the Free Zone Establishment, of the profit and loss of the Free Zone Establishment for the financial year and (c) in the case of annual accounts of the Free Zone Establishment prepared on a consolidated basis, of the state of affairs as at the end of the financial year and the profit or loss for the financial year of the undertaking included in the consolidation.
 
51. The Free Zone Establishment shall deliver a copy of the auditor’s report (duly signed by the auditors) to the FZE Department, together with the annual accounts pursuant to paragraph 45 above.
 
52. Where the net assets of a Free Zone Establishment fall below 75% of its share capital the director (s) shall, not later than 15 days from the earliest day on which that fact is known to a director, duly notify the FZE Department and the Owner which shall, within 7 days of such notification to it, take such steps as may be appropriate to remedy the situation so as to ensure that the net assets of such Free Zone Establishment are restored to at lest 75% of its share capital as soon as reasonably practicable.
 
Distributions
 
53. A Free Zone Establishment shall not make a distribution, whether in cash or otherwise, to its Owner except out of profits available for that purpose or where the share capital of the Free Zone Establishment is reduced in accordance with the provisions of these Implementing Regulations or where the Free Zone Establishment is deregistered and its assets distributed to its Owner. The profits of a Free Zone Establishment available for distribution are its accumulated, realised profits less its accumulated, realised losses. No distribution shall be made other than pursuant to an Owner’s Declaration a copy of which shall be delivered to the FZE Department within 7 days of being made and details of which shall promptly be entered in the FZE Register.
 
Ownership
 
54. Every Free Zone Establishment shall keep a register in which details shall be entered as regards the Owner of the Free Zone Establishment and as regards the ultimate ownership of the Free Zone Establishment and details thereof (and of any changes therein) shall be notified to the FZE Department within 7 days after it is made and promptly entered in the FZE Register.
 
Owner’s Declarations
 
55. A copy of every Owner’s Declaration shall be provided to the Free Zone Department within 7 days after it is made and details thereof shall promptly be entered in the FZE Register.
 
Security interests 
 
56. The Owner may pledge or otherwise charge all (but not only some) of its shares in its Free Zone Establishment to any creditor in security for any debt or other obligation incurred or to be incurred by or binding upon the Free Zone Establishment. Such pledge or other charge over any shares in a Free Zone Establishment will be void if details thereof in the prescribed form are not delivered to the FZE Department within 7 days of the date of such pledge or other charge. Details of any such pledge or other charge shall be entered promptly in the FZE Register.
 
57. Every Owner of a Free Zone Establishment shall cause its Free Zone Establishment to keep at its registered office a register of charges and to enter in it details of any pledge or other charge of the Owner’s shares in the Free Zone Establishment.
 
58. A Free Zone Establishment may grant any security interest permitted under the laws of Dubai from time to time to any creditor in security for any debt or other obligation incurred or to be incurred by or binding upon the Free Zone Establishment or any other person. Any such security interest will be void if details in the prescribed form are not delivered  to the FZE Department within 7 days of the date of such security interest. Details of any such security interest shall be entered promptly in the FZE Register.
 
59. Upon any pledge, charge or other security interest as specified in paragraphs 56 and 58 above being discharged or upon any alteration in the name of the creditor or creditors in whose favour such pledge, charge or other security interest operates, details thereof shall be notified to the FZE Department within 7 days and entered promptly in the FZE Register.
 
Power to investigate
 
60. The Authority may appoint one or more competent persons as inspectors to investigate the affairs of any Free Zone Establishment and report to the Authority in such form and within such time as it may direct. Such appointment may be made on the application of the owner, or of the Free Zone Establishment or by the Authority acting unilaterally or by any other person provided the Authority is satisfied that good reason has been shown or circumstances arisen for requiring the investigation.
 
61. Any inspector appointed by the Authority pursuant to paragraph 60 above shall have such powers of investigation as the Authority may vest in him.
 
62. If the FZE Department has reasonable cause to believe that any Free Zone Establishment is not carrying on business or in operation, it may deregister the Free Zone Establishment after enquiry in writing of the Free Zone Establishment to ascertain if it is carrying on business or in operation and such Free Zone Establishment either failing to respond to such enquiry within 7 days thereof or failing to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Authority that it is carrying on business or in operation.
 
63. When a Free Zone Establishment is deregistered all property and rights vested in it and not owned by the Authority or any other person are deemed held by its Owner, save where such deregistration is as a consequence of any breach of these Implementing Regulations or of an FZE Condition or the terms of the Special Licence relating to the Free Zone Establishment when, and in any such case, all such property and rights shall be and become forfeited to and vested in the Authority without compensation of any kind.
 
Deregistration
 
64. A Free Zone Establishment shall be deregistered from the FZE Register upon and in accordance with any order therefor being issued by any Court in the Emirate of Dubai.
 
65. Upon deregistration of a Free Zone Establishment all trading and other business operations of such Free Zone Establishment must cease and the Owner must ensure that the Free Zone Establishment’s afairs are wound up under the supervision of an accountant licensed to conduct business as such in the Emirate of Dubai as liquidator so as to (a)ensure that such winding up is conducted in a timely and organised way, taking account of all assets of the Free Zone Establishment and the claims of all creditors and employees thereof and ensuring the payment, or provision for payment of, or to discharge, all claims, debts, liablitities and obligations of the Free Zone Establishment subject to the limitation of liablitity of the owner specified in paragraph 7 above, (b) distribute any surplus assets of the Free Zone Establishment to the Owner, (c) cause to be prepared by the liquidator a statement of account in respect of his actions and transactions and (d) ensure that a copy of such report is delivered to the FZE Department within 7 days of such report being made. Details of such report shall be promptly entered in the FZE Register.
 
FZE Department 
 
66. The Authority has designated a department known as the FZE Department, for the registration of Free Zone Establishment under these Implementing Regulations and various other matters as described herein. In particular the FZE Department shall maintain the FZE Register, being a register in written or computerised form (as the Authority may determine), in which shall be entered details concerning each Free Zone Establishment as described  herein.
 
FZE Register
 
67. The FZE Register shall be open to public inspection subject to the Department’s prior approval.
 
68. A Free Zone Establishment shall be deregistered from the FZE Register upon application being made therefor by the Owner or the Free Zone Establishment to the FZE Department in the prescribed form or upon the Free Zone Establishment or the Owner being in breach of any of these Implementing Regulations or any FZE Condition or the terms of the Free Zone Establishment’s Special Licence and where, if such breach is capable of remedy by the owner or Free Zone Establishment, such breach has not been remedied within 7 days (or such other period as the Authority may agree) of notification by the FZE Department in writing to the owner or to the Free Zone  Establishment as regards such breach.
 
Fees
 
69. The Authority may require the payment to the FZE Department of such fees as the Authority may require in respect of the formation and registration of a Free Zone Establishment, the receipt and review of documents, maintaining and updating the FZE Register and the cost of any inspection and investigation carried out pursuant to paragraphs 60 to 63 above. In addition the Authority may require the payment to the FZE Department of such fees as the Authority may determine on an annual or other periodic basis in respect of any FZE.
 
70. In the case of any default by the Free Zone Establishment or its Owner in compliance with these Implementing Regulations or any FZE Condition or the terms and conditions of the Free Zone Establishment’s Special Licence the Authority may, in addition to all other rights and privileges hereunder, impose a fine on the Free Zone Establishment and / or the Owner of Dhs.10,000 per day during the period of such non-compliance.
 
71. Each Free Zone Establishment shall be required to comply with all FZE Conditions and with the terms of the Special Licence issued or to be issued by the Authority in relation to the Free Zone Establishment in question.
 
Miscellaneous
 
72. The Authority reserves the right to alter, cancel, supplement and vary any or all of these Implementing Regulations as it may consider appropriate from time to time. 
 
73. The Authority also reserves the right to relax or waive, either in whole or in part and either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as it deems appropriate, any or all of the requirements specified in these Implementing Regulations or any FZE Conditions if it considers it appropriate to do so.