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August 31, 2007 

United Arab Emirates Enacts New Import and Export Control Law

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced today that it has enacted a new law governing the import and export of goods.

The new law, entitled Federal Law No. 13 of 2007, authorizes the UAE "to ban or restrict the importing, exporting or re-exporting of any commodity for reasons related to safety, public health, environment, natural resources, national security or for reasons related to the UAE's foreign policy."

According to a summary of the law issued by the Emirates News Agency, the new law includes four chapters. Chapter 1 sets forth the general framework for the issuance of import and export licenses. Chapter 2 includes procedures aimed at controlling the import and export of strategic commodities, the export and re-export of technology, and provisions relating to the brokerage and transport of such items. Chapter 3 specifies the penalties for violating the law, ranging from a maximum imprisonment of one year and fines of 1 million UAE dirhams (approximately US$272,000). Chapter 4 provides that the UAE's Cabinet must issue relevant regulations and publish them in the UAE's Official Gazette within one month.

The new law also orders the establishment of the National Commission for Commodities Subject to Import, Export and Re-export Control. The National Commission, which will be chaired by the Ministry of Economy, will include representatives of other concerned federal ministries and bodies and the private sector. It will be tasked with "cooperating and coordinating with relevant authorities on the rules introduced to control imports and exports in compliance with the new law" and "will also provide technical advice to federal and local bodies to ensure the enforcement provisions" of the law are applied.

The U.S. has been pressuring the UAE to strengthen its export control regime. In February of this year, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would give BIS the authority to place certain countries in Country Group C, resulting in additional licensing requirement. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and eight other companies and organizations submitted comments on the proposed rule to BIS.

BIS has also taken other steps to prevent the transshipment of goods from the UAE to Iran through the issuance of General Order No. 3 on June 5, 2006. General Order No. 3 imposes a license requirement for exports and reexports of all items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) when the transaction involves companies in the UAE that the U.S. has determined is involved in the supply of electronic components and devices capable of being used to construct Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). General Order No. 3 was amended on June 8, 2007 to include additional parties located located in the UAE, Germany, Syria, Lebanon, Malaysia Iran and Hong Kong.

On June 5, 2006, BIS issued a General Order Concerning Mayrow General Trading and Related Entities. This Order imposes a license requirement for the export or reexport of any item subject to the EAR to Mayrow and other named entities. The Order, which does not permit the use of license exceptions, applies to any transaction involving Mayrow or any other named entity. The Order was amended in September 2006 and June 2007 to apply to additional persons.

BIS recently imposed a $36,000 penalty on Georgia-based Ace Systems, Inc. for attempting to export dialogic voice cards to Mayrow General Trading in Dubai, UAE without the required license. Mayrow General Trading was the primary subject of General Order No. 3 when it was issued in June 2006.

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Has anyone seen a copy of the law or can actually obtain a copy of the law? I am working on obtaining a copy of this law as it would be interesting to read the actual text instead of summaries of the law.

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