(ESR) notification

(ESR) notification

The UAE Ministry of Finance (“MoF”) has provided an update under its FAQ section on clarifications of the requirements to file a Notification to Relevant Authorities under the UAE Economic Substance Regulations (“ESR”) by 30 June 2020. These clarifications confirm that businesses with fiscal years ended after 31 December 2019 are not required to file a Notification by 30 June 2020, until further notice.  Further guidance with respect to the Notification requirements has been provided.

The clarification summarized as follows:

  • Only businesses with a financial year commencing on or after 1 January 2019 and ending on or before 31 December 2019 are required to submit a Notification
  • by 30 June 2020.
  • There is no requirement for businesses with financial years ending after 31 December 2019 to file a Notification by 30 June 2020.
  • While your Regulatory Authority may allow or request to file a Notification for fiscal periods ending after 31 December 2019 (for example, 31 March 2020 or 30 June 2020, 30 September 2020) by 30 June 2020, this is not a requirement under the ESR.
  • The statutory deadline for businesses with different financial year-end will be communicated in due course.
  • No administrative penalties prescribed by ESR will apply to businesses with a reportable period ending after 31 December 2019 for Notifications not submitted by 30 June 2020.
  • Businesses with a long first accounting period started in 2018 and ended during 2019 (e.g. 1 June 2018 to 31 December 2019) are not required to file a notification by 30 June 2020, with the first reportable period for such entities being 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 and the early Notification would be due in 2021.
  • Under the ESR, only businesses that undertake a Relevant Activity are required to submit a Notification. However, certain Regulatory Authorities may request all companies to provide a Notification, regardless of their activity. Please refer to the below schedule:
 Licensing authorityWho is required to fileHow to fileWhen to fileForm released
Ministry of EconomyOnly entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityOnline form hereBy 30 June 2020Yes
DIFCAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia DIFC portalBy 30 June 2020 (extended from 12 June  2020)Yes
ADGMOnly entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activity

Via email to

[email protected]

By 30 June 2020Yes
DAFZAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia DAFZ portalBy 15 June 2020 (extended from 31 May 2020)Yes
DMCCAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia DMCC portalBy 30 June 2020Yes
RAK ICCAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia RAK ICC portal by a registered agent only (online form)By 30 June 2020Yes
Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA)SCA have contacted via email all Investment Management Firms, Management Companies Firms regulated by SCA requesting submission of the notification formVia email to [email protected]By 30 June 2020 (extended from 31 March 2020)Yes
AJMAN FZAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 30 June 2020Yes
RAK EZAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia RAK EZ portal (online form)By 30 June 2020Yes
Dubai World Trade CentreOnly entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 30 June 2020Yes
Dubai Aviation City CorporationAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 23 June 2020 (extended from 7 June 2020)Yes
Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityVia DHCC portal (online form)By 7 June 2020 (extended from 31 May 2020)Yes
Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA)Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityTBCBy 30 June 2020TBC
Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF)Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityTBC by SAIF during week started 7 June 2020By 30 June 2020No, TBC by SAIF during week started 7 June 2020
International Free Zone Authorities (IFZA)Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityOnline form hereBy 30 June 2020Yes
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 9 June 2020 (extended from 31 May 2020)Yes
Dubai Development Authority (DDA)Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityVia portal link here (excel form to be downloaded and uploaded once completed)By 25 June 2020Yes
Abu Dhabi Media Zone AuthorityAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityOnline form hereBy 30 June 2020Yes
Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ)All entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia UAQ portalBy 30 June 2020Yes
Fujairah FreezoneAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 15 June 2020Yes
KIZADAll entities/ licensees, including those who do not undertake the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 20 June 2020Yes
Jebel Ali Freezone (JAFZA)Only entities/ licensees that are carrying out the relevant activityVia email to [email protected]By 30 June 2020Yes
Central BankAll banks and other licenses financial institutionsVia CBUAEIRR – CBUAE Integrated Regulatory Reporting System hosted in Central Bank Service Portal (online form)By 30 June 2020Yes

In addition to the above MoF also has clarified a few other points, being:

  • What income should be considered for ESR purposes (i.e. gross income);
  • How the income earned from a Relevant Activity can be subject to tax outside the UAE;
  • How to determine if a Licensee is a High-Risk IP Licensee;
  • Definitions of a “Parent Company”, “Ultimate Parent Company” and “Ultimate Beneficial Owner”; and
  • In what cases a Licensee can be tax resident outside the UAE.

How can we help?

If you need any help on the assessment of the impact of the UAE’s ESR on your company, do not hesitate to contact us. We have an experienced ESR designated professional team and program that can determine whether you are within the scope of the regulations and guide you as to what actions are required to ensure full compliance.