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UAE Introduces Progressive E-commerce Law to Boost Competitiveness

The introduction of a new e-commerce law by Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh demonstrates the country's commitment to an economic model.

Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy in the UAE, has announced the introduction of a new e-commerce law, showcasing the country’s commitment to a proactive and forward-looking economic model. 

The law, aligned with the UAE’s digital transformation strategy, seeks to improve the competitiveness of the business environment, foster innovation, and promote entrepreneurial thinking.

Key Points:

  1. Strategic Direction for Digital Transformation: The Federal Decree-Law No. 14 of 2023 on Commerce through Modern Means of Technology (e-commerce) aligns with the UAE’s strategic direction for digital transformation, emphasizing resilience, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.
  2. Integrated Framework: The law serves as the main federal legislation governing e-commerce, providing an integrated framework for the legislative and regulatory environment. It aims to facilitate business conduct, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance stability.
  3. Consumer Protection: The law protects consumer interests by regulating the refund and exchange of goods and services. It also safeguards intellectual property rights related to purchases made through modern technology means.
  4. Future-Ready Legislation: Designed to consider future technological developments, the law covers any current or future modern technological means, ensuring flexibility and adaptability without requiring frequent modifications.
  5. Technological Neutrality: The legislation embraces technological neutrality, relying on ongoing technological advancements for trade. It does not limit trade to specific technological means, fostering adaptability to emerging technologies.
  6. International Compatibility: The law aligns with international digital commerce trends and adopts a flexible approach to legislation, streamlining businesses and facilitating consumer services within the country.
  7. Role of Entities and Authorities: It emphasizes the crucial role of entities and authorities responsible for licensing and regulating e-commerce, logistic services, and digital payment gateways.
  8. Optional Jurisdictions for Dispute Resolution: The law provides optional jurisdictions for dispute resolution, including arbitration, and introduces optional insurance coverage for obligations arising from trade through modern technological means.
  9. Integration of Roles: Federal and local entities involved in the e-commerce value chain will play integrated roles. The law addresses the requirements and necessary approvals from various entities, such as the Central Bank, Federal Tax Authority, TDRA, and local economic development departments.
  10. Organizing Digital Contracts: The law regulates relationships between merchants (B2B) and between digital merchants and consumers (B2C). It also organizes relationships between parties in digital contracts, protecting online consumers and relevant parties.

The introduction of this e-commerce law signals the UAE’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for national and foreign investments, diversifying business activities, and ensuring optimal services to consumers while creating job opportunities.

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