The Cabinet endorses agreements, draft laws

WAM Abu Dhabi, Jan 13th, 2013 (WAM)–The UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has said that the UAE will continue to develop legislation and laws to protect the community and markets from various types of crimes and fraud, in accordance with the best systems and international standards.

He made his remarks during this morning’s Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Court, in the presence of H. H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and H. H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The Cabinet endorsed the new federal laws on commercial fraud and human trafficking.

Sheikh Mohammed noted that the continuous amendment of laws pertaining to consumer protection and fighting commercial fraud are in accordance with the directives of the government to build transparent and professional markets in which sellers and consumers enjoy full rights and duties.

“The consumer protection consolidates the principle of transparency and impartiality in the business sector,” he said, noting that “the enactment of laws for protection of consumers regulates markets and raises their standards, as well as reflecting the state’s keenness to protect citizens from any harmful practices in the local market.” The general provisions of the new federal bill include several articles covering all types of commercial fraud, such as the sale, display or possession of counterfeit goods or corrupt or counterfeit awards, in addition to the provisions related to the prohibition of misleading commercial advertisements.

The bill tightens punishments for breaches of regulations relating to food, drugs and medicines and others due to the seriousness of such offences that may pose a threat to human and animal health as well as to the environment.

It also lays down a mechanism to deal with counterfeit or rotten goods. The bill obliges importers to return these goods to their source of origin within a specified period, or to destroy them. It also sets out other penalties for multi-purpose shops and other business irregularities.

Based on the new draft law, the “Higher Committee to Combat Commercial Fraud” has been formed in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers. It will be chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy. The committee will study reports of fraud and deceit referred to it by the competent authority and take the necessary decisions.

The Cabinet also amended some provisions of the federal law No. (51) of year 2006 on human trafficking, to ensure the rights of victims and provide medical, psychological and security care in line with the state’s strategy and international conventions in this respect.

The Council of Ministers endorsed the estimated budget for the General Pensions and Social Security Authority for the fiscal year 2013. Total revenues were set at over AED4. 451billion, while the estimated total expenditures were estimated at over AED3.7 billion.

The Cabinet also approved the hosting of the headquarters of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements in the Middle East, which aims to protect nature and environment through the promotion and dissemination of organic agriculture systems, exchanging of information and ideas among its members and to help develop and review the standards of the federation regarding the production, processing and trading of organic products.

The Council of Ministers also approved a draft agreement between the UAE Government and Turkey on the implementation of electric power projects and the development of coal mines in Turkey.

The Cabinet endorsed eight agreements concerning avoidance of double taxation on income with Fiji, Mexico, Iraq, Lithuania, Benin, Japan, Libya and Ecuador to strengthen the partnership, economic cooperation with these countries.

It also approved the agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to income tax signed between the United Arab Emirates and Panama and two agreements on the regulation of air transport services between the UAE and Swaziland and Latvia.

The Agreement of Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters between the UAE and India was also approved. This is intended to strengthen the economic partnership and trade exchange between the two countries through facilitating customs procedures.

WAM/MN

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