The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) has announced on Tuesday, 10th January that it has issued a new set of guidelines for the Jebel Ali Free Zone Companies Implementing Regulations 2016 that enables foreign companies to transfer and continue operations in the free zone without the need to open a branch or establish a new company.
A number of new provisions have been included in the new regulations. Thus, a new legal definition pertaining to Public Listed Companies (PLC) has been introduced. The new regulations also allow companies to restructure and rearrange their operations by converting from a Free Zone Establishment or Free Zone Company to a PLC and vice-versa, enabling continuity of businesses in the free zone. Also, the concept of classes of shares has now been introduced in order to provide flexibility to owners to offer different voting rights to shares.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “The new regulations streamline all the mandatory legalities related to the registration, administration, legal benefits and obligations of organisations in the free zone. These changes reflect the needs of an ever-evolving market in terms of providing facilities that are prompt, secure and form the best international practice.”