United Arab Emirates: One Free Zone Passport en Dubái: Ampliar el Alcance Geográfico de las Licencias de Zonas Francas

Last Updated: 10 July 2019
Article by Andrés Ring and Albert Jové

El Consejo de Zonas Francas de Dubái (DFZC) ha adoptado un acuerdo sobre una iniciativa que permitirá a las empresas en cualquier zona franca de Dubái operar también en otras zonas francas de Dubái sin necesidad de obtener una licencia adicional. La iniciativa One Free Zone Passport de DFZC es un paso más para facilitar los negocios en el Emirato de Dubái y una consecuencia de la liberalización del marco reglamentario de las inversiones extranjeras en los Emiratos Árabes Unidos. Este artículo quiere proporcionar una visión general de esta iniciativa y sus posibles implicaciones.

1.¿Qué es la iniciativa One Free Zone Passport?

Teniendo en cuenta la información disponible, la iniciativa One Free Zone Passport permitirá a las empresas con licencia de una zona franca, operar en otras zonas francas de Dubai sin necesidad de una licencia adicional.

La iniciativa se basa en un acuerdo preliminar del Consejo de Zonas Francas de Dubái (DFZC). El DFZC está compuesto por representantes de las zonas francas de Dubái e importantes representates gubernamentales. Su objetivo general es mejorar la colaboración entre las autoridades de las zonas francas, el gobierno de Dubái y otros organismos gubernamentales. El acuerdo preliminar sobre esta iniciativa se alcanzó durante la 12ª reunión del DFZC el 12 de mayo de 2019, encabezada por Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Presidente del DZFC y CEO de Emirates Airline Group.

2. ¿Por qué el Consejo de zonas francas de Dubái (DFZC) ha tomado ahora este acuerdo preliminar?

La razón principal de la decisión está en consonancia con los continuos esfuerzos del DFZC

por facilitar los negocios en las zonas francas. Durante esta reunión, los miembros del Consejo también acordaron la sustitución del pago de una garantía bancaria (bank guarantee) a la hora de contratar a un trabajador por la contratación de una póliza de seguro para asegurar la liquidez del inversor.

En el pasado se han adoptado varias medidas para mejorar la inversión extranjera a los EAU en general y al Emirato de Dubái en particular. La iniciativa One Free Zone Passport debe entenderse en el contexto de las recientes medidas adoptadas en relación a la inversion extranjera.

  • Iniciativa de dual license en Dubái
  • Iniciativa de dual license en Abu Dhabi
  • Ley de Inversion Directa Extranjera (Federal Decree Law No. 19 of 2018)

La iniciativa de dual license (DLI) ofrece oportunidades a las empresas de zonas francas que quieren expandir sus actividades comerciales fuera de la zona franca. El DLI proporciona a los inversores la posibilidad de tener dos licencias para la misma empresa, una para operar en la respectiva zona franca y otra para operar fuera de ella. En la práctica, las empresas dentro de zona franca pueden solicitar la apertura de una sucursal fuera de la zona franca sin tener que alquilar otra oficina.

Hasta ahora, en el Emirato de Dubái las dos zonas francas que han firmado acuerdos con el Departamento de Desarrollo Económico (DED) de Dubái son DIFC, en mayo de 2017, y DAFZ, en septiembre de 2017.

El DED de Abu Dhabi lanzó la primera fase de su DLI en septiembre de 2018. De acuerdo con la resolución administrativa N° 219 de 2018 sobre la doble concesión de licencias para las empresas de zona franca en el Emirato de Abu Dhabi, el DLI de Abu Dhabi – contrariamente a Dubái – se aplica a todas las entidades de zonas francas en Abu Dhabi. En última instancia, las entidades de zonas francas en Abu Dhabi pueden obtener una licencia comercial del DED de Abu Dhabi con el fin de llevar a cabo negocios fuera de las zonas francas de Abu Dhabi.

La iniciativa también debe ser entendida a la luz de la reciente reforma entorno a las inversiones directas.extranjeras. El 1 de octubre de 2018 entró en vigor el decreto federal N° 19 de 2018 (Ley de Inversión Extranjera Directa – ley de IED), que permitió la plena propiedad extranjera de las empresas situadas fuera de zonas francas. La ley contiene una lista de sectores que no se incluyen en el ámbito de aplicación. Sin embargo, aún queda por emitir una lista positiva. Independientemente del estado de aplicación de la lista positiva, se prevé que las zonas francas de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos se enfrenten a un nivel creciente de competencia por la por la mayor laxitud de los requisitos exigidos para el establecimiento de empresas fuera de zonas francas.

3. ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de tener una Licencia única?

Las consecuencias de una "licencia única para todas las zonas francas" son abrumadoramente positivas. Los inversores pueden ampliar su alcance geográfico potencialmente

hasta 30 zonas francas en Dubái sin tener que configurar nuevos vehículos corporativos.

Por ejemplo, la necesidad de trasladar una empresa de una zona franca a otra, ya sea mediante la liquidación y el registro de una nueva empresa, puede ser reconsiderada en el marco de esta nueva iniciativa.

Sin embargo, hay otras implicaciones jurídicas que los inversores deben tener en cuenta al hacer uso de la "licencia única para todas las zonas francas". A día de hoy, los requisitos para obtener la licencia única no se conocen. Independientemente de ello, se espera que las actividades comerciales se limiten a las mismas actividades comerciales, tal y como se muestra en la licencia original.

La experiencia demuestra que las entidades de zona franca que poseen una licencia industrial a veces también realizan actividades de servicio (por ejemplo, para instalar y/o mantener productos). La mayoría de las autoridades de zonas francas no concederán una licencia industrial y de servicio a la misma empresa. Por lo tanto, los inversores que tengan una licencia industrial deben ser conscientes de no ejecutar servicios en otras zonas francas (siempre y cuando no tengan la respectiva licencia de servicio).

En virtud de la iniciativa de licencia única, también será necesario verificar en qué grado se optimizarán las regulaciones sobre permisos de trabajo. Los permisos de trabajo están técnicamente limitados geográficamente a una sola zona franca (no a múltiples zonas francas).

En el caso de ampliar las actividades comerciales en el marco de la iniciativa de licencia única de zonas francas, cabe señalar que los inversores tendrán que mantener la forma en que se tratan las reexportaciones desde una perspectiva de aduanas y del impuesto sobre el valor añadido (por ejemplo, importadas a una zona franca/zona designada y exportadas desde otra zona franca/designada).

4. ¿ Podría combinarse la iniciativa de doble licencia (DLI) con la iniciativa One Free Zone Passport?

Será interesante valorar si la iniciativa One Free Zone Passport es combinable con la iniciativa de doble licencia (DLI). El DLI es actualmente aplicable en DIFC y DAFZ. Si ambas iniciativas se juntasen, podría tener como consecuencia que una empresa que ha obtenido una licencia en una zona franca que no sea DIFC o DAFZ (por ejemplo, Jebel Ali) sería capaz de solicitar una licencia fuera de la zona franca a través de DIFC o DAFZ utilizando el DLI en Dubái. En resumen, dicha empresa tendría derecho a llevar a cabo actividades en todo el Emirato a través de una zona franca y las iniciativas de dual license.

5. Conclusión

La iniciativa One Free Zone Passport es una buena manera de expandir el negocio geográficamente a través de zonas francas de

Dubái. Los empresarios deberán tener en cuenta lo siguiente:

  • los requisitos para obtener dicha autorización (si los hubiera);
  • la posibilidad de combinar esta iniciativa con la dual license; y
  • tener en cuenta otras cuestiones jurídicas (requisitos generales para la licencia, permiso de trabajo y regulaciones aduaneras, así como consideraciones sobre el VAT).

Sin embargo, todavía se desconocen los detalles de la implementación de esta inciativa.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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