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UAE Capital Abu Dhabi Implements New E-Commerce Policy
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UAE Capital Abu Dhabi Implements New E-Commerce Policy

The General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi has adopted a new e-commerce policy to lay a solid foundation for digital transformations of businesses and further consolidate the UAE’s position as a global commercial hub. The new policy aims to facilitate trade movement in all forms, notably electronic ones, and create a conducive environment to attract more foreign investment.

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Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director General, General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi, said that the organization aims to provide a competitive investment environment that integrates with the private sector, simplify customs procedures, and regulates movements of personal goods via e-commerce channels subject to customs procedures in force and legislation relative to this vital sector.

The provisions of this novel policy will apply to the goods imported and exported by firms to distribution centers in the domestic market and the corporations operating in the free zones via electronic platforms.  

Under the new decree, companies desirous of engaging in e-commerce activities must register with the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs’ Licensing Department and procure the trade license. Eligible logistics firms are permitted to clear goods if their customers finish registering with the Licensing Department. For streamlining online businesses, e-commerce companies are required to establish distribution centers for goods intended for sale. 

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Protection for Vital Sectors

The policy also exempts electronic purchases made through firms’ sales platforms whose value does not exceed AED 1,000. Likewise, corporations are granted an advantage of organizing unified import statements for shipments, provided the number of consignments is less than 50. It prohibits the entry of goods inconsistent with the regulations related to the protection of intellectual, commercial, industrial, literary, and artistic property, in addition to drugs of all kinds and their derivatives. 

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry analysis indicated that the UAE retail e-commerce market reached a record $3.9 billion in 2020, a 53% year-over-year increase. With strong institutionalized support and sound policies in place, the e-commerce market in the UAE is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate to reach $8 billion by 2025. 

As tech-savvy consumers are opting for e-commerce over traditional face-to-face (F2F) channels, there’s a growing demand for conveniences such as same-day delivery and competitive pricing. The new e-commerce policy will go a long way in facilitating companies and making the online business quicker, safer, and more personalized for a better consumer experience.

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