October 16th, 2023 Legal Updates

Now That We Are Here: What to Anticipate from UAE Cabinet Decree No. 38 Of 2022 Entering into Force.


Issued on 21 April 2022, the UAE Cabinet Decree No. (38) of 2022 Concerning the Attestation Fees of Documents, Bills and Certificates of Origin Provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (the “Decree”) has effectively entered into force as of 1 September 2022.

The Decree was issued for the purpose of setting the service fees that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) shall collect for attestation of various types of documents, the penalties for not abiding by the Decree, and various provisions related to splitting of revenues collected under the Decree by the relevant authorities and the MoFAIC.

Article 2 of the Decree stipulates that a fixed fee of AED 150 shall be collected at representative delegations (embassies, consulates, and representative offices of the UAE at foreign countries) of the UAE abroad, or through the MoFAIC’s offices, or through any branch of banks operating in the UAE, or through the local customs, against the attestation of invoices with value of or more than AED 10,000 of imports into the UAE.

Additionally, the same article sets the service fee for attestation services of other documents by the MoFAIC. Such amounts include attestation of; commercial documents (AED 2,000); personal status documents (AED 150); copies of attested certificates and invoices (AED 150); and any other document (AED 150).

As the Decree has become effective, it is advised that entities with import business and businesses that require the abovementioned attestations be aware of the potential of violating the Decree. Article 3(1) of the Decree states that the MoFAIC will impose an administrative penalty of AED 500 on any persons non-abiding by the attestation of certificates of origin and invoices of imported commodities after the lapse of fourteen (14) days as of its date of entry into the UAE; and the penalties shall be accumulated with the accumulation of violations.

Penalties may be subject to appeal as article 3(2) gives the right to an interested party to submit a written grievance to the MoFAIC against the administrative penalty imposed on them within fifteen (15) days as of the date of his notification of the decision subject of the grievance, provided that the grievance is justified and annexed with the supporting documents. The decision concerning the grievance shall be issued within thirty (30) days as of its date of submission, in accordance with the procedure applicable at the Ministry.

As of today, we are aware that the various UAE authorities that have started implementing the Decree. Of Such authorities is the Dubai Customs which have mirrored the Decree via its Customs Notice No. (11/2022) (“Customs Notice”).

It is also worth noting that the Customs Notice has added an extra step following the attestation which is the inclusion of the attestation payment reference with the corresponding declaration through the Customs electronic systems. Failure to undertake such step may prejudice the custom declaration process.

The GLA team is happy to assist its clients with the attestation requirements before MOFAIC to ensure compliance and avoid the implementation of any applicable penalties.

Authors: Yousef Al Amly, Partner and Khaled Al Khashab, Associate.

Feel free to reach out to Alex Saleh (alex.saleh@glaco.com) and Yousef Al Amly (y.alamly@glaco.com) for further insights on other authorities who have actively enforced the Decree.