18 September 2023
Electronic Transactions and Trust Services in the UAE – 2 of 3 Insights
The first article in this series, Unlocking the world of Electronic Transactions and Trust Services, published on 11th September, can be found here.
Regarding licensing service providers, we refer to Chapter Three of the Decree-Law to understand how the law is enforced correctly. This chapter provides the authorization issued under the provisions of the Decree-Law and its Regulations, which allows the licensee to engage in any of the trust services or approved trust services.
Article 15 of the Decree-Law outlines the regulations regarding the provision of trust services. It states that individuals or entities can only offer trust services if they obtain a license from the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority. Additionally, the provision of approved trust services is also subject to obtaining a license from the Authority and operating as an approved party according to the conditions and standards specified in the executive regulations.
To apply for a license, the interested party must follow certain procedures outlined in Article 2 of the cabinet decision. The Authority will provide all the necessary information, application forms, and requirements for licensing on its website or through other appropriate means. The license application must include various details as specified by the Authority, such as:
Furthermore, the license applicant must provide a service termination plan in accordance with Article 18 of the Decree-Law. This plan outlines measures that the licensee will take in case of termination of services. This includes revoking authentication certificates or data of subscribers' accounts issued by the licensee, destroying electronic signature or seal creation data, and ensuring services continue for existing subscribers during the termination plan period approved by the Authority.
Article 16 of the Decree-Law states that the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will establish rules, standards, and requirements that must be met by license applicants, service providers, or approved service providers in two specific cases:
The Authority is responsible for ensuring that the license applicants, service providers, or approved service providers comply with these rules, standards, and requirements mentioned earlier. If any of them violate or fail to meet these guidelines, the Authority has the authority to suspend or revoke their license. The Authority will collaborate with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship in all matters covered by this Article.
License Application Examination Procedures, as stated in Article 3 of the cabinet decision, involve the Authority conducting a thorough review and examination of the license application and verifying all the information and documents provided. This process should be completed within one month from the date when the application is considered complete. If for any reason, the review requires more time, the applicant will be informed about the updated timeframe.
If there are any changes or updates in the data or documents submitted in the license application, the applicant must notify the Authority within one week, along with a valid explanation for the modifications. Additionally, if the applicant decides to withdraw the license application, they must inform the Authority within the same timeframe. In such cases, the applicant will be responsible for any fees or costs incurred due to these changes.
Furthermore, the Authority has the discretion to grant exemptions to the license applicant from certain licensing requirements specified in this Decision and other relevant decisions issued by the Authority.
Authority's Decision after Examining the Licence Application, according to the provisions of Article 4 of the cabinet decision, after reviewing and examining the license application, the Authority issues its decision of approval or rejection. If the Authority approves the license application to provide approved trust services or trust services specified in the application, the Authority issues a license authorizing the applicant to provide approved trust services or trust services after paying the license issuance fees. The authority also determines the Emirati trust list according to the licensing decision on the basis of each approved trust services or trust service specified in the license, If the Authority approves the license application to provide trust services or approved trust services specified in the application, It shall issue a licence authorising the applicant to provide trust services or approved trust services after paying the licence issuance fees, and It shall update the UAE Trust List in accordance with the licensing decision on the basis of each trust service or approved trust service specified in the licence.
According to Article 5 of the cabinet decision concerning the License Issuing Authority, the licensing decision will be issued by the Authority only after it receives the approval of the Chairman or his authorized representative.
Article 6 of the same regulations regarding the License Period states that the license will be valid for two years, starting from the date of issuance.
Regarding the renewal of the license, Article 7 of the cabinet decision states that the licensee must fulfill all the requirements for license renewal at least 3 months before the license period expires. The license renewal application should include all the data and documents mentioned in Article 2 of the cabinet decision related to the initial license application. Additionally, the fees for the license renewal application must be paid in the manner specified by the Authority, and proof of payment must be included along with the license renewal application.
If the license is not renewed within the specified period, Article 8 of the cabinet decision states that the licensee will be considered in violation if the license is not renewed within 30 days after its expiration. In such a case, the relevant administrative penalties will be imposed.
Regarding the process of examining the license renewal application, Article 9 of the cabinet decision states that the Authority will review and verify the data and documents submitted as part of the renewal application, following the procedures specified in Article 3 of the same decision.
Article 10 of the cabinet decision addresses the License Renewal Decision. After reviewing and verifying the license renewal application, the Authority will issue its decision in the following ways:
Article 11 of the cabinet decision deals with the process of filing a grievance against the Authority's decision. If the license applicant or license renewal applicant's application is rejected, they have two options:
Article 12 of the cabinet decision outlines the procedures for license suspension or revocation:
Article 13 of the cabinet decision outlines the license amendments cases:
Article 14 of the cabinet decision addresses the costs associated with license suspension or revocation:
If a licensee's approval capacity is withdrawn or their license is suspended or revoked, or if a license renewal applicant's application is rejected, they will be responsible for covering all the costs related to compliance assessment reports.
Article 35 of the Decree Law outlines the obligations of the licensee, who is defined as a legal entity licensed by the Authority according to the provisions of this Decree-Law and its Implementing Regulation. The licensee is required to:
Additionally, the licensee must follow the Authority's procedures for handling complaints, publish relevant documents in Arabic and English for public access, and prepare a service termination plan. The termination plan should cover informing subscribers about service suspension or termination, maintaining the integrity of subscriber records, facilitating access to records for affected subscribers, and ensuring transactions and records made during the provision of trust services are not affected.
To be continued on Monday 25th September, stay tuned.
11 September 2023
18 September 2023
19 September 2023