E-Trading Licenses for E-Commerce

In cooperation with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Abu Dhabi Business Center of the Department of Economic Development (DED) launched the "Electronic Trading" licence initiative. The initiative aims to reinforce the government of Abu Dhabi's trends toward providing more smart electronic services and activate the E-Commerce aspect in the business sector Emirate-wide by taking advantage of internet websites and social media channels.

The initiative was launched during a press conference that was held today at the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Economic Media Club. Participants included His Excellency Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Business Center; Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, Acting Director of the Commercial Protection Directorate, and Abdel Rahman Al Marzouqi, Director of the Internet Advancement at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

In an announcement made on this occasion, His Excellency Khalifa Bin Salem Al Mansouri, the DED's Undersecretary, said that the initiative taken by the DED to issue a licence for this activity across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reflects the DED's concern and keenness to enhance the Emirate's electronic business environment and expand the scale of services in many fields. This will help provide greater protection for the e-commerce work by regulating the activities being practiced and facilitating the protection of intellectual property rights of projects owners and also providing support to them in order for them to carry out their trade activity properly.

He added that e-commerce has gained popularity among consumers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and explained that regulating this matter by issuing a legal trade licence to practice this activity will create a kind of trust between the seller and the consumer considering that the DED, pursuant to its establishment law no. 2 of 2009, is in charge of regulating the economic activity across the Emirate.

Furthermore, His Excellency Al Mansouri praised the level of support and engagement between the DED and the TRA for the purpose of activating the electronic activity licensing initiative which would help reinforce entrepreneurship in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

On his part, His Excellency Hamad Al Mansouri, Director General of the TRA, emphasized the TRA's keenness to support all kinds of initiatives and projects that would help enhance the efforts of the UAE e-government through active partnership with all federal and local governmental bodies with respect to the e-commerce sector.

He pointed out that the E-Commerce Administration at the TRA works on encouraging the regulatory environment and developing electronic initiatives that help secure the electronic transactions and e-commerce, in addition to the implementation of the Federal Law no. 1 of 2006 on e-commerce and transactions whereby it leads these efforts in line with the Cabinet Decision no. (1) of 2008 regarding the issue of the electronic certification service providers regulation.

Moreover, Al Mansouri emphasized that the Cabinet Decision no. 8/291 of 2006 on the appointment of the TRA as an entity in charge of monitoring the certification services in the UAE aims to licence, certify, monitor and oversee the activities carried out by the electronic certification service providers. This law and the attached regulation apply to the electronic certification service providers in the country, as well as anyone who provides electronic certification services, either directly or indirectly, to the public on a commercial basis, with respect to the electronic records, documents and signatures that are related to the electronic transactions and commerce.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Business Center, explained that the DED sought to provide unique services to the investors by introducing the electronic trade activities through which entrepreneurs are allowed to add the electronic trade activities to their existing licences and conduct their business through the websites and social media.

He added that the licensing of the electronic activities allows the issuance of new licences that contain trade activities and electronic trade activities which allows the websites and social media investors to licence and approve their businesses by the competent bodies.

Munif Al Mansouri also mentioned that the E-Commerce initiative aims to encourage and motivate the entrepreneurs to reinforce their activity through electronic trade and open marketing and commercial channels for their existing projects and businesses. This helps create practical solutions to some of the violations committed in the unlicenced electronic trade and provides an approved legal framework for electronic business practice. Moreover, it allows the small investors and the owners of small, medium and micro enterprises to conduct electronic trade innovatively in order for them to commence their trade work.

On his part, Abdel Rahman Al Marzouqi, Director of the Internet Advancement Department at the TRA, said during the conference that the TRA seeks to develop the transactions and electronic trade sector by implementing initiatives and projects that are build on three main topics, these are: The development and introduction of regulatory frameworks for the electronic transactions and trade in order to guarantee transparent exchange and the electronic protection of the consumer, the strengthening the credibility of electronic transactions to enhance trust in the validity of the electronic transactions, correspondences and records, and finally the contribution to the development of the digital economy of the UAE.

Moreover, he emphasized the TRA's keenness to support the DED's initiative toward licensing electronic trade in order to encourage the diversification of the economic development through clear and fair standards and measures in light of the applicable international legislations in the field of e-commerce.

He also pointed out that the DED's initiative is in line with the TRA's goals which aim to licence, certify and monitor the activities of the electronic trade service providers. This will help fulfill a number of objectives assigned by the Authority's establishment law. Among these are: the encouragement and facilitation of electronic transactions and correspondences, the facilitation and elimination of any obstacles that the e-commerce and electronic transactions might face, in addition to the reinforcement of confidence and trust in the validity and soundness of the electronic transactions and correspondences that are linked to the trade activities.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, Acting Director of the Commercial Protection Directorate explained that there are two main activities that were allocated to the electronic trade activity licensing. These are: The electronic trade through the websites, and the electronic trade through social media.

He pointed out that the mechanism of issuing the electronic trade licence by Abu Dhabi Business Center is carried out when a new licence is requested. This is done by applying via the DED's website www.ded.abudhabi.ae or through Abu Dhabi Business Center's app ADBC which require the approval of the TRA.

He added that in case an application is submitted to request the addition of the electronic trade activity via the websites or the social media for existing licences, an activity addition application is submitted, after which the TRA's approval is obtained in order to pay the fees and issue the licence.

Tarish Al Qubaisi mentioned that the DED provides the owners of electronic trade licences the "Electronic Tajer" mark along with a serial number for the licence in order to use it during the promotion of the product or the good that are planned to be marketed. This helps enhance the consumers' trust, protect their rights, and inform them that their activity is legally licenced by the DED.

He explained that the electronic trade licence is based on three main standards, the availability of an existing licence (Tajer Abu Dhabi or an economic licence, the availability of at least one main activity, and the identification of the websites that are used to conduct the activity through the domain name (ae).