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New Kuwaiti commercial licences law planned

Law a leap forward in efforts to tackle chronic bureaucracy: Minister

Gulf News

Manama: Plans for Kuwait’s new commercial licences law have been completed, the Kuwait commerce and industry minister has said.

“The single-window system will facilitate trade through the single-window system and will offer traders the opportunity to complete all paperwork and permits related to various state institutions and ministries through one state body,” Anas Al Saleh told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) on Saturday.

The law, currently in its draft phase, has “taken a long time to complete and has received extensive revision” aimed at bringing it on a par with international equivalents.

“The know-how and practical experiences of nations of huge [commercial] expertise in issuing commercial licences have been studied closely, in order for us to determine the exact errors and obstacles affecting our current system, particularly amid the direction the ministry has compelled itself to in improving the [Kuwaiti] industrial and commercial environment,” he said.

The law takes into account the public’s interest, and organises documentation required for each and every step related to issuing these licences according to a precise time-frame,” the minister said.

Ahead of the issuance of the legally binding document, traders will be handed a “temporary permit” granting them a grace period during which they will be required to complete all necessary paperwork, but the provisional document will be discarded as soon as this time is up, he added.

“The new commercial licences law will also allow renewals to be conducted every four years, with procedures for handing over these licences to an heir or a successor having been separated,” he told the official news agency.

As for the proposed fees, the amount requested will depend on the exact nature of the business along with the nature of the applicant, be it a single entity, a group of owners or a shareholding company, and the sums will be on a par with those demanded by neighbouring countries.

“Commercial activities that are allowed in the country have been carefully categorised.... and the law aims to achieve a balance between the interests of the licence applicant and the others.”

The minister described the draft legislation as “an unprecedented development in the field of legislative work, an important step in the path of accomplishments and a leap forward in efforts to tackle chronic bureaucracy and meaningless routine”.

“It has the very important aim of attracting trade and investment in the Kuwaiti market — in a business environment that is flexible, up-to-date and that serves the needs of investors,” he said.