H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued Decree-Law No. 05 of 2020 on the establishment and organisation of the Sharjah Seaports, Customs & Free Zones Authority, SSCFZA.
Pursuant to the Decree-Law, the Authority enjoys the legal personality and the legal capacity necessary to achieve its objectives and goals.
The SSCFZA’s headquarters shall be based in the city of Sharjah and may establish branches within and outside the emirate and upon the approval of the Sharjah Executive Council, SEC.
Pertaining to the new Decree-Law, the Sharjah Customs, Customs Centers, border crossings and border checkpoints, Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, shall be under the Authority; any other entity to be annexed to the Authority based on a decision by H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah or the Council.
The Decree-Law included a number of competencies necessary to achieve the Authority’s objectives and carry out its functions.
The competencies include the general competencies; competences related to ports, maritime navigation, and customs centres, as well as the border crossings and border checkpoints and competencies related to free zones.
The new Decree-Law also stated that the Chairperson of the Authority shall be appointed by an Emiri Decree, assisted by a sufficient number of employees and experts in accordance with the SSCFZA’s organisational structure.
He shall have the necessary authority and powers to manage the Authority’s affairs and take the needed decisions to achieve its various goals.
At the suggestion of the Authority’s Chairperson and the approval of the Sharjah Executive Council, the organisational structure of the Authority will be issued by Emiri decree.
The financial resources of the Authority consist of the Governmental allocations; its own revenues; the proceeds of investing the Authority’s money; any other resources approved by the Ruler or the Council. The Authority may also make loans and request bank facilities in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
According to the Decree-Law, the chairperson of the Authority may request the assistance of the police and security forces, if necessary, to support the security of seaports, border crossings and border checkpoints, and free zones, in coordination with the relevant authorities.
Upon the proposal of the Authority’s Chairperson, the Executive Council shall issue decisions necessary to implement the provisions of this Decree-Law and topics that are not stipulated in the Decree-Law; as well as the fees, administrative violations and penalties that are prescribed in accordance with the provisions of this Decree-Law.
The Authority shall be exempted from all local government taxes and fees in all its forms and manifestations, with the exception of consumption charges.
The Sharjah Consultative Council shall be notified of this Decree-Law immediately upon its convening.
The Decree-Law is effective from the date of its issuance and other competent authorities should implement its provisions each in its respective field, and shall be published in the Official Gazette. Any provision contrary to its provisions shall be repealed.