New Federal Electronic Transactions and Trust Services Law for UAE
The UAE has published Federal Decree by Law Number 46 of 2021 on Electronic Transactions and Trust Services ("Law"), a new electronic transactions law. To increase legal clarity in electronic contacts, it incorporates legal ideas into UAE law similar to the European eIDAS Regulation. As of January 2, 2022, the existing Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 covering e-transactions and e-commerce (the "Old Law") has been repealed. However, individuals subject to the Law have a 12-month grace period to guarantee that they are in compliance. The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority ("TDRA") will be the law's competent authority. Still, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will issue controls in relation to trust services provided to the government sector and any trust services that rely on the Federal Authorities for Identity and Citizenship's information or services (e.g., Emirates ID).
According to the Law, all providers of "trust services" must get a license from the TDRA. It is unclear how broad this licensing need is, as it might encompass the provision of any electronic signature technique. Certified Trust Services have more legal ramifications and are subject to a more rigorous review under the Law. No one may provide certified trust services unless they have secured a license from the TDRA in accordance with the Law and its Executive Regulations.
The TDRA will compile and publish a UAE Trust List, which will include a list of licensees and their trust services. The UAE Trust List will be governed by the Executive Regulations, which will specify the rules and requirements for admission. In accordance with the Old Law, the law controls the validity of electronic documents. Despite the fact that there is a 12-month grace period and that adopting executive regulations is required, firms must explore how to establish adequate trust services to make their electronic transactions more safe and dependable under the Law.