UAE Cabinet approves amendments to Commercial Transactions Law


The UAE Cabinet has approved a federal decree to amend several provisions of the Federal Law On Commercial Transactions.

The Cabinet, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has given the go-ahead for the latest decree.

It includes provisions related to bounced cheques and the issuance of cheques without value, by providing fast, advanced and civil mechanisms to collect the required payments.

Crimes involving cheques have been redefined as per the decree, which will come into force in 2022.

The amendments will also create several mechanisms and alternatives that will ensure the collection of payments through cheque in a simple and fast way, such as obliging banks to partially pay the amount after deducting the total amount available to the beneficiary, and making bounced cheques an executive document to be executed directly by an appropriate judge in court.

They also aim to highlight the means of avoiding criminal lawsuits by encouraging reconciliation and urging the payment of the value of the original cheque as the main condition for the abatement of a criminal lawsuit.

The amendments will introduce several ancillary penalties, including cancelling the cheque books of convicted persons and preventing them from obtaining new ones for a maximum period of five years, as well as halting their professional or commercial activities.

Additional penalties for legal persons, barring banks and financial institutions, will also be introduced, including a financial fine, the suspension of licences to practice economic activities for six months, and the revocation or dissolution of the licences of legal persons who repeat violations.

In addition to the amendments related to bounced cheques and cheques without value, the amendments also cover the opening of joint accounts between two and more persons. If one of the joint account holders dies or loses legal control, the other joint account holders must notify the bank within ten days from the date of death or disqualification, and the bank must, from the date of notification, limit the ability to withdraw from the joint account within a party’s share of the account balance on the day of death or loss of eligibility.

These provisions will come into force from the day following the date of the decree’s publication in the official gazette.

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