Companies will be charged varying amounts for each vehicle depending on what it carries, with tough penalties for those who fail to pay
New licensing law for UAE transport firms
ABU DHABI // Companies transporting passengers or goods into and across the country will have to pay for licences to do so, under a new law that came into effect yesterday.
Under the Federal Land Transport Law, the amount companies are required to pay for the licences from the National Transport Authority (NTA) depend on how many vehicles they own and what they are transporting.
Passenger vehicles incur a fee of Dh100, plus Dh5 for each passenger seat. This applies to all commercial passenger transport, such as those involved in tourism, pilgrimages and Umrah.
The fee for vehicles transporting commercial goods is Dh100, plus Dh10 for each tonne of the vehicle's gross weight, unless they carry one of 18 specified types of commodities - including refrigerated items, cattle, foodstuff and chemicals - in which case they incur a fee of Dh500.
Companies who do not obtain their licences can be fined up to Dh200,000 and their directors jailed for up to six months.
Licences will be issued for three months and must be renewed within 30 days of expiring or late fees will be charged.
Companies that fail to renew a licence within 90 days of its expiry will require special permission from the authority to renew it.
The NTA hopes the licences will speed up border-entry procedures. It estimates the time needed for each vehicle to be processed will be reduced from 15 minutes to seven minutes, as the licensing information can be shared between the NTA and 25 federal and local-government departments using an electronic system.
Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, the Minister of Public Works and Chairman of the NTA, said the law was needed to keep up with the country's economic growth.
"The law will be implemented in phases, the first of which has to do with the licensing and registering of transport companies, while the final phase will be about registering lorries at border-entry points," he said.
According to the NTA, there are 193,000 heavy vehicles in the UAE registered to 1,300 companies.
Dr Al Nuaimi said the authority was ready to implement the new law, adding: "The NTA will open more offices in the UAE next year to enable the fast discharge of procedures."
Companies will be required to purchase the new-style licences when their old ones expire.
The licence applicant must be a UAE citizen, and the transport vehicle should be equipped with safety gear and satisfy all technical conditions stipulated by the authority.
The NTA has also contacted authorities in GCC countries and Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, to make them aware of the new licensing conditions.
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