SEAMLESS SAUDI ARABIA 2022

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Fintech Technology

Saudi Central Bank Updates Its Regulatory Sandbox Framework

Saudi Central Bank Updates Its Regulatory Sandbox Framework

Saudi Central Bank Updates Its Regulatory Sandbox Framework #Saudi_Arabia

Overview

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced that it has updated the Framework of its Regulatory Sandbox. The step was taken as part of SAMA’s efforts to achieve several national strategic goals through the promotion of the Regulatory Sandbox’s involvement in the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), a key objective of the Saudi Vision 2030, which is aiming to develop the kingdom’s economy, diversify its sources of income, enable financial institutions to support the growth of the private sector, and allow new companies to provide their own array of financial services.

What is Regulatory Sandbox?

SAMA launched the Regulatory Sandbox initiative back in 2018 to garner the participation of local, regional and international FinTech institutions and companies seeking to take advantage of current and new technologies to provide innovative financial products and services to Saudi markets.

SAMA’s Sandbox directly connects with the Saudi Vision 2030 which endeavors to reinforce economic growth and investment activities. Vision 2030 has been further developed into 12 Executive Programs, which includes the ‘Financial Sector Development Program’ (FSDP). The FSDP program seeks to develop the financial industry as a diversified and effective financial services sector to support the development of the national economy by stimulating savings, finance and investment by, inter alia, enabling financial institutions to support private sector growth.

To this end, SAMA’s Regulatory Sandbox aims to attract local and International FinTech businesses that are looking to leverage existing or new technology in an innovative way to deliver new financial products or services to KSA markets, or improve business processes. The target audience includes, but is not limited to, KSA and international Start-ups, FinTechs, established financial sector firms, and professional services companies partnering with or providing support to such businesses.

Why is Regulatory Sandbox so important?

In order to understand and assess the impact of new technologies in the KSA’s FS market, as well as to help transforming the Saudi market into a smart financial center, SAMA has designed a Regulatory Sandbox which welcomes local as well as international firms wishing to test new digital solutions in a ‘live’ environment with a view to deploy them in the KSA in the future.

What's New About SAMA Regulatory Sandbox?​

The Central Bank pointed out that the updated framework of the Regulatory Sandbox is open for both local and international applicants to apply be they entrepreneurs, non-regulated companies or existing regulated entities, the key differentiator of the updated framework is to move from a cohort based approach to an Always Open approach which will give greater flexibility to those applying. 

The updated framework will also support the objectives of the FinTech strategy by making the Kingdom one of the world’s leading countries in the field, and it will contribute to the economic empowerment of the Saudi society and its citizens by promoting further innovations in technology-based financial services.

When Does the Regulatory Sandbox Framework start?

SAMA will allow FinTech companies to submit Regulatory Sandbox applications under the updated framework as of the 6th of September 2022.

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Upcoming Events

The Central Bank in cooperation with Fintech Saudi, will hold on this September 5, 2022, at 12:00 PM, an introductory workshop on the updated regulatory framework for the legislative experimental environment.

Fintech Saudi will be hosting a virtual workshop in which members of the Regulatory Sandbox team at SAMA will introduce the new framework to an open audience.

We invite you to attend the workshop where the following aspects will be covered:
1. Enhancements to the framework
2. Walk through the lifecycle from Application to Testing
3. Q&A with the Sandbox team.

Conclusions

We believe that this SAMA Regulatory  Sandbox Framework update will leverage the Financial Technology sector in KSA where it will make financial sector firms and technology companies applying for SAMA license way easier and feasible comparing to status quo.

As #1 FinTech law firm, Knowledge Pioneers has been deeply involved in such updates in the legal environment of the Financial Technology sector.

If you are interested in the FinTech arena in the KSA, please fill out our FinTech Assessment Survey in order to have one of FinTech experts contact you promptly.

For further information, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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Commercial Contracts Dispute Resolution Litigation Real Estate Technology

NAJIZ: Digital Transformation In The Judicial System

NAJIZ: Digital Transformation in The Judicial System

Najiz offers fast and efficient digital services to all ministry clients in order to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. #Saudi_Arabia.

Overview

In continuation of the Kingdom’s unremitting efforts in the digital transformation of government services, we are talking today about “Najiz” system, which is deemed to be a qualitative leap in the history of the Saudi judiciary and the legal profession.

What is Najiz?

Najiz is a judicial services platform which provides all Ministry of Justice (MoJ) services through one unified platform.

Najiz offers fast and efficient digital services to all MoJ clients in order to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. 

How to access Najiz?

To reach the platform, just click on Najiz.

Objectives of Najiz

His Excellency the Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Sheikh Dr. Walid bin Muhammad Al-Samaani launched the “Najiz” system in 177 first-instance courts throughout the Kingdom with the aim of:

What are Najiz Services?

There are more than 134 services and procedures.

In this article, we review the most prominent services and procedures.

Judiciary
  • Filing Lawsuits
  • Filing Statements of Claim
  • Court Hearings Schedules
  • Inquiries on Lawsuits
  • Filing Execution Case
  • Filing Applications
Business
  • Activate the facility account

  • Deactivate facility account

  • Submit Facility's Applications for Execution

  • Corporate Matters

Licensing
  • Licensed Lawyers Directory
  • Licensed Marriage Officials Directory
  • Application for Law Practitioner License
  • Application for Marriage Officials License
  • Application for Renewal of Law Practitioner License  
Power of Attorney
  • Issuance of an electronic Power of Attorney
  • Termination of Power of Attorney
  • Acknowledgements
Dates
  • Inquire about the dates of the judicial facilities 
  • Inquire about the dates of the mobile notaries
  • Book an appointment for mobile notaries
  • Appointment booking service
Verification
  • Verify Social Status
  • Verify mortgage
  • Verify a judgment deed (first degree - appeal)
  • Verify marriage contract
  • Verify "Furijat" bills
  • Verify a transaction
  • Verify the determination of heirs
  • Verify a Power of Attorney
Real Estate
  • Notarize a mortgage
  • Issue a replacement of a lost/damaged  title deed 
  • Transfer Ownership of Real Estate
  • Verify Real Estate Ownership Status
  • Issue Real Estate Identity
  • Mortgages Management
  • Real Estate Management
  • Update Title Deeds
Personal/Marital Status
  • Guardianship
  • Minor Alimony Assessment
  • Documentation of Marriage, Divorce, and Reversion
  • Documentation of heirs of the deceased
  • Endowment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Inheritance Determination
  • Estate Allocation

Conclusions

The Najez system is considered one of the renewable technical systems of an advanced nature in accordance with the development and acceleration of legislation in the Kingdom in line with the Kingdom’s vision 2030. In this article, we have discussed the most prominent services related to this system and its developments.

For further information, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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Employment

New Judicial Fees

New Judicial Fees

New Judicial Fees Mandatory in #Saudi_Arabia.

Overview

Judicial Fee Law was promulgated by the Royal Decree number (M/16) dated 30/01/1443 Hijri, corresponding to 7 September 2021, and the Cabinet Resolution number (65) dated 23/01/1443 Hijri, corresponding to 31 August 2021, published in the Saudi Gazette on 02 September 2021.

what is a Judicial Fee

A judicial fee is an amount of money to be paid by the Claimant litigant to the competent authority in consideration of the judicial service in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as organized under the Judicial Fees Law.

A judicial fee does not include any other payments resulting from the litigation proceedings; such as expert fees.

Objectives of Judicial Fees

Judicial Fee Law is aimed to:

Matters exempted from Judicial Fees

There will be no judicial fee imposed on lawsuits and matters related to:

Family & Personal Status

Board of Grievance

Public Order

Bankruptcy

Litigation Proceedings

What are the judicial fee rates?

The Court will determine the Judicial Fee as follows:

Debt Recovery Claims

UP TO %5

with a cap of SAR1,000,000 payable by the losing party

Arbitration Award Annulment

UP TO %1

with a cap of SAR1,000,000 payable by the Applicant in case of claim dismissal

Major Applications

SAR10,000

Against each application or request for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court and petitions to review a decision.

Minor Applications

SAR1,000

Against each application made by an ‘interested party’ for copies of documents or court records

No Additional Payments

No additional fee will be payable where:

when are judicial fees refunded?

The entirety of the fees shall be refunded in the following events: 

Before First Hearing

%100 OFF

In case of settlement before the first hearing, the fees shall be refunded in full (if paid).

Within First Hearing

%100 OFF

In case of settlement before the judge during first hearing, the fees shall be refunded in full (if paid).

Before Judgement

%75 OFF

In case of settlement after the first hearing and before the judgment, the fees shall be discounted to 25 percent of the judicial fees and the balance shall be refunded (if paid)

After Judgment

%100 OFF

In case of a decision or judgment rendered in favor of the applicant or appellant, the judicial fees shall be refunded in full (if paid).

Civil Claims Associated with criminal proceedings

%100 OFF

In case of the settlement of civil claims raised alongside criminal proceedings regardless of the stage of the case, the judicial fees shall be refunded in full (if paid).

Partial Success

PRO RATA

In the case of partial success on appeal, fees will be refunded on a pro rata basis. 

Who is Exempted from Judicial Fees?

There will be no judicial fee imposed on Parties involved in the following:

are there alternative solutions?

Saudi Arabia has been recently encouraging parties involved in a dispute to recourse to the ordinary judicial system as the last option. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia has adopted and promoted a number of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) means. We would like to preview the most common ADR means that are as legal and efficient as the ordinary judicial system as follow:

Conciliation (Solh) System

Conciliation is among the most important means of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

This initiative aims to achieve a major development in providing conciliation services, so that it becomes the socially and economically preferred option for settling various disputes (financial, family, commercial, construction, real property, banking, medical, etc.), by building an integrated system for disseminating the conciliation culture among both natural and legal persons, for various cases and at all stages of the relationship.

Negotiation

Negotiation is among the most important means of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach a beneficial outcome over one or more issues where a conflict exists with respect to at least one of these issues.

Mediation

Mediation is among the most common means of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process.

Saudi Arabia has ratified the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation – a mechanism for enforcing mediated settlement agreements in signatory states – and enacted the Commercial Courts Law, which introduced several new measures to improve the efficiency of the judicial system, including making certain claims subject to court-mandated conciliation or mediation.

Arbitration

Arbitration is among the most common means of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.

The 2012 Arbitration Law and 2012 Enforcement Law (and corresponding executive regulations for such laws), as well as the opening of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration in 2016, are well-publicized measures that have already been taken towards achieving that goal.

Conclusions

For decades, no court fees were payable in Saudi litigation. This may have resulted in many vexatious claims or a party bringing repeated claims to pressure its counterparty. The introduction of court fees will make parties think long and hard before commencing claims that have little merit and will hopefully encourage more parties to resolve their disputes out of court. The idea of accepting this type of fee may not be easy for some people, but we believe as a team who see the corridors of courts as homes that they will greatly improve the case flow mechanism, will improve the services provided, and will greatly speed up the litigation procedures that currently take a long time due to the number of lawsuits submitted every day.

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Categories
Employment

Nitaqat Scheme Update

Nitaqat Scheme Update

Overview

Relying on Knowledge Pioneers Law Firm’s sharp focus on most recent legal updates, we are pleased to share with our esteemed clients and business network this highly important business-related legislative amendment. Corporate Practice and Compliance Practice Departments at Pioneers who are pleased to hereby present you highlights and hints on the recent legal update pertaining to Saudi Nationalization Scheme; i.e. Nitaqat Scheme (“Nitaqat”) supported by practical examples, expected issues, and productive solutions.

On 29/3/1441H, corresponding to Oct. 26th, 2019, H.H. Ahmed Bin Salman, ex officio as the Minister of Labor And Social Development issued a ministerial decree number (63717) (the “Decree”). Yet, before addressing complex legal consequences, we would rather checklist a few concepts and basics, right as follows:

What is Nitaqat (نطاقات), a.k.a. Saudi Nationalization Scheme?

officially known as the Saudi nationalization scheme, or Saudization is the most recent policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implemented by its Ministry of Labor and Social Development, whereby Saudi companies and enterprises are required to fill up their workforce with Saudi nationals up to certain levels.

As part of the Saudi Vision 2030’s reforms, announced in 2016, reducing the number of unemployed Saudi nationals is a key element of the plan. Previously the private sector was largely dominated by expatriate workers from Pakistan, India, the Philippines, and Arab countries such as Lebanon or Egypt.

In its beginning, Nitaqat categorized companies that undertake projects, especially public ones, in Saudi Arabia into three (3) zones; green, yellow, and red.

Under certain standards and requirements, every single company shall be located and might be relocated in a zone where such a company shall be subject to certain consequences. It is noteworthy that the yellow and red zones are specified for companies that have failed to achieve the required Saudization percentage. They are also known as the “unsafe Nitaqat” and such firms are denied full access to the ministry’s services.

Who is involved?

At large, all companies incorporated and organized by Saudi laws are subject to the Decree. However, it mainly confronts companies currently located in Nitaqat yellow zone who will be relocated into the red zone and hold responsibilities for such relocation unless they have positively reacted in a manner compliant with the Decree.

In other words, the ministry’s services are restricted to firms that are in Green Zone and above and that contribute effectively to employing Saudis.

Why is it so important?

This decision aims to stimulate firms in this zone to move to the Green Zone and above, leading to raising their Saudization percentage.

Conclusions

The Ministerial Decree has clearly drawn the road map in this arena of Vision 2030. It was issued in the continuity of the already existing Saudization major plan where the regime extensively strives to provide more job opportunities to Saudi young men and women.

In conclusion, we highly recommend our business network members to take all necessary action to comply with the Ministerial Decree on or before Jan. 26, 2020 corresponding to 01/06/1441H.

Our Corporate Compliance team regularly advises on laws and regulations impacting the business flow and law-compliance issues in the corporate sector.

For further information, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Ask Us Anything. anytime.

Categories
Construction Insurance

Saudi Central Bank: Construction Insurance is MANDATORY