DFSA Administered Laws

Primary Legislation which applies in the DIFC, other than Federal or Dubai Laws, consists of DIFC Laws administered by either the DFSA or the DIFCA (DIFCA administered Laws). Such Laws are enacted by the Ruler of Dubai and apply only in the DIFC.

The Laws administered by the DFSA are the core laws relating to financial services, which are as follows:

  • Regulatory Law 2004
  • Markets Law 2012
  • Law Regulating Islamic Financial Business 2004
  • Collective Investment Law 2010
  • Investment Trust Law 2006.

These Laws can be viewed under Administered Laws.

The Registrar of Companies has delegated to the DFSA enforcement powers and functions under the following DIFC Laws:

  • Companies Law 2018
  • Limited Partnership Law 2006
  • Limited Liability Partnership Law 2004
  • Insolvency Law 2019
  • General Partnership Law 2004

This instrument of delegation can be viewed under Instrument of Delegation.

dfsa rULES

A Rule is subsidiary legislation made under the Regulatory Law 2004 by the Board of Directors of the DFSA for the purposes of that, or any other, Law administered by the DFSA.

The Rulebook is made up of modules arranged by topic area, which specify their scope and the audience to whom they apply. These can be accessed under DFSA Rules.

The Rulebook also contains additional commentary as ‘Guidance’, which is designed to assist DIFC participants in complying with the relevant Laws and Rules.  Guidance is indicative and non-binding, and does not provide a ‘safe-harbour’ to protect those who comply with it from action for breach of an underlying Rule.

Certain other matters that are not Rules, such as application forms, prudential returns and associated guidance in the form of instructional guidelines are contained in the DFSA Sourcebook Modules, which are also made up of modules arranged by topic area.

Note: The definitive version of the DFSA Rulebook text at any particular time is the version contained in the actual instruments (including amending instruments) made by the DFSA and published on the DFSA website. For all modules of Rules this will be the most recent relevant instrument setting out the entire consolidated module. The PDF of these published instruments can be accessed under the links for Rule-making instruments and Guidance-making instruments.

Amendments to Legislation

All the amendments that have been made to legislation administered by the DFSA since the first laws and rules came into force in September 2004 can be found under "Amendments to Legislation" by following the link above.

The DFSA exercises its rule-making power under Article 23 of the Regulatory Law 2004, in writing, in a document called a "Rule-making Instrument”. Prior to April 2011 the "Rule-making Instruments" set out the amendments made to the rules. As from April 2011 the rule-making instruments do not contain this detail but simply repeal and replace an entire module of rules with an updated, consolidated version. To ascertain what changes were made to a particular module of rules, reference must be made to the sub-section of Amendments to Legislation entitled Notice of Amendments to Legislation.

Amendments made to laws administered by the DFSA are to be found under the sub-section of Amendments to Legislation entitled "Amendment Laws".

Guidance may also be issued separately by instrument and can be accessed under the sub-section of Amendments to Legislation entitled "Guidance-making Instruments".

Amendments made to legislation are shown by way of striking through text to be deleted and underlining new text, unless otherwise stated.

DFSA Codes of Practice

Guidance in the form of a code of practice which has not been incorporated into the Rules may be issued by the DFSA Board of Directors.

Waivers and Modification Notices

When the DFSA grants a Person relief from the effect of Rules pursuant to Article 25 of the Regulatory Law 2004, it issues a written notice to that effect.  Such a notice may be issued subject to conditions and unless the DFSA is satisfied that it is inappropriate or unnecessary to do so, the DFSA will publish the notice in such a way as it considers appropriate for bringing the notice to the attention of:
(a) those likely to be affected by it
(b) others who may be likely to become subject to a similar notice.

For further information on relief granted by the DFSA please click here.

DFSA Forms

Please refer to the DFSA Prudential Returns Module and the Application Forms and Notices Module which are located under DFSA Forms. Some forms are only accessible by logging in to the DFSA ePortal and details on how to register for access to the DFSA ePortal are also located under DFSA Forms.



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