Oman | Cancellation And Reduction Of Fees For 288 Government Services
The Ministry of Finance of the Sultanate of Oman announced in a press conference held on the thirteenth of December 2022 the completion of the second phase of the project to reduce governmental service fees, which resulted in the reduction, cancellation and merger of 288 government service fees, provided that the application of the new list of fees will begin during the first quarter of 2023.
When did work on the governmental fee reduction project begin?
In the wake of last 2021, specifically on the ninth of November, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq indicated the preparation of a new pricing guide for government service fees, the development of a unified mechanism for services pricing, and the reduction and merger of paper forms fees and replacing them with digital documents.
The Ministry of Finance responded to these supreme directives from His Majesty the King to start work on the project, dividing it into three phases, each of which is concerned with a test check related to a specific number of ministries and related government entities as follows:
The first phase dealt with the review of four government entities:
the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, the Municipalities Sector, and the Ministry of Labor, and the total number of fees for services related to these four entities reached 908 fees, 557 fees were reduced, cancelled and merged as follows:
- Reduction of 30 service fees for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Reduction of 29 service fees for the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.
- Reduction of 9 service fees issued by the Ministry of Labor.
- Cancellation, reduction and merger of 489 service fees in the municipal sector.
Work on the fees for the services of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Municipalities Sector will continue during the second phase as well to examine and review the fees for the new services.
The second phase included the completing of work on the file of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion and the municipality sector, in addition to three other bodies, namely the Supreme Judicial Council, the Civil Defense and Ambulance Authority, and the Environment entity, bringing the total number of fees submitted for examination to 739, 288 of which were reduced, cancelled and merged as follows:
- Reduction and cancellation of 16 fees for the services of the Supreme Judicial Council (Notary Public).
- 20 fees were reduced, 10 fees were eliminated, and 14 new environment body services were merged.
- Reduction and merger of 15 fees for the Civil Defense and Ambulance Authority.
- Reduction and merger of 59 fees, cancellation of 45 fees in the municipalities sector, and continuation of work on replacing paper forms with digital ones to reduce more fees due for paper documents.
- 107 fees were reduced, and 20 fees were cancelled in favour of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, noting that Fees and procedures for IP services have been reviewed and we will provide you with details in the next paragraph.
Thus, the number of fees that were cancelled and reduced during the first and second phases became 845 out of a total of 1647 fees imposed for various government services, and the Ministry of Finance’s efforts are still continuing to review the fees of other government agencies during the third phase early next year.
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The Ministry of Finance announced the launch of the third phase of the project next month to examine and review the fees of:
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning
- Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
- Completing the review of the fees of the Supreme Judicial Council
Where the scheme for the service should be reviewed, and an attempt is made to reduce the requirements associated with the various services and to merge or cancel the due fees.
What about Intellectual Property Services Fees in Oman in 2023?
Intellectual property services in the Sultanate of Oman have received a lot of improvements recommended by the Government Services Fees Review Project, as the Ministry was keen to encourage innovation and improve competitiveness indicators, so many procedures for the intellectual property registration process were simplified and some fees were reduced as follows:
- Reduction of industrial design registration and protection fees from 1,600 OMR to 200 OMR.
- Reduction of the total patent registration fee from 22,000 OMR to 3,700 OMR.
- Reduction of trademark registration fees from 220 OMR to 150 OMR.
These unprecedented reductions came as a result of the merger of many procedures and exceeding some registration requirements, where the Ministry believes in the importance of intellectual property in supporting other economic sectors and developing non-oil revenues.
These results have contributed to providing many facilities to the beneficiaries of these services, simplifying the matter for arrival investors as well, and achieving a balance between the prices of services, their cost and the quality of providing them to their beneficiaries, thus raising the Sultanate of Oman’s index in terms of ease of doing business.
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