What are the procedures for obtaining statutory licenses/permits?
All businesses should obtain the following three basic statutory permits/licenses:
- Commercial Registration from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Validity: five years)
- Registration with Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Validity: one year)
- License from Muscat Municipality / Regional Municipalities (Validity: one year)
Other licenses may be required depending on the nature of the business.
What is the Omani customs duty on imported commodities?
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries have implemented a customs union whereby most goods entering from outside the GCC would be subjected to a five percent customs duty across the GCC region instead of earlier country-specific import tariffs. The U.S.-Oman FTA provides duty-free access on virtually all products and will phase out tariffs on the remaining handful of products by 2018.
What are the customs entry points that should be considered as first entry points for foreign goods?
- Port of Sohar
- Seeb International Airport
- Salalah International Airport
- Al Mazouna Land- Border crossing
- Sarfeet Land- Border crossing
- Port of Duqm
- Port of Salalah
- Shinas Seaport
- Sur Seaport
- Post Offices
Is there personal/sales income tax in Oman?
There is no personal or sales income tax in Oman. Income taxes are levied only on the income of a company or an establishment at a flat rate of 12 percent. However, hotels and restaurant charge a 17 percent tax rate (5 percent municipality tax, plus 4 percent tourism tax, plus 8 percent service charge).
How do I register my company with the Tender Board?
P.O. Box 787, Postal Code 133
Telephone +968 24 602 612 or 24 602 063; Fax +968 24 602 063; Website http://www.oman.om/.
Companies should fulfill the following requirements:
- Registration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- Registration with the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Fulfillment of all the regulations of the Tender Board
Where can I obtain more information?
Do commercial and trading documents need to be "legalized" or "consularized"? If so, how should a company go about this?
The United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement did away with certificate of origin and other legalization requirements for commercial documents (see attached letter (PDF 48 KB). Oman joined the Hague Legalization Convention (aka: Apostille Convention) effective January 30, 2012. Between countries party to this convention, this treaty reduces the authentication process to a single formality; the issuance of an authentication certificate by an authority designated by the country where the public document was issued. This certificate is called an Apostille.
Hence, all public documents issued in the U.S. have to be Apostilled by the concerned authority in the relevant U.S. state to be accepted in Oman. Detailed information on obtaining an Apostille is available at http://www.hcch.net/upload/abc12e.pdf (PDF 1.7 MB) and http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=authorities.details&aid=353.
Likewise, any public documents issued in Oman for use in the U.S. must be Apostilled by the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To obtain the Apostille stamp, you will need to attest the document by the relevant Ministry/Chamber of Commerce in Oman and then present it to the Attestation Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an Apostille stamp. According to a circular issued by the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oman, the fee for this service is OMR 10.000.
Alternately, the U.S. Embassy Muscat Consular Section can attest your statement concerning the veracity of your U.S. issued document for a fee of USD 50.00 or OMR 20.000. Before executing this option, you may wish to check with concerned authorities in Oman if they will accept your statement. U.S. Embassy notarization services are available by appointment only. You may access the appointment site at https://evisaforms.state.gov/acs/default.asp?postcode=MST&appcode=1. When visiting the embassy, please bring two forms of government-issued identification with photographs, as you will need to leave one with the security guards while inside the building.
Per the Hague Legalization Convention, any document with an authentication certificate (aka: Apostille) by an authority designated by the country where the document was issued does not require further authentication by the receiving country.
Hence, if the document is Apostilled by the Secretary of State in the U.S. state where the document originated, local authorities should accept it. However, as most local authorities are not yet familiar with the convention, you could refer them to the Hague Legalization website at http://www.hcch.net/upload/abc12e.pdf (PDF 1.7 MB) or to avoid delays, contact the Attestation Office, Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request an Apostille.
Can I trade with Iran? Where can I find up to date guidance on Iran Sanctions?
Is closing all U.S.-held accounts a satisfactory way for a Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) to comply with FATCA?
No. Dropping American account holders will not get FFIs out of FATCA compliance. Even if an FFI has no U.S. taxpayer customers, it still must go through all the due diligence requirements to confirm and report the absence of U.S. customers. This is because it likely meets the criteria for a FATCA-reporting institution (i.e. not exempt).
The only way this could help an FFI in theory is if American accounts were the FFI’s only non-local account holders, so by removing all American accounts, the FFI qualified for an exemption under Annex II as a “local FFI.” The standard FATCA agreement contains in Annex II a provision that allows foreign financial institutions with generally a local client base to be deemed compliant with FATCA. However, this provision does NOT apply if the financial institution has “policies or practices that discriminate against opening or maintaining Financial Accounts for individuals who are Specified U.S. Persons and residents of (FATCA Partner).” Thus, these institutions may actually worsen their situations through discrimination.