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Welcome to the latest edition of Law Update titled “Rise of Generative AI.”
In this edition, we dive into the dynamic world of Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. TMT continues to play a vital role in positioning the region as an international business and social hub, driving significant growth and innovation.
Our focus in this Law Update is on the sector’s ongoing potential to advance and propel the region toward a more digital economy. We explore the benefits of embracing a digital transformation and how local authorities have responded by enhancing regulations to accommodate the evolving TMT landscape.
This edition covers a range of topics, including – the new Telecommunications & Information Technology Law in Saudi Arabia, the intricacies of trademarks in the Metaverse, and the legal challenges faced by the video game industry. Additionally, we take a regional perspective, discussing jurisdictions such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, and Bahrain to provide a comprehensive understanding of the TMT landscape.
We hope you thoroughly enjoy this packed issue of Law Update, filled with captivating articles that address key legal issues within a vital sector for the region.Read the full edition
Bassam Al Azzeh
The new regulation is an attempt to control the content of tobacco products in the GCC market.
In the past, given that specific legislation on the topic was lacking, tobacco manufacturers had the option of using a wide range of additives in tobacco products. In recent times, the GSO board of directors has decided to take the initiative to regulate the market in order to address this issue. In this regard, the GOS approved technical standard number GSO 2390/2014 in their meeting no. 19 on 14 May, 2014. The technical regulation was initially drafted by the State of Qatar and is largely based on national and international standards and references.
The objective of this new technical regulation is to maintain quality of tobacco product, consumer protection and safety. The new technical regulation contains a list of permissible tobacco additives and a list of impermissible tobacco additives. The permissible list includesadditives such as:
The impermissible additives list includes:
The permissible tobacco additives are allowed to be used for specific purposes. For example, Glycerol is permissible as humectants for loose tobacco, cigar, cigarettes and reconstituted tobacco. Arabic Gum is permissible for use as glues, adhesives, and thickening agents and binders for cigars, cigarettes and loose tobacco including black tobacco. On the other hand, the impermissible tobacco additives are prohibited from use for some specific purposes. For example, the use of Camphor is prohibited in odorants or flavorings. Similarly, odorants or flavorings produced from Vanilla Roots are also prohibited.
Despite the GSO’s initiatives to maintain good quality tobacco products, there are questions as to the additives that have not been mentioned in the regulation. The debate over this issue is whether the unnamed additives are permissible or impermissible. This is a grey area in the absence of clear answers from the GSO and requires further consideration from the GSO or the local standardization authorities such as Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) or Emirate Standardization and Metrology Authority (ESMA). The GCC states have yet to implement this technical regulation; it is expected to be implemented by the each individual State within the coming months as it needs to pass the legislation process of each country.
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