AISA expected to issue 3-year business licenses to contractors soon

2 Apr 15

AFGHANISTAN

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) is finalizing procedures for issuing new, three-year business licenses to U.S. and NATO defense contractors. Draft regulations are expected to be completed this month.

What does the change mean? Contractors that do not have valid business licenses should begin making preparations to apply for the licenses as soon as they become available. Contractors currently possessing valid business licenses, which are good for a one-year period, do not have to obtain new licenses until their existing licenses expire.

  • Implementation timeframe: Defense contractors are required to register with AISA by June 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Three-year business licenses and multiple-entry and exit visas.
  • Who is affected: U.S. and NATO contractors planning to remain in Afghanistan past June 1.
  • Business impact: Contractors need an AISA business license not only to continue operating in Afghanistan, but also to obtain multiple-entry and exit visas for their employees.
  • Next steps: Contractors who do not have a valid business license, or whose license will expire before June 1, should begin making preparations to apply for a new license.

Background: Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued Presidential Decree #38 on Dec. 31, 2014, outlining requirements for U.S. and NATO contractors operating in Afghanistan past June 1, 2015. Under the requirements, U.S. and NATO contractors are required to register with AISA and have a valid business license.

AISA is completing the process for issuance of three-year business licenses to U.S. and NATO contractors, and final regulations are expected to be released shortly. U.S. officials released a statement March 10 saying the new licensing procedures were “in the process of being finalized” and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul subsequently confirmed that AISA “is finalizing new, streamlined procedures for BSA companies” this week.

A draft version of the procedures indicates that many of the requirements for the three-year licenses will be the same as they were for the one-year licenses. One difference is that contractors will be required to provide a copy of a lease agreement with their address. Contractors with offices inside the U.S.-NATO camp will be required to provide a letter from the camp’s administrative department confirming its office address. Defense contractors will not be required to register with any additional ministries in Afghanistan.

U.S. and NATO contractors should note that they are also required to obtain multiple-entry and exit visas for their employees by June 1 and that a business license is a requirement for obtaining visas. Employees will not be required to obtain any other form of work authorization. Those with valid visas do not need to obtain new visas until their current visas expire.

BAL Analysis: BAL will provide details of the final business licensing procedures when they become available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Afghanistan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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