A crucial part of IPA's mission is to inform member associations and the wider global publishing community about breaking developments which will impact publishers. We do this through a number of channels. the IPA website, our monthly e-newsletter, press releases and the IPA's dedicated social media feeds.

The IPA has welcomed a progressive new law announced in the United Arab Emirates on Monday (31 October) that exempts reading materials from VAT and entitles employees to read during working hours.

Unveiling the so-called ‘Reading Law’, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa said the goal was to foster UAE’s aspirations of a thriving knowledge economy.

When in force, the law will entitle employees to time off work to read, and will guarantee that all reading materials remain tax free when VAT is introduced at 5% from January 2018.

The IPA has long advocated for the exemption of all books (e-books and print) from VAT.

Each year the IPA and the Federation of European Publishers release a joint report mapping the way VAT is applied to books around the world. The 2016 report, which was unveiled two weeks ago at Frankfurt Book Fair, can be found here.

Books are a highly price-sensitive commodity, which means even a small rise in the cost to the consumer can have dramatic, harmful impacts, such as damaging public educational performance, encouraging piracy and driving legitimate booksellers and publishers out of business. One example of this is Kenya, where sales of books have dropped by 35% countrywide since a 16% rate of VAT was imposed on books in 2013.

Commenting on the UAE's new Reading Law, IPA Secretary General José Borghino said: ‘This kind of progressive thinking is very encouraging, and shows a deep understanding of the importance of reading to the health of societies and the development of knowledge economies. It will be fascinating to see the effects of this law on life in the UAE.’

Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) founder and IPA Executive Committee Director Bodour Al Qasimi said the EPA had been instrumental in alerting the UAE government to the wider implications of VAT on books.

She said: 'Through our involvement in the IPA we have followed the issue of VAT on books closely. We have seen the negative impacts that taxes on reading materials can produce on publishing markets and reading habits around the world. The Emirates Publishers Association flagged this in its government engagement work as a serious issue for the development of the publishing industry as well as for achieving the objectives of the National Reading Strategy and Law. The announcement that publishing materials will not be subject to VAT reduces industry uncertainty and makes a strong statement about how important developing a national culture of reading is to the United Arab Emirates.'

The announcement came just two days before the opening of the Sharjah International Book Fair, one of the region’s most important annual celebrations of books and reading.

TAGS:
Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Blog

Hugo Setzer
07 November 2019
Publishing industry

October and the first days of November were again very busy, with visits to four different countries and three book fairs in the course of three weeks.

James Taylor
25 October 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry

SCCR 39 concluded this evening with an agreement found on how to keep the Exceptions and Limitations discussion moving forward and the other agenda items wrapped up and a possible new issue raised in the chamber.

James Taylor
24 October 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry

The second day of discussions on the broadcasting treaty were mainly conducted behind closed doors with the plenary chamber finally filling at 17:40 for a presentation of conclusions.

James Taylor
23 October 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
Today’s discussions saw the focus shift from Exceptions and Limitations to the Broadcasting Treaty (and sadly not about all of the value generated by the copyright in an original work that migrates from being a book to a film, for example). The Excep...
James Taylor
22 October 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
Educational Publishing

The first day closed with Dr Kenneth Crews waiting to be grilled by delegates and observers. He was given the opportunity this morning, but the highlights today were the side events and the ripples from some late-night messages to delegates.

James Taylor
21 October 2019
Copyright
Publishing industry
Educational Publishing
While the publishing industry was gathered in Frankfurt last week for the most important international book fair in the world, the action was already starting at WIPO in Geneva with an International Conference on Exceptions and Limitations on Friday ...
Ben Steward
01 October 2019
Freedom to publish
Book policy
Copyright
Literacy
Publishing industry

The second and final day of the IPA Regional Seminar in the Middle East was opened by Sharjah publisher Bodour Al Qasimi (Kalimat Group), who is (among other things) also the IPA Vice-President.

Ben Steward
30 September 2019
Publishing industry
When the IPA regional seminar in Amman, Jordan, got underway this morning there was a crackle of promise in the air. This was more than a conference opening – it was like the inauguration of a new bridge spanning the space between the IPA’s global me...

Press Releases campaign 2019

 

Press Releases campaign 2018

 

Newsletters campaigns 2019

 

Newsletters campaigns 2018

 

International Publishers Association

23, avenue de France
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
+41 22 704 18 20
info@internationalpublishers.org

Subscribe to our newsletter