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Somaliland NGOs Law

Somaliland Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Law

The main law governing Somaliland non-governmental organisations  was signed into law by the President on 10 November 2010 (Presidential Decree No. 82/112010). It came into force on that date.  A copy of the Final version together with the House Resolution and the Presidential Decree is available here: (Final) Xeerka Ururada Samafalka ee Aan Dawlliga Ahayn (Xeer Lam. 43/2010) -  Law on Welfare (or Charitable) Non-Governmental Orgainsations, Law No. 43/2010.

You can see here a “semi-official” English language version of the law. This version does not include the preamble and the Somali version is the ONLY official version of the Law.

(The earlier version of the bill passed by the  Somaliland House of Representatives passed on 10 May 2010 is kept here  for historical purposes: Xeerka Ururada Samafalka ee Aan Dawliga Ahayn (Xeer Lam. 43/2010) (The Non-governmental Welfare Organisations Law - Law No. 43/2010).

The term “welfare” or “charitable” was inserted in the bill during its parliamentary stage. The definition of a “welfare or charitable NGO” is stated in Article 1 as being:

    “Urur Samafalka aan Dawli Ahayn” (USDA) waxa loola jeedaa shakhsiyaad iskood isku diray ama isu abaabulay ama isu-bahaystay,  kana madax-bannaan dhaqdhaqaaq siyaasadeed,  dhex-dhexaad ah, oo aan macaash doon ahayn. Kuwaas  oo noqon kara heer Caalami, Qaran,  Gobol,  Degmo iyo tuulo (community-based organization).  ururaddaas oo uu dhisan  inay u adeegaan xubnahooda  iyo bulshadaba kana shaqeeya hagaajinta adeegyada bulshada (social services), xaaladaha bani’adamnimo ee deg-degga ah (humanitarian issues), horumarinta, ilaalinta deegaanka iyo kheyraadka dabiiciga ah, maamul-wanaagga, ilaalinta xuquuqda, daryeelka iyo kor-u-qaaddida nolosha bulshada (livelihoods), tababarrada aqooneed iyo  kobcinta tayada iyo hourmarinta.”.

    “”A Welfare/charitable NGO” (W/C NGO) means persons who have voluntarily designated  or organised themselves or joined each other in a way which is independent of political activities,  neutral and non-profit making. These organisations can be international, national, regional, district or village community-based. They are established for providing services to their members or to the society and work for the improvement of social services, the (addressing) of urgent  humanitarian issues, the advancement of the preservation of the environment and the natural resources, good administration, the care and raising of the livelihood of the society, raising knowledge through training and building capacity and development.”  

“Not for profit” is defined as meaning that:

    “the organisation  shall distance itself from personal benefits or advantages, but it may have salaried  employees, or undertake initiatives in generating income that can be deployed for the development of the society and in the manner that NGOs operate ”.

“Independent of political activities” is defined as meaning that:

    “the organisations shall not pursue political power, nor campaign for a political party”.

For more details about Somaliland NGOs, see the Somaliland Ministry of National Planning,Co-ordination and Relations with International Organisations website.  The Ministry can be contacted at: Tel: +2522-400-3460     Email:     

The following documents were previously published in the Planning Ministry website:


The Law set up a much clearer registration procedure, but some of it provisions have been criticised by some international NGOs in a well publicised article published by IRIN on 13 May 2011.

The Planning Ministry Website contains guidelines for registration of NGOs and the relevant forms which can also be found below:

 Guidance on the Law and on Registration:

NGOs Data Collection:

INGOs Registration:


National (Local) NGOs Registration:

National Umbrella NGOs:

Agreement with INGOs













LIST & LINKS TO SOMALILAND LAWS which are of specific relevance to  NGOs:

 ...To be updated ...


(To be undated)


See Registration Guidelines and forms above (right)


(To be updated)


According to Ministry of Planning guidelines Internataional NGOs

    must deduct taxes from local staff and pass it to the Ministry of Finance.  INGOs will pay no tax on imported equipment, machinery and other stuff that will be used exclusively for carrying out their project activities.  This is not automatic, the INGO is required to apply tax exemption on imported objects by completing a Tax Exemption Declaration form ( B-3) with full details of  types of imported goods, their relevance to the work of the organization and/or their specific projects and their purchase orders. This Tax Exemption Declaration form should be submitted to Ministry of National Planning & Development with a written request addressed to MNPD while giving CC  (copy) to the Ministry of Finance.”

(To be updated)

Non-Governmental Organisations: International Standards & Good Practice:

International Centre for not- for- profit Law- Publications




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