Relevant Articles For You

United Arab Emirates Country Snapshot

Why the United Arab Emirates

Nestled between Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has developed into the second-largest economy in the Arab world by moving toward a free market with liberal trade policies. The U.A.E.’s nearly 6 million residents have high per-capita income and a healthy appetite for imported goods.

FedEx Service Availability

International Service Availability* Export U.S. to United Arab Emirates Import U.S. from United Arab Emirates
Document/Package/Mail Services    
FedEx® International Next Flight
FedEx International First®
FedEx International Priority®
FedEx International Economy®
FedEx International Ground®    
FedEx International MailService®
     
Freight Services    
FedEx International Priority® Freight
FedEx International Economy® Freight
FedEx Freight® Priority
FedEx Freight® Economy

FedEx International Premium®
     
Distribution Services    
FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution®
FedEx® International DirectDistribution  
FedEx International Ground® Distribution    
     
Value-Added/Industry-specific Solutions    
FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents    
Dangerous Goods
Dry Ice
FedEx Priority Alert™
SenseAware®    
FedEx International Broker Select®
FedEx® 10kg Box and FedEx® 25kg Box
FedEx® Third Party Consignee  
     
United Arab Emirates Domestic Services Yes

*Availability of particular services may vary by origin and destination. Availability of particular solutions may vary by service selected. All services subject to the applicable FedEx Service Guide.

United Arab Emirates Shipping Options

FedEx offers you a choice: premium services when timing is urgent and economy services when reliability and savings are most important. Take advantage of our most popular FedEx® services for shipping to to United Arab Emirates.1

International Service Transit Time Transit Time
  U.S. to U.A.E. France to U.A.E.
FedEx International Priority® 2 business days 2 business days
FedEx International Priority® Freight 2 business days 2 business days
FedEx International Economy® 4 to 6 business days 4 business days
FedEx International Economy® Freight 4 to 6 business days 5 business days

1For additional service options, see the international shipping services chart.

We also offer two flat-rate packaging options for your FedEx International Priority® shipments: the FedEx® 10kg Box and the FedEx® 25kg Box. These flat-rate shipping boxes are free and available at FedEx Express locations, including FedEx World Service Center® locations and FedEx Office® Print and Ship Centers. Learn more about our flat-rate shipping options.

FedEx in United Arab Emirates

Our infrastructure gives your business the fastest access to customers in the U.A.E. With operations based in Dubai, including a pre-clearance facility, FedEx offers you access to all seven emirates and other Middle Eastern markets. Offering the only direct flight from the U.S. to the Middle East, FedEx flies the Boeing 777 Freighter direct from Memphis to Dubai International Airport, providing time-definite service for your shipments. 

When it comes to expanding your global business with confidence and reliability, you can rely on FedEx EuropeOne® and FedEx AsiaOne™, our dedicated express networks. FedEx EuropeOne provides next-business-day delivery to 38 major European cities, and FedEx AsiaOne provides next-business-day delivery to 22 key Asian cities.

United Arab Emirates Document Assistance

Every country has its own customs requirements and shipping specifications. We’ve simplified international shipping with FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents. By automating the preparation and flow of international documents, this service saves you money while ensuring on-time delivery of shipments to the United Arab Emirates. The required documents are country-specific, with prompts to help you prepare everything needed for a shipment to United Arab Emirates and other international destinations.

Common Documents Description
Air Waybill

A shipping label that must accompany all international shipments. Can be created with an electronic shipping solution, such as FedEx Ship Manager® — or completed manually.

Electronic Export Information (EEI)

Formerly known as the Shipper’s Export Declaration, the EEI must be filed with goods valued at US$2,000 or more from the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands to foreign destinations. Connect with the federal Automated Export System and submit the required information using the FedEx Ship Manager solution. Using FedEx Export AgentFile®, you can authorize FedEx to file an EEI on your behalf. A filing fee and certain limitations apply.

Commercial Invoice

The main document used by customs officials for control, valuation and duty determination. Serves as the basis for all other documents covering the shipment. Necessary for all shipments with a value of at least US$1 and relating to commercial transactions, regardless of the value. Must be in English or accompanied by a translation. Required details include the buyer and seller, a detailed description of the goods, quantity, purchase price or fair market value, terms of the sale, and the date. Should show freight, insurance, commission and other charges as separate items. Should be signed and, if possible, attested to by a bank.

Pro Forma Invoice

Acts as a preliminary invoice, presenting the same information as the final invoice without claiming payment. Enables the end purchaser to apply for letters of credit, import licenses or foreign exchange allocation.

Packing List

Supplies shipment data, including the number and types of items being shipped. Also documents the weight and volume of your shipment — helpful information for reserving space with the shipping company. Should be signed.

Certificate of Origin

Verifies the country in which the product was manufactured. Required by certain foreign countries for tariff purposes. Must be validated and notarized by a local chamber of commerce.

To avoid delays, all documents must be correct and consistent. The air waybill and Commercial Invoice require some of the same information:

  • "Consignee" is the recipient, the person to whom a shipment is being sent.
  • “Shipper” is the sender, the person with whom the shipment originates.
  • The value to declare for customs purposes is the price paid or payable for the goods, including any selling commissions, assists, royalties, packing and proceeds. It does not include freight and insurance charges.
  • The Schedule B number, or Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code, is the commodity classification number. For the correct number, go to FedEx® Global Trade Manager or the U.S. Census Bureau website — or call the U.S. Census Bureau at 1.800.549.0595, option 2.
  • Genuine samples up to the value of US$200 are not subject to duties. The Commercial Invoice and air waybill must state "Sample supplied free of cost," and contents need to be marked as samples.
  • A description of the contents includes:
    • What the product is
    • What material it’s made of
    • Schedule B or HTS code
    • Intended use
    • Country of manufacture
    • Parts or serial numbers (if applicable)
    • Quantity and unit of measure
    • Value, per unit and in total

Additional Tips

  • Review the United Arab Emirates country profile. Avoid surprises by checking the United Arab Emirates country profile, which includes the latest information on import and export provisions.
  • Research your market thoroughly. The marketplace, economy, customs and laws in the U.A.E. are quite different from those you may be accustomed to in the U.S.
  • Ensure your project is economically feasible. U.S. companies should be especially thorough about revenue projections and business goals when entering the U.A.E. marketplace.
  • Know your associates. Get to know your business contact in the U.A.E. through your legal counsel, in addition to doing your own research.
  • Establish a very specific contract. With a business associate who resides in another country, it’s a good idea to employ more detailed terms than you might with a U.S. associate, just to make sure everyone’s in agreement.
  • Understand your payment terms. The U.A.E.’s payment customs differ from those in the U.S. in many ways, so include very specific payment terms to ensure you are paid in full and on time.
  • Protect your intellectual property rights. U.S. businesses should not rely on the same protection of their intellectual property that they enjoy in the U.S. Your best strategy is to protect yourself from infringement before you encounter a problem.
  • Make sure the goods are not prohibited. Check the list of import prohibitions for United Arab Emirates.
  • Select a licensed importer or exporter. For commercial shipments, the U.A.E. government requires that the importer/exporter be licensed by his or her local municipality and possess a trade license from the local chamber of commerce for the specific commodity.
  • Provide the recipient’s personal identification number. For personal shipments, the U.A.E. government may require a personal identification number — which the shipper can request from the recipient — to clear a shipment.
  • Provide an accurate customs valuation. In Dubai, that includes the cost of the item(s) plus the amount paid for insurance and transportation costs to move the shipment to the U.A.E.
  • Set up an account with Dubai Customs. For each Bill of Entry, you’ll be charged an additional fee of DH 30 (approximately US$8.20). To avoid this charge, set up an account at Dubai Customs.

Support Services for Shipping to United Arab Emirates

If you need to: Then go to or call:

Estimate duties and taxes

FedEx® Global Trade Manager

See restricted or prohibited items for the United Arab Emirates

the United Arab Emirates Import Prohibitions
the United Arab Emirates Import Restrictions

Get tips for describing shipment contents

International Document Overview on FedEx International Shipping site

Get regulatory assistance

FedEx International Regulatory Consulting 1.800.851.3336

Get international shipping assistance

FedEx International Customer Support 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (and say "international services")

Find general support

FedEx Customer Support

Helpful Links

FedEx Tools

These tools can help simplify the management and processing of your international shipments to the United Arab Emirates. 

Tools Features

FedEx Ship Manager® at fedex.com

Complete forms, print labels, track the status of shipments, get rates and transit times, and manage billing and claims.

FedEx InSight®

Proactively monitor all of your inbound and outbound international shipments without a tracking number.

FedEx® Global Trade Manager

Find international documents, estimate duties, taxes and landed cost, and more. You can also manage the documentation process with Product Profiles, which lets you create, store and edit information on up to 500 commodities.

FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents

Automate the document submission process, save time and money, and enjoy greater peace of mind.

 

Country Information

Capital: Abu Dhabi
Population: 8,264.070 est.
Language: The official language is Arabic but English is widely used in business. Hindi, Urdu and Farsi (Persian) are also spoken.
Weights and Measures: Metric
Currency: Emirates Dirhams
Time Zone UTC/GMT +4 hours

Back to Top

Trade Group Member

The United Arab Emirates is either a member, signatory or observer to the following: Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Interpol, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), United Nations (UN), World Customs Organization (WCO), World Health Organization (WHO)

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is an economic and political policy-coordination forum for the six member nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).  The GCC cannot impose trade policies upon member nations.  Therefore, each is free to pass and enforce it's own trade laws.  However, there has been increasing cooperation among the members on issues such as customs duties, intellectual property protection, standards and intra-GCC investment.  In January 2003, the GCC implemented a customs union.  Theoretically, this means that the members have adopted a unified customs policy and procedures; single point of entry (SPOE) with internally free movement of goods, and treatment of goods as national origin within the GCC.  However, problems do exist.  The GCC has set 2010 as the target year for a unified single currency. 

Back to Top

General Import Clearance Information

Clearance Process

FedEx is the Gateway Hub in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a pre-clearance facility in Dubai.  FedEx will contact the consignee and obtain prior approval regarding duty and tax charges for shipments with a value greater than 1400 (DHS).  FedEx-UAE has a value threshold agreement with Dubai Customs for dutiable shipments at 270 (USD) and above.  UAE Customs has the right to reassess the value of any shipment and levy duty and tax on the newly assessed amount.  FedEx will not be held liable for confiscated shipments due to mis-declaration, commodity prohibition, etc.  Claims due to losses incurred due to these circumstances will be denied.  Shipments not cleared within thirty days will be abandoned.  Full and partial destroy facility is available for this purpose.  Clearance must take place at the port of entry (this means Dubai as this is the only city that FedEx currently flies into).  Inbond transfers are available ONLY to Free Trade Zones.  Hold-at-Location (HAL) service is available at the Dubai Station (Metroplex) and the Abu Dhabi station.  There is a limit of five business days for this service.

Document Requirements

Air Waybill
: an international air waybill is required for every shipment to the UAE. 

Commercial Invoice: is required for every shipment except documents.  It should include all of the following essential data elements: complete shipper's and consignee information including telephone and/or fax numbers, quantity of the goods, complete description of the goods (spare parts, part numbers, samples, etc are not adequate descriptions). Individual values for each of the commodities must be shown as well as  the country of manufacture for each regardless of where the shipment originates. Please specify the currency type along with signature of shipper with date and title.  Clearance will be delayed and/or subject to customs fines if shipper incorrectly declares the country of manufacture.

Import Licenses: All beef and poultry products require a Halal health certificate from the country of origin and a halal slaughter certificate issued by an approved Islamic center in the country of origin.  Health certificates must accompany shipments of blood derivatives and other biological substances certifying that that country of origin is free from any infectious or epidemic diseases.  

Commercial Shipments: the UAE government requires that the importer/exporter be licensed by their local municipality and possess a trade license from their local Chamber of Commerce to in the commodities that they are importing and/or exporting.   

Personal Shipments: the UAE government may require the recipient's personal identification number in order to clear a shipment into the UAE.  

Customs Valuation
The customs valuation is based on the CIF value.  This means that the cost of the item plus the amount paid for insurance plus the transportation cost to move the freight to the UAE is taken in total and then assessed duty at the applicable rate for the commodity classification.  The UAE has relatively low duty rates, usually five percent (5%), for most goods.  Most items that are considered essential, such as staple foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals, are allowed duty free status but a bill of entry is required.  However, imports of liquor/alcohol are subject to fifty percent (50%) and cigarettes one hundred percent (100%) on their CIF value.  The CIF value that is stated on the commercial invoice is generally accepted, however UAE Customs are not bound to accept the figures listed and can reset the estimated value of the goods.

Import Duties
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) a plan which calls for the economic integration of the six Arabian member states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE).  Under the terms of this agreement, eligible products will be exempt from duties and other charges when traded among member states.  In order to qualify for benefit status, the value of the goods cannot be less than 40 percent of the final value and must be produced in a factory that is at least 53 percent local ownership that is duly licensed by a members respective Ministry of Finance and Industry.  Intra-GCC shipments claiming this exemption must be accompanied by a duly authenticated certificate of origin.

Under the auspices of the 2003 Gulf Council Unification (GCU) Customs Union Agreement, the GCC members adopted an across-the-board common external tariff rate of five percent (5%) for most products.  The GCC also agreed to develop a list of products to which higher tariff rates will apply.  Likewise, certain staple items such as food and pharmaceutical products are exempt from tariff.  

The Customs duty for most items is calculated on the CIF value at the rate of five percent (5%).  Imports of liquor/alcohol are subject to a fifty percent (50%) customs duty on their CIF value while imports of tobacco products face a one hundred percent (100%) duty on their CIF value.  Many essential items such as staple foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals are allowed duty-fee status.

Duty exemptions are available for Government (such as Police and Ministry of Defense), Semi-Government organizations and industrial license holders (such as raw materials).  The organizations must provide a duty exemption letter and other necessary documentation as per customs regulations.  

Antidumping
None

Excise Duties
Imports of alcohol/liquor are subject to fifty percent (50%) while tobacco is subject to one hundred percent (100%) luxury tax.

Additional Duties
None

Import Taxes
None.

Customs Fees
Apart from the usual five percent (5%) duty rate.  There is a customs fee of DH 30 (approximately $8.20 USD) for each Bill of Entry presented to customs.  Federal Express charges either DH 20 or two percent (2%), whichever is greater, on any duty and tax prepays that it makes on behalf of the customer.  If you wish to avoid this charge, you will need to set up an account with Dubai Customs at their website.

Exchange Controls
None

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's)
The UAE maintains a relatively liberal trade policy.  However, there are some non-tariff barriers to trade and investment in the form of agency sponsorship requirements and shelf-life requirements for food products.  Foreign entities wanting to do business in the UAE must have a UAE national sponsor, agent or distributor.  The UAE's Commercial Agencies Law requires that foreign principals distribute their products in the UAE only through exclusive commercial agents that are either UAE nationals or companies wholly owned by UAE nationals.  The foreign principal can appoint one agent for the entire UAE or for a particular emirate or group of emirates.  All UAE commercial agents must be registered with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.  Once chosen, agents/distributors have exclusive rights and have lawful protection against terminating agency contracts only by mutual agreement of the foreign principal and the local agent, not withstanding the expiration of the term of the contract.  Except for companies located in one of the Free Zones, at least fifty-one percent of a business must be owned by a UAE national.  A business engaged in importing and distributing a product must either be a one hundred percent UAE owned agency/distributorship or a fifty-one percent UAE / forty-nine percent foreign limited liability company (LLC).     

Government Tenders

The UAE requires that a company must be registered in order to receive government tender contracts.  In order to be registered, a company must enjoy at least fifty-one percent ownership.  However, these rules are routinely waived whenever local industry cannot provide the goods or services required.  The UAE does not require that a portion of any government tender be subcontracted to local firms but it does grant a ten percent price preference for local firms.  The UAE is not a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.  

Agriculture Barriers

Food products do face some regulations which are considered to be minor trade barriers.  There are GCC-mandated shelf life requirements for processed products stating that both the production and expiration dates must be listed on the original manufacturer applied label.  Furthermore, all imported food products must have one-half or more of their shelf life remaining at the time of import or clearance will be denied.

Consular Fees
Legalization of shipping documents is generally not required as a condition of entry of goods into the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  However, if you are ever required to provide such documents there are charges for this service. 

Importers are only allowed to import commercial shipments which adhere to the terms of their trade license as issued by the local government authority.  Only firms with the appropriate trade license can engage in commercial importations.  The UAE's Commercial Agencies Law requires that foreign principals distribute their products in the UAE only through exclusive commercial agents that are either UAE nationals or companies that are wholly owned by UAE nationals.  The foreign principal can appoint a single agent for the entire UAE or on a particular emirate or group of emirates.  All UAE commercial agents must be registered with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.  It is important to note that once a commercial agent is chosen, agent/distributors have exclusive rights to distribute for the foreign principal and the agent can only be terminated either by mutual consent with that agent or fulfillment of the contract.  Since 1996, the UAE has not recognized new agency agreements in the food sector.  Personal shipments are generally exempt from this requirement.

The Drug Control Department of the UAE Ministry of Health has strict guidelines regarding the importation of blood derivatives and other biological substances.  A certificate indicating that the pharmaceutical formula has been registered with the UAE Ministry of Health is required.  A list of the shipment's contents outlining each kind of drug, it's components and the size of the packages, numbers and expiration dates should be listed.  Blood derivatives that are not registered with the Ministry should provide a registration certificate from the factory or the formula as well as a valid health certificate attesting that the country of origin is free from any infectious or epidemic diseases.  If a company does not want to get it's product tested by the drug control laboratory in the UAE, a health certificate issued by a GCC approved lab will suffice.  The UAE maintains the right to collect and test random samples to ensure the safety of the blood supply.  Any medicines found to be unfit, expired or not in compliance with UAE Ministry of Health regulations is subject to confiscation. 

The UAE has made increases in the area of intellectual property protections.  New laws passed in 2002 offer increased levels of protection.  The UAE is a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and World Trade Organization (WTO).  The UAE has a agreement with U.S. pharmaceutical companies that provides a de facto patent protection for a number of U.S. patent-protected medicines.  According to 2002 industry estimates, the rate of software piracy in the UAE is the lowest in the Middle East.  The UAE has been recognized as the regional leader in fighting computer software piracy.

The UAE's new Trademark Law states that the UAE will follow the International Classification System and that one trademark can be registered in a number of classes.  The new law provides that the trademark holder will enjoy exclusive rights to the use of the trademark as registered and prevent others from using an identical or similar enough mark if it will cause confusion among consumers.

The UAE published its Patent Law in November 2002.  The law provides for national treatment for property owners from other WTO members, complete patent protection and intellectual property rights with both civil and criminal policies and procedures.  In October 2003, the Ministry of Health issued a circular providing protection for pharmaceutical products equal to the patent term of the pharmaceutical product in the country of origin.

Back to Top

United Arab Emirates Import Prohibitions

The following items are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):

  • Illicit drugs (hashish, cocaine, heroin, etc)
  • Radar Detectors
  • Satellite Receivers
  • Forged and duplicate currency, bank notes, etc
  • Items that are offensive to Muslim culture
  • Items that do not adhere to religious, morals or aims to cause corruption and disorder
  • Irradiated food products
  • Electronic items (watches, car-keys, etc) with a camera and pens with a camera
  • Israel manufactured products
  • Used Tires
  • Synthetic Marijuana (K2 & K9)

Technically, statues of any kind are prohibited. However, the Customs Director can give special approval for the importation of statues. If you wish to import a statue you should write the Customs Director requesting permission to see if accommodations can be made.

Back to Top

General Import Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.
  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

Back to Top

United Arab Emirates Restrictions

Imports of alcohol and pork products are strictly regulated.


Back to Top

Special Import Provisions

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) does provide for temporary entry imports.  Temporary entry imports for re-export, which will be re-exported within six months, are exempt from customs duty.  However, a bank guarantee in lieu of duty is required or a deposit check addressed to Dubai Customs.  The bank guarantee will be returned upon documented proof of re-export being provided to local customs authorities.

The UAE has several Duty-Free Zones into which goods can be imported.  Duty is payable when the goods leave these zones.  In the Free Zones, there are no requirements for majority local ownership.  Currently, there are no provisions for goods to be imported duty-free, substantially changed by further processing and subsequently exported.

Personal Effects

Personal Effects shipments should be indicated on the airway bill and commercial invoice in addition to the actual commodity descriptions. Dubai Customs officials have absolute authority in their determination whether to allow entries of this kind. Generally, the commodities should be used goods which would be considered personal in nature.

Samples

Samples require an air waybill and commercial invoice (the original and two copies).  The value limit for duty-free entry for samples is $270 (USD) or less.  The commercial invoice must state that they are samples and have no commercial value.  If all of this criteria is met, then same day clearance is likely.

Gifts

The UAE does have a "Gift Shipment" allowance.  The limit for free entry is $270 (USD).  UAE customs has absolute authority over what they will and will not allow duty-free entry.  Duty will have to be paid on any amount that exceeds the $270 (USD) limit.  This also applies to re-evaluated values as conducted and specified by UAE Customs.


Back to Top

Standards

As a part of the GCC Customs Union, member nations are working towards unifying their standards and conformity assessment systems.  However, discrepancies do exist.  Each country currently applies either it's own standard or a GCC standard, causing much confusion. 

The Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority is an independent organization under the umbrella of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Industry.  Their responsibility is formulating and enforcing UAE/GCC standards.  The country is moving towards implementation of an ISO 9000 certification program.

All food labels must provide the following: product and brand names, production and expiry dates, country of origin, manufacturer, net weight in metric units, and a list of ingredients and additives in descending order of proportion.  The use of any fats or oils as ingredients must be listed on the label.  Arabic labeling is required and can be applied by sticker.  However, the production and expiry dates must be printed on the original manufactured label.

 
Back to Top

General Export Clearance Information

Clearance Process

All goods exported or re-exported from the UAE must have the proper documentation issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, as well as, the various Chambers of Commerce in the respective individual emirates. 

There are no duties on exports from the UAE. 

Document Requirements

Air Waybill: an international air waybill is required for every shipment.

Commercial Invoice: is required for everyshipment except documents.  It should include all of the following essential data elements: complete shipper's and consignee information including telephone and/or fax numbers, quantity of the goods, complete description of the goods (spare parts, part numbers, samples, etc are not adequate descriptions), individual values for each of the commodities in your shipment, the country of origin for each of the commodities in your shipment, specify the currency type, signature of shipper with date and title.

Permits:  Specific export permits are for commodities subject to export controls. The Dubai Customs Service is the government office for dual use exports (commercial items that may have military applications). Other departments and agencies have regulatory jurisdiction and issue licenses for controlled substances and precursor chemicals, for endangered fish and wildlife species, for defense services and articles, for arms and munitions, for nuclear material, equipment and technology, for fuels, for drugs and medical devices. Before exporting these items, special licenses must be obtained from customs office to insure that the items are not part of the national heritage of the United Arab Emirates. License requirements are dependent upon an item's technical characteristics, the destination, the end-use, end-user and other activities of the end-user. Specific questions pertaining to commodity licensing requirements should be directed to the lead agency. Agency information, telephone number and basic commodities that might require export permits could be identified by accessing the Department and agency web sites listed in the profile.


Back to Top

United Arab Emirates Export Prohibitions

The following items are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):

  • Illicit drugs (hashish, cocaine, heroin, etc)
  • Forged and duplicate currency, bank notes, etc
  • Items that are offensive to Muslim culture
  • Items that do not adhere to religious, morals or aims to cause corruption and disorder
  • Irradiated food products


Back to Top

General Export Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.
  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

Back to Top

United Arab Emirates Restrictions

All goods exported or re-exported from the UAE must have the proper documentation issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce as well as the various Chambers of Commerce in the respective emirates. 

Any antiques that are exported are subject to police inspection by the Dubai Police Department

The following commodities are prohibited via FedEx International Priority (IP) services out of United Arab Emirates.  However, you may be able to use another FedEx service for shipping these items. For additional shipping options, please contact your local FedEx customer service representative.

  • Airline tickets, blank stock
  • Antiques
  • Bearer bonds
  • Collectable coins
  • Blank credit cards
  • Credit cards, other than telephone cards
  • Firearms, parts
  • Poisons (toxics)
  • Non-negotiable stocks
  • Blue ice
  • Radioactive and explosive material

Certain commodities may be subject to export controls, which may require additional documentation such as:

  • Export Licensing for Dual Use Goods (goods that may be used in either military or civilian application) which are controlled by the Comision Nacional de Control de Exportaciones Sensitivas y Material Belico (CONCESYMB). The commission consists of an integration of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defense and Argentine Customs.

  • Sanitary, phytosanitary or safety standard certification for products such as meat, seeds, fruit, vegetables and marine goods.

  • Additional products that are controlled for export include psychotropic substances and endangered fish and wildlife species.


Back to Top

Regulatory Contact Information

Branch or Agency Name Areas of Responsibility
Dubai Customs
P.O. Box 63
Dubai, UAE
Tele: 971-4-345-5555 Dubai Police Department
P.O. Box 1493
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tele: 971-4-297-7877
E-mail: mail@dubaipolice.gov.ae

 
UAE Ministry of Health
Trade Center St, Bldg 61
Dubai, UAE
Tele: 971-4-396-6669
E-mail: postmaster@moh.gov.ae
 
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
P.O. Box 1457
Dubai, UAE
Tele: 971-4-228-0000
E-mail: dcciinfo@dcci.gov.ae
 

Back to Top

Did you find this article helpful? yes no See more of this type of content