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Customs Duty in Dubai, UAE

Rules which regulate import and export depend on the country and differ throughout the world. While some goods can be exempt from customs duty and be imported without any limitations in one place, or they can be completely banned in another one. There are some universal regulations, too, which are applicable all around the globe – the import of weapon, drugs or other items that can be harmful or threatening for people’s health are prohibited everywhere.

There are several import types in the UAE. Things can be imported to the United Arab Emirates from the rest of the world, from free trade zones or for further re-export. They can be imported via air, sea or land. The type of import predetermines a set of required documentation necessary to go through the obligatory customs service procedures.

There are about forty free trade zones in the UAE, about twenty of them situated in Dubai, which have a special regime of taxation. Due to the rules and regulations of this regime, there is no corporate tax and no import or export taxes on their territory.

Concerning the Dubai customs duty rates, one has to do research before crossing the border of the country to find out in which cases no customs duty is paid in the UAE. The following items are duty free in the UAE which means that there are no Dubai customs duty rates for them:

  • Passenger’s personal belongings (including passenger’s electronic goods);
  • Sports equipment;
  • Prams, push- and wheelchairs;
  • Gifts the value of which does not exceed 3000 dirhams;
  • Goods intended for charity;
  • Less than 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars and less than 50 grams of tobacco;
  • Less than 4 liters of beer or alcohol.

There are no Dubai customs duty rates for more than 700 items. In case things you intend to import are not on this list, regular duty rates comprise 5%.

How is Dubai customs tariffsare calculated? The customs duty rates are calculated on the basis of three things:

  • the cost of the goods;
  • their insurance;
  • the cost of freight.

Please, note that if you exceed the amount of imported alcohol or cigarettes specified in the list of goods exempt of taxation when crossing the UAE border, you will be charged 50% on alcohol and 100% on tobacco.

Dubai Customs Duty Import Tax for Companies

Concerning Dubai customs duty import tax for companies and their rates – it is levied according to the regulations of the free trade zones’ work. Free trade zones in the UAE and Dubai, in particular, are not subject to import tax. To go through the import tax process in Dubai, a legal entity has to provide a set of documents which includes:

  • packing list and commercial invoice;
  • certificate of origin;
  • bill of landing/air bill copies.

Documents are submitted to the shipping agent, who issues a delivery order to the importer. Next an importer has to fill in an import declaration application and submit it to the Dubai Trade. Then fees are paid, the declaration is checked by the authorities and approved. Companies which intend to import goods to the UAE should note that the license type of an importer must be in line with the type of imported goods. Therefore, one has to check the type of an importer license in Dubai. In case of import for re-export, a company can apply for import duties refund by export.

Summary on Dubai Customs Duty Rates

There are about twenty free trade zones in Dubai. A free trade zone is an area with a special taxation regime. Thus, there are no import and export taxes on the territory of the emirate. As for Dubai customs duty rates, as was mentioned previously, there are more than 700 items on the list of the items exempt of taxes. In other cases, customs duty rate is 5%. It is 50% for alcohol and 100% for tobacco, respectively. There is no customs duty import tax for companies in Dubai. However, please note that the license of an importer must be in accord with the type of imported goods. Entities can apply for tax duty refund by export when goods are imported for re-export.

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