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Dubai: Customs duties and fees

Dubai Customs offers clear and transparent terms of customs services. It works relentlessly to improve and facilitate the clearance procedures.

Customs sets the rules for importing goods. It also monitors that the goods, which are imported into the territory of the country, are accompanied by the appropriate certificates. Thus, the importers should provide all the necessary documents including a valid trade license. They also must indicate the shelf life period of food products, specifying the manufacture and expiration dates. Meat products are allowed for entry only in the case they meet the rules of the Islamic law. Availability of a special certificate proving this fact is obligatory.

Dubai Customs practices collection of certain duties when importing goods. The amount of such duties can vary, notwithstanding the fact that it was generally standardized at 4%. It is important to notice that duties are also imposed on the goods when they are shipped out of the UAE free trade zones (FTZ) to somewhere else in the country

The amount of import duty differ depending on the type of goods imported. Thus, the fixed amount of import duty on luxury goods is 10%, whereas alcohol and cigarettes are subject to the 30-33% import duty in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quawain and 50% duty in Dubai.

At the same time, there are exemptions for numerous types of goods imported into the UAE. Customs duties are not levied on 734 items of goods, which include certain types of:

  • medicines;
  • chemicals;
  • plants;
  • vegetables;
  • animals;
  • diamonds;
  • silver;
  • gold.

There is no customs duties on some medical equipment, carriages and accessories for disabled. The Government has also exempted excursion boats, cruise ships and helicopters for the purpose of developing the tourism sector.

The UAE Ministry of Economy and Commerce prohibits parallel importing. For this purpose, it keeps a register of importer's agents. This data prevents importing the same kinds of goods by different agents. All the goods, which are imported by non-registered importer, are kept in special port storages until the registered commercial agent will allow their entry, or, on exceptional cases, the customs authorities will permit importing without such an approval. This results the expiration of a vast amount of cargo (in case agent delays providing such approval for importing).

Indirect taxes

All the goods imported by non-member countries of the CCASG, and which are liable to taxation, are imposed with a 5% customs duty introduced by the uniform customs tariff (1 January 2003). Import of goods originating in CCASG countries is free of customs duties within the union. However, the goods originating in CCASG include only those with the value added of at least 40% and higher and whose manufacturing facility is at least 51%-owned by CCASG nationals.

A customs deposit, made when re-exporting to non-CCASG countries, can be refunded upon filing a proof of re-export with the appropriate authorities. When re-exporting to CCASG countries, a 5% customs duty is paid at the first point of entry.

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