A duty rate of 5% applies on dutiable goods however numerous consumer goods, commodities and raw materials are exempt. The duty is based on the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of the imported goods. Alcoholic beverages are subject to a 100% import duty and tobacco products to 50%. Imports can only be handled by UAE registered agents who must have a valid importer code from the Customs Authority.
Dubai Customs clears approximately 80% of all imports into the UAE and Abu Dhabi Customs around 10%. The entire customs declaration can be made electronically for both of these Emirates, a service that makes particularly Dubai’s customs clearance times among the shortest in the world (as short as a few minutes). In some cases, clearance is possible before shipments arrive in Dubai, provided that cargo documents are on time and in order.
Clear labelling is required which must include production and expiry dates and printed on the original package or label. Arabic labelling is a requisite and can be printed on a sticker.
The origins of all animal fats must be stated. The following items need to be included on the labels, (however when planning to export products to the UAE we recommend checking for the latest regulations with the buyer):
The duty rate is the same across all emirates and each emirate has its own Customs authority. Additionally, as the UAE is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, importers to the UAE can benefit by the GCC Common Customs Law, where items imported into any of the GCC states and destined for another is subject to customs duty only once, at the first point of entry into the GCC.
UAE Federal Customs Authority:
Abu Dhabi Customs: