According to the best practices adopted at international level, customs procedures in UAE are very simple to follow and respect rules in line with international and regional laws.
Personal effects do not apply any customs duty but since the UAE is an Islamic country, it is forbidden to introduce religious propaganda materials or documents, CDs, videos or movies potentially offensive as well as pornographic material in any form.
Nevertheless, substances such as cannabis and opium are banned and the penalties imposed on those who are found in possession of these drugs are severe. If blood tests for the use of illegal drugs produce positive results, you will be accused of committing a crime, even if the substance has been taken prior to arrival in the UAE.

Customs procedures in UAE: import and export of goods

Import for the local market: goods from other countries, are usually imported into the local market through the payment of customs duties or duty-free depending on cases.

Customs procedures in UAE: import for re-export

Goods may be imported into the country in order to be re-exported to other countries. The importer must pay customs duty in the form of a deposit which will be refunded upon presentation of proof of re-exportation of goods (within 18 months).

Customs procedures in UAE: temporary admission

Goods may be imported from abroad for exhibitions scope, seasonal markets, similar events or in construction projects and scientific research and should be returned in the same condition in which they were imported.

Customs procedures in UAE: export

No customs duty is required if the goods are bought locally or in case they are locally manufactured.

Customs procedures in UAE: import and export in Free Zone

General arrangements:

  • The importer must obtain a valid code importer by the Dubai Customs.
  • The goods must comply with the activity indicated in the license company.
  • The goods must reach the destination within 72 hours from the customs declaration date.
  • The goods must not be opened, modified or distributed prior to their arrival in the free zone.
  • The goods have to be checked as they enter the zone or are transferred in stores.

Customs procedures in UAE: import from the Free Zone in the UAE / GCC

This type of operation enable companies to sell in the Free Zones their products to local companies based in the UAE or in the GCC countries. Customs duty will be applied in accordance with current rates.

Customs procedures in UAE: import for Re-export from Free Zone

With reference to customs procedure in UAE, this type of transaction is processed to enable Free Zone companies to sell their goods to local businesses in the UAE operating with commercial licenses valid on the basis of a mechanism of import for re-export.
This process ensures local importer a derogation period of 180 days to export the goods purchased by the company Free Zone. A deposit is required equivalent to customs tariff imposed on the value of the invoice. The repayment of the deposit is made in whole or in part if it receives proof of export, filed within the time period assigned for this type of transactions.