With Dubai serving as its economic core, the UAE is a significant business hub on global trade routes. The nation is a federation of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.
Based on trade areas, here we explain the customs clearance in Dubai and the UAE. Geographic and commercial regulations, which specify the import procedure for each zone, have separated the UAE and its surroundings into several locations, including Local Markets, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Free Zones (FZ). The package of transport logistics adds customs clearance services too.
Processing Imports Through the Free Zone
Geographically, Free Zones are a crucial part of the UAE and Dubai. In order to promote effective trading operations, these zones are subject to a separate set of customs clearance services and control procedures than typical local regions. There are more than 40 free zones (FZ) in the UAE, each of which is tailored to a particular business industry.
In the Free Zones (FZ), authorized importers are entitled to bring in approved shipments without having to pay any customs taxes. Depending on the type of commodities and the remaining validity of the free zone license, imported goods may be stored.
Imports to the Free Zone Need Documentation
- A freight forwarding agent’s delivery order to a registered Free Zone company
- Delivery Note for Goods Accepted for Shipment by Land or Other Free Zone (FZ) Areas
- A second copy of the bill of lading for shipments by sea
- Original airway bill for air shipment
- Land shipment road manifest
- Permit for the Special Import of Restricted Goods
- A licensed importer gets a sale invoice from a Free Zone (FZ) company that details the kind, value, and amount of the cargo. Additionally, the original itemized invoice with HS Code categorization for each shipment’s component parts from the shipper to the FZ firm must be included.
- Certificate of Origin from the Country of Origin’s Chamber of Commerce
- The item description, HS code, weight, and packing method are all included in the detailed packing list.
Under Dubai Customs’ supervision, the aforementioned documents are handled at the Free Zone (FZ) Customs Centers, and a Free Zone Transit Inn (Free Zone Bill of Entry) is granted for the clearance of goods into Free Zones.
Import to Local Markets
The regular trade zones in Dubai and the rest of the UAE are made up of local markets. Companies are only allowed to import their cargo into these zones after following the suitable procedures and paying the vital customs charges.
These zones are subject to routine customs clearance services and control operations. Goods and shipments can be imported into local markets from free zones, the GCC, and other nations; however, each of these imports needs a unique set of documentation to be processed and the payment of applicable customs.
Importing from Other Countries or the Rest of the World (ROW)
Businesses that import items directly into local markets in the UAE or the GCC must submit an online declaration through a registered MIRSAL user or a licensed customs broker. The declaration can be submitted through Bureau Services from the specified Customs Offices by regular or non-company clients.
Documents that are needed include the Master or House Airway Bill for the Air Channel, Master or House Bill of Lading for the Sea Channel, Commercial Invoice, Certificate of Origin, Packing List, Delivery Order, and Applicable Permits.
Import from FZ
Companies that import items from designated Free Zones to local markets in the UAE and the GCC through transport logistics or aog logistics must submit a specific declaration of the type “Import to Local from Free Zone” and pay any essential customs taxes. The company, a licensed customs clearing company with customs clearance services or a licensed forward stocking and freight forwarding company in Dubai, may submit this declaration directly.
Documents that are needed include delivery advice, an invoice, a packing list, and applicable permits for restricted goods.
Import from Other GCC States
When moving shipments between GCC members through transport logistics with a chain of trade compliance services, package delivery, airside transportation service, warehousing services, cold chain solutions, customs clearance services, etc., the importing country’s customs office must get a copy of the Statistical Export Declaration that has been approved by the exporting GCC member state.
In order to prevent having to repeatedly pay customs duty at the importing member state, the declaration must bear the “Makasa” endorsement. Additionally, an “Import to Local from GCC” declaration must be approved for these transactions. Documents that are needed include a delivery order (for sea and air), a master or house airway bill for the air channel, a master or house bill of lading for the sea channel, a statistical export bill cleared from an exporting country of the GCC with “Makasa” endorsement, a packing list, a commercial invoice, and a land manifest or truck waybill for the land channel.
Customs duty payments can be postponed until cargoes are actually transported to local markets for consumption by licensed operators of Customs Warehouses.
Private Customs Warehouse
In Dubai and the UAE, certified customs clearance services and forwarding stocking and freight forwarding companies oversee a private customs warehouse. Only shipments or cargo belonging to the business or on behalf of authorized importers may be kept in these warehouses.
Upon payment of specific customs fees as fixed by the Customs Administration Control, the cargo or shipments may be stored. The kind of commodities, those that are prohibited, and the length of time that the items will actually be stored determine the permitted cargo.
Public Customs Warehouse
Licensed importing firms without their own customs warehouse are capable of importing and storing the products in a public customs warehouse.
Documents that are needed include the Master or House Airway Bill for the Air Channel, Master or House Bill of Lading for the Sea Channel, Commercial Invoice, Certificate of Origin, Packing List, and Delivery Order.
Importing and trading can be operated in Dubai and the UAE in several ways. However, note that your customs expenses and the procedure for clearing customs will depend on the category of products you want to trade. In order to completely comprehend the essential duties and regional import-export regulations, it is the best idea to talk about your plans with authorized UAE customs officials or advisors. When it comes to imports and exports, Dubai is truly the best location. Make everything possible with the right choice!