The UAE is the world’s eighth largest oil exporter and offers a diverse, liberal trade environment.

It is the easiest country for doing business in the Middle East according to the World Bank; English is widely used as a business language and Free Trade Zones make the UAE an attractive destination and regional hub for international companies. More than 5,000 British companies are already operating in the UAE and the country is home to 120,000 British expatriates.


Essential Customs Information: 
Medical supplies requiring temperature maintenance of less than 8°C degrees cannot be shipped into the UAE through courier mode as there is no cold storage facility.
Shipments going to a Free Zone in the Emirate of Dubai: provide original invoice.
Shipments valued above US$ 270: 5% duty and clearance delays will apply. Receiver to provide import code (include on Waybill).


Shipments going to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi ONLY should have the following documents compliance for clearance of shipments:
• Shipments valued above AED 50,000 (US$ 13,587): provide original invoice with stamp and signature of shipper (company) (no legalisation required for invoice) and original Certificate of Origin stamped by a Chamber of Commerce.
• Shipments valued between AED 1,000 (US$ 270) and AED 50,000 (US$13,587): provide all original invoices. The items’ country of origin must be mentioned / imprinted on the invoice.
• Shipments valued at AED 1,000 (US$ 270) and below are exempt from these requirements. No low value threshold applies for the UAE.

Prohibited items specific to United Arab Emirates:
The list below is in addition to Courierpoint’s standard list of prohibited items.
All items offensive to the Muslim culture or sensitive to the Middle East security situation, including religious publications/figures, imitation firearms/paraphernalia and military uniforms

  • Antiques
  • Asbestos
  • Firearms, or parts of
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Ivory
  • Jewellery
  • Plant products
  • Plants
  • Precious metals & stones

Restricted Items: 

  • Alcoholic beverages - Must travel OFFNET as D-to-A shipments, under separate Master Waybill for receiver to clear (also provide Waybill, invoice and packing list). Send shipments to receiver C/O DHL. Receiver to provide licence for clearance.


  • Communications & telecommunications equipment, phones / modems and radar equipment including transmitters & receivers - Receiver must have approval from UAE Ministry of Communication before import. All shipments must be D to A accompanied by Master Waybill, Waybill, invoice and packing list.


  • Cotton, seeds including cotton seed and tobacco - Max 1 kg allowed as samples. Receiver must provide Certificate of Agriculture. Shipment to be addressed to receiver’s name only.


  • Drugs: non-prescription - Provide approval from UAE Ministry of Health. May not be sent to private individuals – only to commercial companies with licence to import. If DHL is to clear shipment: send to receiver as OFFNET, C/O DHL.


  • Foodstuffs - Receiver requires valid license to import foodstuffs. Non-perishable samples up to 1 kg: send as goods. Import permit may be required by Customs on a case by case basis. Other items: send under Master Waybill directly to receiver C/O DHL/FEDEX/TNT. Include Commodity Code and Goods Country of Manufacture Heath certificate on commercial invoice. Date of expiry must be clearly mentioned.


  • Passports - Can be shipped as documents but are subject to Customs inspection.


Duty Free Allowance 
All shipments are subject to duty and taxes as UAE Customs do not offer a duty free allowance.



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