Having a Customs Code is mandatory requirement for all businesses who are Importing or Exporting Goods in Dubai. This registration is done with the Customs Dept of the Emirate in which your company is registered.

Thus, if your company is registered in Dubai, then you’ll have to register with the Dubai Customs Dept but if your company is registered in other emirates like Abu Dhabi / Sharjah / Ras Al Khaimah or any other emirate, then you’ll have to apply for Registration with the Customs Dept of that specific Emirate.

Customs Duty Rate in Dubai

The rate of Customs Duty in Dubai for most goods is 5% of the CIF Value of Goods (i.e. Cost + Freight + Insurance).

No Customs Duty is applicable on the import of goods of GCC Member States as UAE is a part of the GCC Customs Union which was established in 2003 to remove Customs and Trade barriers among the GCC Member States.

Additionally, the United Arab Emirates grants duty-free imports to most national goods originating in member countries of the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement, Singapore, the European Free Trade Association countries (i.e. Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein), Israel, and India.

The duty free trade between India and UAE is applicable from 1st May 2022 under the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Businesses claiming the benefit of duty-free import from India are required to submit the document for the “Certificate of Origin” at the landing port.

Threshold for Levy of Customs Duty
With effect from 1st Jan 2023, the Customs Duty is levied on orders exceeding AED 300. Earlier the limit was AED 970 as per the GCC Unified Guide for Customs but has now been reduced. (Download: Official UAE Customs Notice)

It should be noted that this new rule also does not apply to tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, nicotine liquid, alcoholic beverages and foods containing alcohol. These goods are not subject to any threshold and therefore, are subject to customs duties regardless of their value when imported to Dubai.

Documents required for Registration for Customs Code

The following documents are required to apply for registration with the Dubai Customs Dept:-

  1. Copy of Trade License of the Company
  2. UAE Phone No and Email Address
  3. Emirates Post License (if you want the authority to send you the documents by courier)

The validity of the customs code would be same as the validity of the Trade License of the Company. The business owner cannot apply for renewal of registration with the customs authority till the time the trade license of the company is not renewed.

The application for applying for a Registration for Customs Code in Dubai can be applied online through this link:-

Fees for applying for Registration for Customs Code in Dubai

The following fees is payable at the time of applying for Customs Code Registration in Dubai:-

The fee payable at the time of renewal of Dubai Customs Code is AED 25   .

The Registration with the Customs Dept will expire if it is not renewed within 60 days from the date of expiry.

Items not allowed to be Imported/Exported

The International Trade Administration of Dubai prohibits certain items from being imported to Dubai or exported from the country and these items include:-

  1. Illegal Narcotics
  2. Pirated Content
  3. Counterfeit Currency
  4. Gambling Machines and related gambling equipment
  5. Publications or artwork that contradicts Islamic Teachings

Apart these prohibited list of items, there are certain items for which approval from the appropriate regulatory body is required. For example:-

Category of GoodsAuthority from where the approval is required
Live animals, plants, fertilizers and insecticidesMinistry of Climate Change & Environment
Ministry of Defense / Armed Forces / Ministry of Interior Arms, ammunitions, explosives, and fireworksMinistry of Defense / Armed Forces / Ministry of Interior
Pharmaceutical products and Medical/ Surgical instruments and machinesMinistry of Health & Prevention
Print materials, publications, and media productsNational Media Council
Nuclear energy-related productsFederal Authority for Nuclear Regulation
New tiresEmirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology
Transmitters and radio equipmentTelecommunications Regulatory Authority
Alcoholic beveragesDubai Police
Foodstuffs, personal care and cosmetic productsDubai Municipality
Rough diamondsUAE Kimberley Process office

Other Relevant Points regarding Customs

  1. Higher Duty is levied on Import of Alcohol and Cigarettes. The rate of Customs Duty is 50% on Alcohol and 100% on Cigarettes.
  2. Apart from imposing Customs Duty, the UAE also levies Anti-Dumping Duty on Import of certain goods like Car Batteries, Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles and Hydraulic Cement. The rate of anti-dumping duty varies depending on the category of goods and the country of export/origin. In some cases, the anti-dumping duty is 67.5% of the CIF Value of the Goods.
  3. An entity bringing goods for Temporary purpose like Exhibition or as Sample should have obtained a Customs business code based on their license issued by the concerned mainland entity. Customs declaration for Temporary admission should be submitted with the reason for temporary admission of the goods. A deposit equivalent to Customs duty will be applicable according to the Customs tariff on the item which will be refunded upon re-exportation of the goods within the specified timelines.
  4. Customs Duty is separate from VAT which gets levied on domestic sale. The rate of VAT is 5% and is applicable if the turnover of the business owner is more than AED 375000.