How do you Obtain an Import and Export License in Dubai?

by Vishakha Agarwal 14, Dec 2023

Dubai is one of the leading destinations, promoting import-export businesses due to its strategic location, increasing port and various exemptions from government policies. However, for such a business, an import and export license is required to be obtained by the authorities. This license helps in the functioning of the business activities and in legal frameworks.

In this article, we will look at the steps, requirements and costs involved in obtaining an import and export license in Dubai.

Basics of Import and Export

Before getting to the steps and other technicalities of import export license registration, it is essential to understand the basics of import, export and licenses.

  1. Import:

Import is the process of bringing products from all around the world into the home country while matching the legal necessities of the country, such as licensing, documents, and permissions.

  1. Import License:

An import license is necessary for businesses in Dubai that require goods from foreign countries. The license is issued by The Dubai Customs Authority and is used during shipments through customs. 

  1. Export:

Export is the process of transferring products from the home country to other countries for use in trade, ensuring compliance set by the authorities.

  1. Export License: 

An export license is required if your business is planning to export goods from Dubai to other countries. It is managed by the authorities and other agencies.

Things to Remember While Obtaining an Import and Export License in Dubai

To acquire the rights for export and import activities, businesses must own a license. There are certain steps to obtain an export import license, and here’s how you can get the license to trade goods and services in and out of the UAE -

All about Import License –

An import license means you can get any commodity from other countries inside the UAE. An entrepreneur needs to keep in mind the following things to apply for an import license –

  • Bill of Lading must be provided, and the importer must pay all the fees according to the export import license fees.
  • The shipping agent will give the delivery order 3-4 days prior to the arrival of the vessel, and the cargo clearance completion must occur within this period.
  • The Import Declaration form must be provided online, where the importer must make all the required payments. The company will then be given a Customs Import Declaration Certificate.
  • Dubai Customs will inquire about the required documents for import and export licenses and the container in some instances before providing the products to cargo.
  • After the procedure from the Customs Department, the importer can designate a transport company to receive the delivery of commodities.
  • In cases of extra review, the vessel will go to the inspection area of the competent authority, and after receiving a clearance from them, the vessel can exit the propositions.

Documents Required -

The documents required to follow the above-mentioned steps and obtain an import and export license in Dubai are as follows –

  • An invoice detailing the description of the total quantity of products and the value of each item directed to the importer.
  • Certificate of Origin stating the source of goods approved by the Chamber of Commerce, the nation of origin.
  • A comprehensive document including the weight of each good in a container, packaging and HS code for all the products.
  • Permission for imports from the authorities if restricted goods are being imported by the importer.

All about Export License

An export license must be obtained if an investor wants to get in the exchange of products and services manufactured locally in a country or among the free trade zones of the Emirates. The Ministry must approve the license, and here are a few things to keep in mind for an import export license registration –

  • Submit the required documents to the Customs Office.
  • Payment of the declaration registration for export must be made at the Customs Office.
  • A Customs Declaration Certificate is provided by the office.

Documents Required -

There are a few documents that must be submitted to follow these steps to obtain an export import license, and they are mentioned below –

  • The licensing department must give the company an approved Export Declaration Certificate as it is necessary during customs point of entry at the airport.
  • If products exported fall on the prohibited list, the exporter should have a grant from the regulatory agencies.
  • A sales invoice offering the description of each piece's goods, quantity, and value is required from the business. An invoice should be addressed to the business outside the UAE.

This procedure can be complex to follow, not only if you’re new to the country but otherwise also it’s hard to follow. Obtaining an import and export license is essential for your business. The only step is to get help from a business consultant. We at Commitbiz can assist entrepreneurs like you in starting a business and obtaining a license. We provide all kinds of services and help in preparing required documents. We will be here to guide you through the process and clear all your doubts regarding import and export license. Contact us today.


What is the rate of Customs duty in Dubai?

5% of the value CIF (Cost Freight Insurance) value except for alcohol and cigarettes. 50% Duty payable for alcohol while 100% for cigarettes.

What are the regulations involved in regards to the import of Jewellery/Diamonds to Dubai?

Documents required importing shipments:

  • Export Company's origin Invoices with their stamp and signature
  • Packing list (quantity & packing),
  • A list of studding details of jewellery.

Which are the primary items permitted to import to UAE?

The primary import commodities are precious metals and stones, machinery and electrical equipment, transportation equipment, metals, and mineral products.

What are the documents required for import-export customs clearance?

  • Customs Packing List

  • Country of Origin or COO Certificate

  • Commercial Invoice

  • Shipping Bill

  • Export License

  • Import License

  • Warehouse Receipt

  • Health Certificates

  • Insurance certificates are some of the many documents required for customs clearance

What is the cost of Dubai import and export licenses?

It depends on many factors like the activity, location etc. and in general, it starts from AED 23000 approximately.