Want to Obtain an Import Export License in Dubai? Here’s How You Can Get One

by Zaara 12, Apr 2019

Want to Obtain an Import Export License in Dubai? Here’s How You Can Get One

Going back to the earliest records, the United Arab Emirates has been successful in positioning itself as a hub for international trade between Asia and Europe. Its strategic location continues to serve its imports, exports, and re-exports industry on an increasingly large scale. The location is complemented by a robust and growing airline network of local and international carriers flying and from its logistic centres. All in all, it can be said that UAE’s geographical position together with its world-class infrastructure and visionary leadership has made it the logistics and re-export hub of the entire Middle East.

How to Obtain the Export Import License in Dubai?

To set up your import or export business in Dubai, you first have to obtain the import/export license. To obtain the license, you need to get registered with the Customs Office in Dubai. The office does provide a wide range of e-services to efficiently manage the import and export of goods. The declaration and clearing system of the Customs Office in Dubai is called Mirsal 2. Getting your company registered with the Customs Office is simple and straightforward. All the goods that have been exported or imported shall pass through the Customs Office. There are a few items prohibited by the authority against importing and exporting.

Now that you have understood the licensing part, let us go through Import and Export registration procedure one by one.

Export License

In economic terms, an export is any good or commodity, transported from one country to another in a legal manner, typically for use in trade. Now, to start this business in Dubai, one needs to have a license approved by the Ministry. Export license in Dubai is required when you want to trade in goods or service produced locally in some other country or among the free trade zones of the UAE. Note that, if the goods are exported to any of the Free Trade Zones of the UAE, they are not subject to pay any customs duty. Although the Free Trade Zone is an integral part of UAE, it doesn’t come under the UAE Customs Territory.

Procedure to Export

To export goods from Dubai, a businessman needs to follow these steps:

  1. Submit the documents required at the Customs Office
  2. The declaration registration fee for export must be paid at the customs office
  3. Customs Declaration Certificate is issued by the office

Documents Required to Export

  • The licensing agency must give the company an approved Export Declaration Certificate or the Instructions of the Declaration of Goods Application (IDG). It is mandatory during the customs point of entry at the airport
  • If commodity exported falls in the restricted list, the exporter should have a permit from the competent agencies.
  • A Sales invoice is required from the company which should provide the description of goods, quantity, and value of each item. An invoice should be addressed to the company outside the UAE.

Temporary Export

Temporary export is done for the purposes like maintenance, repair or display in exhibitions, or use in projects and return in the same condition at which they have been exported.

Procedure to Temporary Export

  1. Submit the required documents
  2. Pay the temporary export declaration registration fees.
  3. Receive the temporary export declaration.
  4. The inspection section at the respective customs office shall approve the goods invoices or list (copy of the customs declaration).

Documents Required to Temporary Export

  • Goods clearing declaration from the authorities
  • Commercial Invoice (original)
  • Packing list with the HS codes
  • An original export permit from the competent agencies in the event of exporting restricted goods
  • A formal letter from the company requesting a temporary export

Import License

With the help of an import license, it is possible to get commodities into the UAE from other countries or from one of the free trade zones of the Emirates or into a free trade zone from a UAE mainland by fulfilling the country legal necessities in terms of licensing and documents as well as permissions. This license will permit you to be an importer, it includes having a legal trade license issue from a UAE license authority.

Let us now understand the procedure to import goods in Dubai.

Procedure to Import

  1. The first step is to submit the Bill of Lading and pay dues to the shipping agent once the vessels arrive. After which the shipping agent will issue a delivery order
  2. The cargo clearance formalities should be completed before the expiry date of the Delivery Order. The shipping agent will issue the delivery order 3-4 days prior to the arrival of the vessel
  3. The Import Declaration application is to be submitted online by logging in to Dubai Trade. The importer shall make payment of customs duties and other fees online. After which you will get the Customs Import Declaration certificate
  4. Dubai Customs will authenticate the documents and may inspect goods before giving the possession of cargo to the importer
  5. After the container is discharged, the importer can appoint a transport company to receive delivery of commodities
  6. As per the Customs Import Declaration, if any inspection is required then the container will be taken to the inspection area of the competent authority and only after getting the inspection clearance, the container will exit

Documents Required to Import

  • Invoice mentioning the description of the total quantity of goods and the value of each item addressed to the importer
  • Certificate of Origin stating the origin of goods  approved by the country of origins Chamber of Commerce
  • A detailed document mentioning the weight of each product in a container, packaging, and HS code for all the items
  • Import Permit from the competent agencies if importer in importing restricted goods or duty exempted goods

Even though all the free zones are inside the territory of Dubai, they are considered outside the scope of the UAE customs territory. They must follow certain conditions and requirements in order to conduct import export business in the UAE free zone.

Import Export License Cost in Dubai

The Dubai import export license fees involve considering a few other factors. The first is the cost of your trade license. If you are importing goods to sell to the local market, you’ll also need to consider tax. Any goods that pass for sale from a free zone to the local market incur a duty of 5% (though this can be more on certain products).

Get your Import Export License in UAE from Commitbiz

Dubai export /import business is lately seeing a gradual rise. The top import and exports include jewellery, cars, metals like gold, silver, and aluminium etc. There is a niche for everyone wanting to start an import/export business in Dubai. However, you must keep in mind that the type of goods you wish to trade will have a bearing on the cost of your custom. To ensure you are armed with the right kind of information, we at Commitbiz can help you understand A to Z of export/import business in the UAE. Contact us today for further information.


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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