Dubai Import and Export Business License

For many decades now, Dubai has been the hub for entrepreneurs and one of those major businesses in Dubai import and export. Being the center of Asia, the UAE has been the connecting road for trade between European nations and East Asian nations. 

The import and export companies have been in the most profitable spot of their business in the past few years. Dubai government has set up e-services for the import and export companies in Dubai to make their work easier and more efficient.

Dubai Customs has become online, and Mirsal 2 is the online declaration and clearing system of Dubai Customs. Mirsal’s online portal provides user guides for registration and how to get started with the import-export business in Dubai. 

Registration at Dubai Customs can be done online, but all the documents need to be handed to the Customs officer in person. All goods imported to and exported from Dubai need to go through the Customs Office and will be checked to determine whether they fall under the prohibited list or not.

All About an Import-Export Company in Dubai

Dubai Customs worked with DP World and JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone) to create an online portal for Dubai trade, which provides all the import-export and trading procedures under a single roof. 

Dubai Export

Export means producing goods in one country but trading them in another country in a legal way. Export plays an important part in the international trade of a country. 

If the goods are exported to any of the free zones of the UAE, they are not subject to paying any customs duty. However, the Free Trade Zone is considered an integral part of the UAE province but doesn’t come under the UAE customs territory.

Dubai Imports

Importing involves purchasing or getting goods from outside the borders of the UAE or from a foreign country or from any other province of the Emirates by meeting all the legal procedures, documentation, permissions, charges, and terms of licensing. By availing of the trade license from the UAE license issuing authority, anyone can become an importer and will be registered with the Customs Department.

Import-Export Business in Dubai

The free trade agreement with Dubai and other countries has minimized the tariff cost charged on goods imported and exported from those countries.

Procedure for Export

The exporter needs to go through the following steps:

  • The exporter needs to submit the documents required at the customs office.
  • Pay the export declaration registration fees at the customs office.
  • Then collect the customs declaration certificate.

The Process of Importing Goods

The following is the process of goods import after Dubai customs registration:

  • When the vessel arrives, the importer must approach the shipping agent in order to submit the original Bill of Lading to the shipping agent and pay dues (if any). After this, the shipping agent will issue a Delivery Order.
  • The Importer must ensure that all cargo clearance formalities are completed before the Delivery Order expiry date. So, keeping this in context, the shipping agent will issue the Delivery order 3-4 days prior to the vessel's arrival.
  • For Dubai Customs clearance, the importer should then log in to Dubai Trade to create and submit the Import Declaration application. The importer should make payments for customs duties and other fees online using the CDR account or E-payment. The importer should get special permissions in case of restricted goods or duty-exempted cargo before filling the Customs Import Declaration.
  • Dubai Customs will require verification and evaluation of the documentation provided in order to collect the customs duties and approve import. Dubai Customs may command inspection of the goods by a proficient authority before giving the possession of cargo to the importer.
  • The importer can check the vessel arrival status online by logging into the Vessel Enquiry e-service, and by using the Container Enquiry e-service, check the container discharge status. After the container is discharged, the importer can then appoint a transport company to receive delivery of the cargo/ container from DP World on importer’s behalf using the hauler Nomination service on Dubai Trade.
  • Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR) by DP World will be given to the hauler for each container taken out from the Jebel Ali port.

As per the Customs Import Declaration, if any inspection is required, then the hauler must take the container to the inspection area of the competent authority. Only after getting the inspection clearance will the hauler be allowed to exit the JAFZA by showing a copy of the EIR.

Essential Documents for Import-Export, Dubai

Let us take note of the documents required for import-export in Dubai.

Documents Required for Exporting

  • Instructions of the Declaration of Goods Application (IDG) or an approved export declaration certificate in the name of a licensed company by a licensing agency in the country for airport customs points of entry.
  • An export permit from the competent agencies if the goods exporting is restricted.
  • Sale invoice showing the total quantity, description, and total and detailed value of each individual item from a licensed company in the country and should be addressed to a company outside the country.
  • Declaration for clearing the goods.

Documents Required for Importing Goods 

  • Commercial Invoice: From the exporter addressed to the importer detailing the total quantity, goods description, and total value of each item.
  • Certificate of origin (stating the origin of goods): Approved by the country of origin's Chamber of Commerce.
  • Detailed Packing List: As per weight, the method of packing, and HS code for each individual article contained in the shipment.
  • Import Permit: From the competent agencies in the event of importing restricted goods or duty-exempted goods.

How to Apply for the Import-Export License in Dubai?

Obtaining the import-export license in Dubai has been simplified by Dubai customs and can be acquired online. But if you are exporting or importing special or restricted goods, then you need to get a special import or export license in Dubai from the customs office.  

To open an import-export trading company, it is necessary to follow the steps given below.

Apply for a License

Before starting any business, you should first notify the Department of Economic Development (DED). Upon notification, the DED will provide you with an import-export license. To apply for a permit, you need to,

  • Submit the Application for Company Registration to the DED.
  • Notarize the memorandum of association of the company.
  • Then pay the required fee and obtain the license.
  • Submit all the required documents with DED.

Rent a Warehouse

It is necessary for an import and export business to be physically present. This means that you need to have an office or at least a warehouse. 

Having a warehouse will allow you to keep all the goods that are set for import or export in a single place. A company can obtain the import/ export license only after submitting the rental documents of the warehouse.

Register Goods Through Customs

Without going through the trade and customs department, it is next to impossible for a company to set up its import and export business in Dubai. Seeing the increase in such companies, the government has introduced online registration for getting a license and registering with the customs department of Dubai. 

According to the import and export of the products, different sets of documents may be required.

Consider Other Factors

There is a slew of various factors and activities which require your attention while setting up your trading company. These include:

  • Getting a quote from the Dubai Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
  • Devising a proper plan for the warehousing and distributing the goods.
  • Choosing the appropriate service provider
  • If required, collaborate with a Dubai import-export agent.

The information provided above regarding the import-export business in Dubai will be able to help you in your venture. Contact us, and our team of professionals will guide through any business-related queries and help you with company formation in Dubai and other locations in the UAE.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to apply for an import and export license in Dubai?

Follow the steps mentioned

  • Select your activity
  • Choose the legal form
  • Trade name approval
  • Initial approvals
  • Document preparations
  • Finalize the location
  •  Additional approvals and fees payment

What certificate is required for UAE food products import?

Health certificates by authority and Halal slaughter certificates for meat products are essential.

Are goods intended for re-export duty free in UAE?

Goods that are re-exported within 6 months are exempted from duty fees.

Which goods are accepted for temporary exports in UAE?

  • Machines and equipment’s for project completion

  • Temporary items for theatres, playgrounds etc

  • Commercial samples

  • Temporary repairing equipments etc are some of the many accepted temporary imports

How to prove my export is genuine?

These documents can prove your trade genuine:

  • The local Emirate Customs Department documents paper vouching for goods leaving the state.

  • Airway bill

  • Bill of landing 

  • Consignment note 

  • Certificate of shipment