Dubai Import and Export Business License

Dubai's strategic location has been serving as an advantage for the import-export companies in Dubai. For many decades now Dubai has been the hub for doing business and one among those major businesses is the import-export business in Dubai. Being the center of Asia the UAE has been the connecting road for trade between the European nations and the 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 setup eServices for the import and export companies in Dubai to make their working more easy and efficient.

Anyone dealing in import and export business in Dubai needs to register with the Dubai Customs. Dubai Customs has become online. 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 import-export business in Dubai. Registration at the 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 whether they fall under the prohibited list of the Customs office or not.

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

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 any of the Free zones of the UAE they are not subject to pay any customs duty. Although the Free Trade Zone is considered an integral part of the UAE province but doesn’t come under the UAE Customs territory.

Procedure for Export:

The exporter needs to go through the following steps.

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

Documents required:

  • 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 are restricted.
  • Sale invoice showing 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.

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 Emirates by meeting all the legal procedures, documentation, permissions, charges and terms of licensing. By availing the trade license from the UAE license issuing authority anyone can become an importer and will be registered with the Customs Department.

The Process of importing goods in Dubai:

  • 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 arrival.
  • For Dubai Customs clearance the importer should then login 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 do the 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 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, the hauler will be allowed to exit the JAFZA by showing a copy of the EIR.


Documents required importing goods outside Dubai:

  • 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.

Dubai Import and Export License

If you are looking to set up a business in Dubai in the import-export sector then you need to have 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.  

The information provided in the above regarding the import-export business in Dubai will be able to help you in your venture. If you are willing to set up a business in Dubai which involves import and export in Dubai you can avail the services of and we will take care of the rest. Our team of professionals will guide through any business related quires and help you in 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