What Is Product Registration?
Product registration refers to enrolling a product with Dubai Municipality. The legislature of Dubai controls the manufacture, deal, import and export of products. This ensures that all the items which are being utilized in the domestic market are listed (checked) before being introduced in Dubai market.
Why Product Registration?
It serves one well to understand why product registration is necessary for Dubai. The main reason is, it restricts the trading of fake and harmful products in the domestic market, to ensure the safety of customers and quality of the product. Therefore, all the products need to be registered with the Dubai Municipality Control and, if approved, the company can sell them. It is important to accentuate that no product should be made, imported, traded, promoted, sold or conveyed in Dubai unless it has been listed as per Dubai Municipality control. Enrolling your items in Dubai gives you access to the entire GCC market, in a problem-free manner.
How Is Product Registration Done in the UAE Market, Especially in Dubai?
Dubai is a country where expats from all over the world come to carry out their business, and also to trade, especially food product trading. Trading or exchange of goods and services is mainly done with the help of seaports and airports in large numbers every year. So, the Food Control Department in Dubai Municipality enforces a procedure to control foodstuffs and scrutinizes the quality of every food product imported to the UAE. This authority aims to guarantee the safety and quality of imported & re-exported food while making a certain modest and prompt process to control food trade.
The Food Safety Department, Dubai Municipality tries to fabricate an advanced examination framework to meet the desire of dealers and the best practices in the field of food safety, to contribute to accomplishing the fundamental objectives of the Government of Dubai, and recreates the most recent universal frameworks in the control of imported and exported remarkable food execution at both regional and global levels. For this reason, it is important to give essential data required by food dealers to know about all of the necessities about the import & export of food, with a specific end goal to encourage the quick arrival of shipments on time.
Dubai Municipality Registration
It is mandatory to register with the Dubai Municipality (DM) before importing or re-exporting any food product. The documents to be submitted are:
1. Trade license of the company
2. Company's email
3. Company's telephone and fax number
4. Company's P.O. Box number
5. Details of the company's location in Dubai
6. Company representative’s name and mobile number
Food Import & Re-export System (FIRS) for Food Product Registration in the UAE
Dubai Municipality strives to keep tabs over each food item to ensure the safety of human health. Food Import & Re-export System (FIRS) is the biggest electronic service provider of food.
- FIRS provides services for food product registration in the UAE. It includes services like importing foods, issuing all kinds of health certificates, importing goods for re-exporting, label approval, food destruction application and issuing of certificates.
- It is possible to register a food product in the UAE by submitting applications from anywhere in the world.
- The system will register all the food products and link food information with their respective barcodes.
- This system is electronic and will help from the approval of product registration in Dubai, food inspection, food-importing, performing operations until the closure of the operations.
- It also consists of an innovative food sampling system which is based on examining the hazard of each product, while ensuring full integration with the electronic system of the Dubai Municipality Food and Environment Laboratory. This helps to get accurate laboratory results for the submitted sample.
Things to Consider before Applying for Food Product Registration
- You cannot apply for the banned products like alcohol, poppy seeds, etc.
- While registering the product, ingredients in the product should be clearly mentioned, in either Arabic or English
- With ingredients, also mention the brand name, product name, manufacturing and expiry date, net weight, etc.
- It must be noted that FIRS will immediately reject your application if the food product you applied is already registered with another name or account
- Non-eatable items like cigarettes and food supplements cannot be registered with FIRS
- Few food additives are banned in the UAE, including Fast Yellow AB, Yellow 2G, Amaranth, Patent Blue V, Potassium Bromate, etc.
Import Procedures for Food Products
These import procedures apply to all the food products that are imported in the UAE. Below are the label approval details along with the company registration details in Dubai Municipality.
- Food Item Procedure: This includes procedures of food labeling and item barcode registration in the FIRS database.
- Food Label Approval: This is a request to assure the compliance label with the standard and regulation of food labeling. Samples or scanned labels of a product should be submitted online.
- Food Item Barcode Registering: The samples or scanned product labels should be registered and classified in the system.
- Laboratory Test: A lab test is conducted for the product on the consignee expense to assure the product meets standards and regulation. The sample will be taken by the food officer and the test may be conducted in the food department in Jebel Ali.
- Company Procedures: The consignee should have a valid trade license with the food trading activity or general trading activity issued by the government licensing authority in the UAE.
- Registering the Company with E-Government: Copy of the trade license, with the stamped registration form, is required, which is accessible in Dubai Municipality.
- Activation of FIRS & Company Representative Training: For this purpose, a trade license copy and contact details of the company and the representative details must be submitted.
- Deposits: Certain amounts need to be kept as the permanent deposits for an unlimited number of consignments.
Documents to Be Submitted with Imported Consignment
- Original health certificate from governmental health authority from the country of origin
- Packing list
- Original halal certificate issued by an Islamic organization
Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA)
Standards and technical regulations are vital for both individuals and societies. They help give individuals confidence that products will function as advertised, interoperate with other products, and do them no harm. They also help governments protect public health and the environment. At the same time, standards and technical regulations are crucial for businesses. While businesses may occasionally chafe at excessive regulations, they generally help ensure that businesses have reliable inputs for their production processes. Moreover, they help create a national market for goods and facilitate international trade.
Also, they help the manufacturer or the trader to protect his brand, import, and export the products and conduct a hassle-free trade within the UAE.
ESMA is the UAE’s sole body charged with developing standards, which can best be defined as "requirements, specifications, guidelines, or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose".
Montaji | A Dubai Municipality Initiative to Monitor Consumer Goods
Dubai Municipality has launched Montaji – a Consumers Products Assessment and Registration System (CPARS). It is a web-based software system allowing an organization to monitor and manage its consumers’ product registration systematically.
How Montaji Works
Montaji helps customers detect fake products. The online system complemented with an app, registers, monitors and regulates consumer goods related to public health.
For a Merchant
It is now mandatory for all consumer safety products, like cosmetic & grooming products, perfumes, soaps, detergents, health supplements, packaging materials, and biocides, in Dubai to be registered with the Montaji system.
A company registered with the Dubai Municipality portal can register one’s products easily through the Montaji portal in a couple of minutes, and consumers would be able to access the database to search for municipality-approved products. All information registered on Montaji is checked in terms of ingredients and documents, to ensure it is compliant with the approved specifications.
For a Consumer
If a consumer has any doubt regarding the authenticity of a product being sold, they can check it on the Montaji system. They can do so by entering the barcode or name of the product, and Montaji would verify all the details. Simple!
ZAD | Dubai Municipality’s Food Registration Portal
The government of the UAE has also launched a federal portal for food trade, ZAD. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in association with Dubai Municipality. Any registered company that wants to produce or import a new food product in UAE is required to register this new food product and provide its details and certificates in order to get approval for selling the product. The Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS) has already been integrated with ZAD.
One can also search for approved Islamic entities and slaughterhouses worldwide that have been accredited by UAE authorities for Halal slaughtering of animals for meat products.
Food control authorities in each emirate in the UAE accept applications for registration through the ZAD portal. Once any of the food control body approves a product, it is registered and categorized on the federal system. Trading companies do not have to seek registration and clearance separately from each emirate anymore. This helps reduce the time for inter-emirate transfer of food shipments significantly. It is also a notable step to combat the illegal trade of food, as only products registered with the portal are allowed in the UAE market.
It is advisable to seek the help of a consultant during critical procedures such as company registration so that you can keep up with the updated regulations issued by the government. We at Commitbiz have our team of experts to help you right from document filing to the whole process of registering a product. If you wish to market your product in the UAE, do contact us – we’d be glad to help.