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Customs Duties and VAT for Shipping from China to UAE

UAE taxes and fees overview
Whether an individual or a commercial entity imports goods from China to the UAE, they are required to pay import duties and taxes. All import duties and taxes are calculated based on the value of the shipment (i.e. CIF). The United Arab Emirates does not impose any other additional duties, taxes or fees on imported goods.

Customs Duties and VAT for Shipping from China to UAE
Customs Duties
Different tax rates are applied based on goods classification. On 1 January 2003, the UAE formally implemented the provisions of the Customs Union of the GCC countries. According to the Union’s regulations, a uniform customs duty of 5 percent is levied on 1,236 items, in addition to 53 duty-free items. Special tariffs are applied to certain goods, such as cigarettes, tobacco products and various alcoholic beverages. No import duties are levied on samples of goods; foodstuffs, raw materials and related equipment required for local industrial production, medicines, newspapers, books, magazines, ships and commercial aircraft are exempted from customs duties.
Value-Added Tax (VAT)
On 1 January 2018, the UAE introduced VAT at a rate of 5%, which also applies to imported goods. The tax rate is zero for sectors such as education, healthcare, oil and gas, transport and real estate.
Specific Goods Tax
Additional special taxes may apply to certain goods.
Starting Point
There is no starting point for import duties and taxes in the UAE and duties are levied regardless of the value of imported goods.

If you don’t know how to calculate the taxes from China to the UAE, Basenton Logistics has a dedicated sea freight line and air freight line in the UAE, which can quote you a door-to-door price, including customs clearance and taxes. You don’t need to worry about customs clearance and any fees after shipment; we’ll take care of it for you. Contact Basenton to get a quote!

Shipping from China to UAE

When shipping goods to the UAE, choosing the right shipping method is crucial. The two main modes of transportation, sea freight and air freight, are discussed below and their advantages and disadvantages are compared.

China to the UAE
China to the UAE

Sea Freight from China to the UAE

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Cost-Effective: Sea freight is generally more affordable for goods over 2cbm, suitable for bulk goods or situations where fast delivery is not a priority.

High Capacity: Ships can carry a large volume of goods, making them suitable for large-scale transportation.

Environmentally Friendly: Compared to air freight, sea freight has lower carbon emissions, aligning more with sustainability requirements.
Time Sensitivity: Sea freight takes longer, making it unsuitable for goods with urgent delivery requirements.

Air Freight from China to UAE

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Rapid Delivery: Air freight is the fastest mode of transportation, suitable for urgent situations and high-value goods.

Global Coverage: This can reach almost any international airport, providing a wide service range.

Precise Tracking: Air freight typically offers real-time cargo tracking services, facilitating easy monitoring of cargo location.
High Costs: Air freight is more expensive, making it unsuitable for cost-sensitive or bulk goods.

Limited Capacity: Air freight is subject to the capacity limitations of cargo planes, suitable for relatively small shipments.
Air Freight from China to UAE

Comparison and selection of sea and air freight from China to UAE

If fast delivery is required, air freight may be a better option.
If cost is the main consideration, ocean shipping may be more economically feasible.
Larger, lighter cargo may be better suited for ocean shipping. Small and heavy cargo may be better suited for air freight.
Fragile, perishable or dangerous goods may require specific transportation methods.

If you want to know the cost, click on the link: How Much does it Cost to Shipping from China to UAE

If you want to know the time, click the link:

How Long Does it Take for Shipping from China to UAE

China to Dubai Shipping Time by Sea

Importing from China to UAE Regulations and Laws

An in-depth understanding of the country’s import regulations and laws is crucial to ensuring smooth delivery of goods to the UAE. Only by clarifying these requirements can the legality of the goods and smooth customs clearance be guaranteed. The following documents are required for shipping to the UAE:

Commercial Invoice: A formal invoice detailing information such as goods, quantity and value.
Packing List: List the specific items and quantities in each package, ensuring they match the commercial invoice.
Bill of Lading: A document proving the origin of goods, usually a bill of lading or air waybill.
Import License: Certain items may require additional import licenses.
Health and safety certificates: Certain goods (e.g. frozen food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment) may require relevant health and safety certificates.
Certificate of Origin: Special goods may require additional certificates and documentation to demonstrate compliance with UAE regulations. These documents are usually issued by the relevant authorities of the exporting country. For example, goods that qualify for special tariff preferences may require a certificate of origin.

Ensuring compliance with these documents and standards is critical. Failure to meet these requirements may result in shipments being seized, fines, or other serious consequences. Importers must exercise caution when preparing and submitting documentation.

Further reading:

What are the Import Tariffs for Shipping from China to UAE

How to import from China to Dubai

Customs Duties and VAT for Shipping from China to UAE

Cargo Classification and Special Licenses: Ensuring Smooth Shipping from China to UAE

UAE Cargo Classification System

Before considering shipping goods to the UAE, it is crucial to understand the country’s cargo classification system. The UAE’s classification system follows international standards and classifies goods based on their nature and services.

HS Code System: Every product has an HS code. The UAE adopts the internationally recognized Harmonized System (HS) coding system to ensure a uniform global classification of goods. This provides clear standards for the shipping process and expedites customs procedures.
Duty-paid value: The classification of goods directly affects the calculation of tariffs based on the dutiable value of goods. Understanding customs values in the UAE helps ensure accurate duty and tax calculations.

Restricted items

Certain goods, such as military equipment, pharmaceuticals, or certain chemicals, may be classified as restricted goods. Understanding these restrictions and obtaining the relevant permits are key to ensuring smooth movement of your goods.

Before shipping to the UAE, ensuring you have a detailed understanding of the license requirements for your special cargo is crucial to avoid unnecessary delays and issues. Communicating with professional logistics partners and local authorities to obtain accurate information is critical to ensuring the compliant transportation of goods.

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