Shipping from China to the UAE is a business process whose secrets and technologies many seek to understand. Dubai has been crowned the star of global trade, by virtue of the flow of commercial activity and the strength of its economy. Only in 2021, goods imported from China to the UAE exceeded $51 billion, demonstrating the huge demand for Chinese products.
Trading companies in Dubai find themselves facing a golden opportunity to exploit this huge demand for Chinese products, but they face some challenges. Importing from China to the UAE can be complex, from the customs clearance process to ensuring compliance with specifications and product quality. This guide provides you with tips and guidance for carrying out the process of “shipping from China to UAE” in the easiest and best way.
What goods does the UAE import from China?
The UAE imports a large variety of goods from China, including, approximately:
- Electrical and electronic equipment – $23.85 billion annually
- Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers – $10.14 billion annually
- Plastics – $1.41 billion annually
- Furniture, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings – $1.19 billion annually
- Pharmaceutical products – $1.18 billion annually
- Iron or steel materials – $1.11 billion annually
- Iron and steel – $1.10 billion annually
- Non-rail vehicles and trams – $957.72 million annually
Requirements and conditions for importing from China to the UAE
We have to distinguish between the import process under the umbrella of your own company and contracting with a company that provides import services to others. Both of these contexts have a distinct and specific set of requirements that companies must comply with.
In the first case, when importing in your company’s name, you have to take charge of the procedures from customs clearance to delivery of the goods to the final destination. These procedures include, among other things, obtaining appropriate licenses, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations, and paying applicable customs duties. As for the conditions, they are as follows:
Conditions for importing from China to the UAE
- Your company wishing to import from China into the UAE must have the correct trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the respective emirate.
- Foreign companies can either set up an office in the UAE or appoint a UAE national as a sponsor, agent or distributor to do business.
- Companies setting up their business in a free zone can also use their trade license to import goods into that zone.
Documents required for customs clearance in the UAE
- The commercial invoice from the exporting company is addressed to the importer with details about the quantity, description of the goods, and the total value of each imported product.
- The certificate of origin, specifying the country of origin and must be approved by the Chamber of Commerce of the country of origin.
- Detailed packing list including weight, packing method, and HS code for each product.
- Import permit from the competent agencies in case of importing goods restricted or exempted from customs duties.
- Notice of entry or air cargo.
- In the case of food products, the following certifications are also required:
- An original health certificate issued by the relevant government agency in the country of export, proving that the product is fit for human consumption.
- Original halal slaughter certificate for meat and poultry products.
Customs clearance when importing from China to the UAE
Whatever the nature of your business, the customs clearance process is an inevitable key stop on the shipping journey from China to the UAE. It is the last step separating goods from access to the UAE markets.
- The beginning is with the preparation of the necessary documents for the goods needed by the UAE Customs. This includes the commercial invoice, certificate of origin, packing list, import permits, and transport document (B/L or AWB).
- The second step is the customs declaration that is submitted electronically via the customs system.
- After that, the goods and documents are checked by customs to ensure that they comply with local and international laws and regulations.
- Finally, the required customs duties and taxes are paid, after which the goods are made available to the importer.
Taxes and customs duties
Taxes and customs duties are an integral part of the import process. It is an important source of government income and a means of protecting local industries and the national economy.
- Customs duties in the UAE are usually 5% of the value of the goods CIF.
- However, there are some goods that are exempt from customs duties, or subject to various duties.
- You should also be aware that there are other taxes that may apply, such as value-added tax (VAT).
Customs clearance procedures in the UAE are one of the things that need to be familiar with customs laws and regulations. But, don’t worry, there are services provided by specialized companies that make the process easier.
- Make sure that all the required documents are available and that they are prepared correctly.
- Rely on certified customs clearance companies to avoid any problems that may hinder imports.
- Finally, allocate enough time for customs clearance procedures, as it may take some time.