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UAE Import Conditions and Requirements

International trade in the UAE is one of the most profitable and fast commercial activities in the recovery of invested capital, which prompted many businessmen to export and import to and from it, especially since it includes some of the most important ports in the world and that the import and export laws in the UAE are among the most flexible and encouraging around the world.

In our article today, we will give you a summary of the steps to import to the United Arab Emirates, starting with the necessary requirements and papers, concluding with a set of tips that will help you to make your project a successful winner in the shortest possible time. But first, let’s get to know the need to familiarize you with the import requirements in the UAE.

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Why should you know the import requirements and import and export laws in the UAE?

The answer is simply because the rules, regulations and import and export laws in the UAE are different from some other countries, and you certainly do not want your shipment to stop and be booked at customs because you neglected one of these requirements.

So why take all these risks if you can avoid them with a little familiarity with the import and export regulations and laws in the UAE in advance?

What are the import requirements and conditions in the UAE?

You have to establish an import and export company in the UAE, and the requirements for establishing this company are divided into steps before establishing the company, and actual steps related to establishing the company, let’s first start with the previous steps.

Requirements before setting up an import company in the UAE

Business plan

The import project business plan is the map that you intend to follow to ensure the success of import in the next 3 to 5 years, in which it describes the company’s main goals and objectives, as well as the goods it intends to import and the necessary procedures for that, specifying what countries you intend to import from, the import methods that it will adopt, and the number of shipments per year.

This plan should be realistic and workable, covering the steps and strategies to be followed, and also covering all aspects of the project financial, marketing, market study, competitors, possible risks and obstacles and your plan to overcome them.

It is also necessary to define the company’s parameters, from its brand name, location, size, number of employees and financial and human resources, and to focus on the competencies necessary in workers from multilingualism to experience in import and customs clearance.

Project Feasibility Study

It is an analysis that includes all factors related to the project, including economic aspects that study the expected costs and revenues, to determine the difference between them the expected profit or loss margin, as well as the technical and legal aspects and the schedule, to ensure the likelihood of successful completion of the project.

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Steps to establish an import company in the UAE

Once you complete the previous steps, you reach the executive steps of establishing the company, which begins with registering the company and obtaining the necessary approvals and official papers.

Initial Approval:

The most developed country that keeps pace with the latest technological technologies in the Arab world It is natural that its government departments are equally technically developed, which made electronic communication with the departments of economic development in the UAE possible to follow up the procedures for establishing the company electronically, you can do so through the official website of the Department of Economic Development of the emirate in which you want to establish your company and obtain the initial approval.

Issuance of licenses and official documents:

Import and export laws in the UAE require obtaining initial approval from the Department of Economic Development before establishing a company, and you must follow up with other stakeholders related to your project field to complete the rest of the procedures and obtain approvals from them.

It is worth noting that the procedures may vary slightly from emirate to emirate, but they are generally very similar, and these procedures include:

  1. Issuing a trade license from the Department of Economic Development.
  2. Issuance of import and export license.
  3. Pay all financial fees.
  4. Issuance of customs documents.

As for the trade license:

The trade license is the one that allows the licensee to import and export the goods and also includes the transport and sale of goods, whether wholesale or retail, and is linked to the reservation of a trade name.

Procedures for obtaining a trade license in the UAE:

  1. Submit all the requirements of papers and documents at one of the service centers.
  2. Pay the service fee

What are the documents required to obtain a trade license in the UAE?

The documents required to obtain a trade license are similar between different emirates, but one or more documents may increase depending on the emirate, so it is best to ask on the official websites of the emirate. But they are generally as follows:

  • Initial approval
  • Notarized copy of the lease contract
  • Memorandum of Association
  • A copy of the commercial registration

Trade license fees vary from emirate to emirate but are up to AED 3,000 per year.

Import and Export License:

To obtain an import and export license, there is a set of necessary documents that must be submitted, which are as follows:

  • Tax Card
  • Membership in the Chamber of Commerce
  • Commercial Registration
  • Registration in the Importers and Exporters Register
  • Registration with the Sales Tax Authority
  • Opening a checking account in a bank

Let’s first start with the tax card:

It is an important document according to the import and export laws in the UAE, issued by the Tax Authority to give the owner or owners of the project the authority to conduct commercial activity within the country.

You can extract them from the tax authority in the emirate in which you are located, provided that you submit these papers, which are:

  1. ID card and a copy thereof.
  2. The tenancy contract notarized in the real estate registry and a copy thereof.
  3. Apply for the card.

Second: Registration in the Chamber of Commerce

You can register the company in the Chamber of Commerce by submitting an application at the Chamber of Commerce accompanied by the following documents:

  • Tax card and two copies thereof
  • ID card and two copies thereof.
  • The tenancy contract documented in the real estate registry and two copies thereof

Third: Registration in the Commercial Register

This is done by visiting the Commercial Registry Department in the Emirate and requesting the issuance of a commercial registration accompanied by the following documents:

  • Tax card and two copies thereof
  • ID card and two copies thereof.
  • Chamber of Commerce Registration Certificate

Fourth: Compliance with the Importers and Exporters Register

To register in the importers and exporters register, you must visit the headquarters of the General Organization for Export and Import Control and submit an application accompanied by the following documents:

  • Tax card and two copies thereof
  • Commercial Registration and two copies thereof.
  • Birth certificate and two copies thereof.
  • Military service certificate “for men only”.
  • Fish and an analogy directed to the General Organization for Export and Import Control

Note The chip and analogy is: a document in which the criminal judgments appear on the convict, whether he has completed the penalty or not.

Fifth: Registration with the Sales Tax Authority

To obtain an import and export license in the UAE, you must visit the Sales Tax Authority in the emirate where the company is located, accompanied by the tax card and a copy of it.

Sixth: Opening a current account in a bank

Finally, you must open a current account in any bank in dollars, UAE dirhams or the currency in which you wish to import.

Documents required to open a bank account:

  • ID card.
  • Commercial Register.
  • Tax card.

At this stage, you have obtained an import and export license in the UAE and you can start importing legally.

Establishing an import company in the free zones in the UAE

In the event that you decide to establish an import company in the free zones in the UAE, such as those in Dubai or in Hamriya in Sharjah, the procedures according to the import and export laws in the UAE are:

  1. Determine the type of activity (commercial – import).
  2. Know the capital requirements.
  3. Determining the legal entity of the company in one of two types: a free zone limited liability company or a free zone establishment, and the difference between them is in the number of shareholders or the nature of the natural or legal shareholder.
  4. Choosing a company trade name
  5. Selection of offices and work facilities for those working on the project.
  6. Obtaining licensing procedures and work permits, preparing leasing agreements, issuing a commercial license and registering the project activity, then obtaining work permits and visas and starting it.

The UAE grants impressive privileges to most duty-free import and export companies, including:

  • Ease of obtaining approval for commercial licenses.
  • Facilitate obtaining the required papers as soon as possible.
  • Advanced infrastructure equipment in free zones.
  • Logistics support for new companies
  • The presence of warehouses suitable for import
  • The proximity of free zones to all UAE airports and ports, which facilitates the import process and reduces costs.

The most important papers and documents required to import to the UAE

When importing from countries of the world to the United Arab Emirates, or the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the required documents and documents are summarized as follows:

• Air waybill in case of air import, and air waybill is a document that enables the receipt of goods shipped by air, allows them to be traced, and is non-negotiable.

• Bill of lading in the event of import by land or sea: It is a document issued by the transport or shipping company when it accepts the carriage of a customer’s goods to a specific destination for a transportation fee indicated therein, and acts as evidence of a contract of carriage between the shipper and the shipping line to carry out the carriage of goods under the terms and conditions agreed between you as an importer and them

 Commercial invoice: It is a legal document issued by the supplier to the importer in an international transaction considered as a contract and proof of sale between the buyer and the seller, in which a description of the goods appears with the purchase price.

• Certificate of origin: an official document issued by the supplier proving the nationality of the goods and the country of manufacture.

 Packinglist: It is a list that constitutes a detailed summary of the goods shipped, the quantity, description, nature and weight of the goods without mentioning their price.

• Permission to importair or sea.

• Permits where applicable such as a permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment when importing cats and dogs into the UAE.

Copy of documents

Information to know before importing

1. Check which goods are prohibited to be imported

Before you plan to import a specific product, check the laws and regulations that determine which goods are allowed to be imported, as the UAE follows a strict policy with the import of prohibited and prohibited items.

2. Check the goods whose import requires certain conditions, procedures and approvals

There is a group of goods that are prohibited to be imported unless there are certain permits and conditions, and when you want to import them to the UAE, you must prepare and prepare by preparing these permits in advance, including medicines and agricultural products.

3. Contact a trusted customs broker for more information

To help you know the laws, customs duties imposed and trade agreements between the UAE and countries, it will also ensure that you prepare and prepare the necessary documents for customs clearance before the arrival of the shipment.

4. Study the market and do not gamble

To know the size of the demand for the product by analyzing the marketing and studying the relationship between supply and demand for similar products in your area, choose a winning product, the details of its import, and the expected profit.

5. Find a reliable supplier that has already been supplied to the UAE

It is important to deal with a reliable supplier, ask about the supplier’s reputation, past dealings, deals and supply of this product to the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates has joined many trade agreements, regionally and internationally, and negotiations are underway with the aim of developing the level of trade and economic cooperation, and it is known to everyone that the UAE today is one of the most developed countries and plans to expand and grow more in the future, so if you are thinking of importing to the UAE, do not hesitate, all you have to do is prepare and your arrival at the end of this article means that you have made your first step.

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