Customs duties

Normal rates and notification requirements

Where are normal customs duty rates for your jurisdiction listed? Is there an exemption for low-value shipments, if so, at what level? Is there a binding tariff information system or similar in place? Are there prior notification requirements for imports?

Generally, most customs duty is calculated on cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value at a flat rate of 5 per cent, with the exception of alcohol products (50 per cent duty) and tobacco products (100 per cent duty). CIF value is normally calculated by reference to the commercial invoices associated with the related shipment; however, the customs authorities of each individual Emirate are not required to accept the figures if the goods have been undervalued, and may set an estimated value on the goods.

There are various exemptions to customs duty, such as essential items (including staple foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals) as well as items that are for personal use purposes.

Further information can be obtained from the UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA) website:

Special rates and preferential treatment

Where are special tariff rates, such as under free trade agreements or preferential tariffs, and countries that are given preference listed?

The UAE has a standard tariff rate of 5 per cent, with some specific exceptions.

How can GSP treatment for a product be obtained or removed?

Not applicable.

Is there a duty suspension regime in place? How can duty suspension be obtained?



Where can customs decisions be challenged in your jurisdiction? What are the procedures?

Article 61 of the Common Customs Law for the GCC States (Common Customs Law) sets out the procedure for settling disputes related to customs decisions. A valuation committee composed of customs administration officials seeks to settle disputes arising between customs and persons concerned with regard to the value of imported goods. The committee may seek the assistance of experts at its discretion. However, an importer may also seek to appeal customs decisions to the UAE court with competent jurisdiction.