Moving to Bahrain

Country Guide: Bahrain

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Bahrain FlagDocuments Required

  • Passport copy
  • Original or express release Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB) copy
  • Packing list
  • Authorization Letter from shipper to port authorities
  • Declaration
  • Residence Permit (non-Citizen)
  • Duty Exemption Certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Diplomat)
  • Copy of diplomatic passport or ID (Diplomat)

Specific Information

  • All used Household Goods (HHGs) may be imported duty free but are subject to the owner of the goods having a residence permit. In the absence of a two year residence permit, the shipment may be cleared with a guarantee letter from a company sponsor stating that the residence permit if being processed.
  • Items contained in the shipment must be for personal use and cannot be used for commercial purposes.
  • All shipments are subject to inspection.
  • New items have a 5% duty.
  • Consignee’s presence is required on all sea and overland shipments.
  • Diplomatic shipments may be imported duty free and are not subject to physical examination. They may, however, be scanned by Bahraini Customs Authorities.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original or express release Bill of Lading (OBL)
  • Commercial Invoice for new vehicle
  • Proof of insurance
  • Certificate of Ownership or Export Certificate from country of origin
  • Car Condition Report
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Diplomat)
  • Residence Permit for at least 18 months (Non-citizens)

Specific Information

  • Valid insurance is required.
  • The shipper must arrange to obtain the Central Population Registration (CPR) card through the employer’s Human Resources department; once the CPR is obtained, the shipper may obtain a temporary license plate.
  • Customs duties are approximately 5%.
  • Vehicles should not be shipped with a full gasoline tank.
  • The shipper should obtain vehicle insurance directly from an insurance company.
  • An ocean freight shipment can be cleared without a Residence Permit with a deposit payable at clearance; the deposit amount will be refunded upon the Residence Permit is stamped, which takes approximately 2 weeks (non-citizens).
  • Left hand drive vehicles only
  • Consignee must be present for customs inspection.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate
  • Import Permit
  • Copy of Airway Bill

Specific Information

  • Pets may only be transported as cargo; however, assistive animals may be able to travel in the aircraft cabin.
  • The Import Permit must be obtained prior to travel from the Veterinary Quarantine Department in Bahrain.
  • The Veterinary Health Certificate must state that the animal is free from disease and is fully vaccinated.
  • Import license to be obtained prior to booking pets.
  • After the pet has been cleared through customs, all pets are quantined for one month (consignee must provide feeding arrangements).

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Firearms o An Import Permit and permission from the Ministry of the Interior and Civil Aviation Affairs of Bahrain is required
  • Videotapes are subject to inspection by Ministry officials. They will be released approximately 2-3 weeks after inspection. (non-citizens)
  • CDs, DVDs, VCDs, books (only large quantities)
  • Pianos / musical instruments / personal computers are subject to inspection by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications prior to shipment arrival. Regardless if they are new or old, duty of 5% applies. (non-citizens)
  • Foodstuffs
  • Wines, Spirits and alcohol are subject to duty at customs discretion (diplomats)
  • Medicines are subject to prescription by a doctor (in English or Arabic) (Diplomats)
  • Alcoholic Beverages

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics and Drugs
  • Flammable Items
  • Ivory
  • Pornographic materials (DVDs and magazines are subject to inspection by the Ministry of Interior)
  • Swords
  • Knives, daggers (ornamental, etc.)
  • Wireless equipment
  • Satellite, receivers, cordless telephones, walkie talkies
  • Guns, arrows, darts
  • Military Clothes
  • Gambling Games

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

Helpful Website(s):