Moving to United Arab Emirates

Country Guide: United Arab Emirates

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Residence Visa on passport
  • Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air / Waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed Packing list
  • Letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs for any exemption (Diplomats)
  • Copy of Diplomatic Card or passport (Diplomats)

Specific Information

  • Import shipments may be intensively inspected by Customs authorities.
  • The importation of household goods and personal effects into the UAE is exempted from Customs duties.
  • If any prohibited items are found during the Customs inspection, severe punishment will be imposed including fines, imprisonment or both.
  • Import of all new goods etc. is subject to the payment of Customs duties at 5% of CIF value
  • All import duties are charged based on the costs, insurance and freight (CIF) value of the shipment.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of UAE residence Visa
  • Copy of Diplomatic Card (Diplomats)
  • Original Certificate of Origin
  • BL / AWB
  • Vehicle Certificate of Title (must include detailed description, including engine number, year of production, colour, etc.)
  • Commercial Invoice / Original Purchase Invoice
  • Proof of ownership

Specific Information

  • Consignee can be call for Customs inspection if required by UAE customs
  • Vehicles with tinted glass restricted for import.
  • Used cars are subject to Customs duty at 5% of CIF value


Documents Required

  • Copy of Owner Passport
  • Copy of Residence visa
  • Copy of Diplomatic Card (Diplomats)
  • AWB
  • Import Permits
  • Veterinary details
  • Medical Records

Specific Information

  • Consignee must be present for Customs inspection.
  • Vehicles with tinted glass restricted for import.
  • Used cars are subject to Customs duty and tax.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • The following items may qualify for free import if within the limits indicated:
    • Cigarettes (400), cigars (50), tobacco (500)
    • Spirits, wine and beer (24 cans per carton and no more than 355 ml per can)

Prohibited Items

  • Weapons of all kinds
  • Military uniforms
  • Alcohol
  • Narcotics of all kinds, including poppy seeds, flowers and leaves
  • Banned substances, including drugs and medicines without prescription
  • Radio transmitters, wireless transmitters and communication equipment
  • Statues and figures of animals with religious undertones
  • Nude carvings and statues of humans
  • Pornographic materials
  • Controversial political literature and materials contrary to Islamic principles
  • Toxic and radioactive materials
  • Items manufacture by Israeli black-list and of Israeli origin
  • Food items containing port
  • Articles made from endangered animals or made of ivory

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.

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