The United Arab Emirates is a prime destination for companies looking to expand their presence in the Middle East region.
Importing products into the country can be a complex process, especially regarding the regulations and compliance requirements.
It is important to know that in the UAE it is mandatory to obtain a customs code as an importer and/or exporter of goods if you are trading in Dubai.
This is why many entrepreneurs choose to hire freight forwarders to help them navigate these challenges.
On this page, we explain the importance of the customs code in the UAE and how it can help businesses succeed in this competitive market.
1/ What is an importer or exporter customs code?
An importer or exporter customs code, also known as an importer/exporter identification code, is a unique number assigned by the Dubai customs authorities to a company or individual importing or exporting goods into or from Dubai. This code is used to identify the company or individual in all customs transactions and is mandatory for any importer or exporter operating in Dubai. The importer/exporter customs code is usually assigned after the company has registered with the customs authorities and can be used to track the movement of goods across borders.
Companies or individuals who do not have a customs code are not allowed to import or export goods into Dubai. Therefore, it is essential for companies wishing to trade with the UAE to ensure that they have their customs code in order and up to date.
2/ Is it mandatory to have a customs code to conduct business in the UAE?
Yes, a customs code is required to do business in the UAE. Any company or individual wishing to import or export goods into or from the UAE must register with the customs authorities and obtain an importer/exporter customs code.
The customs code also allows the customs authorities to track the movement of goods across borders, collect appropriate taxes and duties, and ensure that imported goods meet safety and quality standards.
Please note that it is also mandatory to have a business license registered with the relevant UAE authorities to obtain a customs code.
In summary, the customs code is a key element for any importer or exporter operating in the UAE, as it ensures regulatory compliance and facilitates trade with the customs authorities.
3/ Can I be exempted from obtaining a customs code?
If a company uses a distributor to import or export goods to or from the UAE, it will not need to obtain its own importer/exporter customs code. This is because the distributor acts as a registered importer or exporter and has its own customs code, which is used to identify the company in all customs transactions.
However, it is important for the company to verify that the distributor is registered with the customs authorities and complies with all applicable import and export regulations. Using a distributor can be beneficial for companies that want to reduce costs and simplify customs procedures, but it can also lead to a loss of control over the movement of goods and regulatory compliance issues if not properly managed.
4/ Guide for obtaining the customs code in Dubai
The customs code is a commodity classification system used by customs to identify imported and exported goods in international trade. If you wish to obtain a customs code in Dubai, here are the steps to follow:
– Obtain a trade license : Before you can apply for a customs code, you must have a valid trade license registered with the relevant authorities in the UAE. This license is essential for all companies wishing to do business in Dubai;
– Determine the nature of your products : To obtain a customs code, you need to know the nature of your products and their classification in the World Customs Organization (WCO) harmonized system. There are over 5,000 different codes for goods, so it is important to identify your product before proceeding;
– Prepare the required documents : To obtain your customs code, you must provide certain documents such as a copy of your business license, the passport of the owner of the company, proof of address and a list of the products you plan to import or export;
– Complete the application form : You must complete the application form for the importer/exporter customs code;
– Submit your application : Once you have completed the form and gathered the required documents, you must submit your application and pay the fee.
Once your application is approved, you will be able to pay the application fee. Once payment is made, the information will be sent to the email address you registered.
In summary, to obtain a customs code in Dubai, you need to identify the nature of your products, consult the Harmonized System database, contact Dubai Customs, fill in the necessary forms, submit your application and wait for confirmation.
If you are planning to start your business in Dubai and obtain a customs code, do not hesitate to come and meet us in our offices in JLT for advice and assistance from a team of experts or send us an email at the following address firstname.lastname@example.org.