How to import products into the UAE

Expand your business boundaries by importing goods into the richest country in the
Persian Gulf
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The strategic location and high level of income of the population make the Emirates one of the most promising destinations for the import of goods. The country imports 90% of the products it consumes. SORP specialists know how to address all local peculiarities, correctly build a scheme for importing goods into the region and find your customers.

Main UAE import categories

Food and
beverages
Require mandatory registration with Dubai Municipality Food Control and ESMA certification.
Construction
materials
Require completing Dubai Municipality testing and Civil Defense inspection before being sold in the UAE market.
Electrical
devices
Mandatory RoHS certification is required for import and distribution in the UAE market. Certificate is issued by ESMA.
Precious metals and
jewelry
These all require registration of the goods, as well as passing an examination by the Golden Office at the FTZ DMCC for imports into the UAE.
Consumer
products
Permits from a number of government departments are required for import or sale of children’s goods, haberdashery and household chemicals.
Chemical
products
Importing this type of goods requires obtaining an MSDS certificate issued by ESMA, as well as registration with Civil Defense.
Certain import categories require not only obtaining a license and the UAE import code, but also approvals, import permits and certification when being brought into the country. ESMA - Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology - is responsible for issuing conformity certificates , and specialized departments register the company/importer and the goods when issuing an import permit.
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Agencies that control import of goods into the UAE

Dubai Customs

Regulates Customs Clearance procedures, prepares bills of lading, customs declarations, controls the entire import process into the country.

Emirates Authority for Standartization

Carries out certification of controlled goods: meat-containing products, tobacco products, water, cosmetics and perfumery.

Civil Aviation

Issues permits for the import of aviation industry goods, including spare parts, and accredits the importing company.

Ministry of Health

Issues permission for the import of any medicines, such as pharmaceuticals and medical equipment as well as inspecting warehouses.

Telecommunications Authority (TRA)

Regulates the import of any telecommunications equipment. This authority conducts testing for compliance with standards for importing permit.

Dubai Municipality

Carries out registration and issues import permits for food, drinks, cosmetics, perfumery, and also accredits the importing company

Ministry of Climate Change

Regulates the import and distribution of agricultural goods, as well as the transportation of live animals and plants.

Civil Defence

Carries out control of import, storage and transportation of goods in the Hazardous Materials category, and also building materials.
Take advantage of the state’s policy of supporting businesses and the absence of major corporate and personal income taxes. Foreign investors can create a highly profitable business related to the import of goods into the Emirates. The UAE is a jurisdiction with an unprecedented level of economic stability and high consumer purchasing power. It is the largest showroom for dozens of countries, thanks in part to the unified tax, duty and customs space of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

About our event

Preferential taxes
Low VAT rate of 5% on goods sold in the domestic market with no other taxes imposed, allows you to maximize profits from trade in the United Arab Emirates.
Buying activity
An affluent and high-earning population, along with affordable lending programs, encourage steady growth in demand for consumer products in the UAE market.
Financial security
The country's economic stability, state protection for investments, reliability of the UAE banking system and market, all guarantee minimum risk for trading.
State guarantees
Investment protection and opportunities for fair competition create a level playing field for trade in the UAE for both local entrepreneurs and foreign business people.
Developed infrastructure
The UAE boasts the latest technologies and logistics systems and that ensures fast transportation, acceptance and shipment of goods, as well as their proper storage.
Geographical location
As an International Trade Hub and established logistics center, the UAE offers the ideal location at the intersection of Europe, Africa and Asia and is the gateway to the Arab world.
SORP specialists will help you develop a concept for organizing the import of goods into the UAE based on your interests, on market research, and on competitive analysis. We will assist in incorporating a company and licensing it, obtaining the necessary certificates, approvals and permits. SORP Group provides ongoing consulting support at all stages of launching and operating the business in the United Arab Emirates.

SORP Group expert solutions for certification of your products in the UAE

Business model
selection

We will identify a suitable business license, then select the best legal entity type for your activities.

Business
incorporation

Fast incorporation through our close collaboration with the state licensing authorities.

Outsourcing of core
business processes

Administrative, tax, accounting, legal and PRO support by SORP Group experts 24/7.

Dubai
business address

Rent space in our SORP business center for office accommodation and fast licensing procedures.

Opening bank
accounts

We steer you through passing the KYC procedures using our close cooperation with banks

Local partner or agent
for LLC incorporation

Nominee service from SORP Investment LLC protected by waiver of rights in the court.
Any import of goods into the UAE for the purpose of selling in the local market requires a local (Mainland) trade license. In this case, local company incorporation requires a nominee local partner with a 51% share, but who will be granted only minimal rights. You can also incorporate your business in one of the UAE’s FTZs but, should you need to sell goods in the local market, you will need to partner with a distributor.
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How to import goods into the UAE

The process of importing goods into the United Arab Emirates has its own characteristics and, in the absence of professional support, can take a lot of time and effort to organize. SORP Group will explain the details and help you through all the stages of setting up an import operation quickly and with minimum bureaucracy.
Company incorporation
Incorporation of a legal entity, obtaining an import code.
Registration
Registration in the Tax Refund system and with the Federal Tax Authority.
Formation of documentation
Assembly of the documents required for submission to state departments.
Payment of fees
Payment of customs and port fees and filling out customs declarations.
Permission to import controlled goods
A company registered as importers of some items needs permission to import.
Obtaining import permits
Registering the company with the authorities to obtain an import permit.
Delivery of goods to the port / airport
Customs clearance with the help of a customs broker.
Additional inspection
Some items are subject to inspection and laboratory tests upon arrival.
Delivery to the warehouse
Release of goods from the port and delivery to the importer's warehouse.
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The UAE is an ideal platform for the import and sale of your products

Import dependency
The country is 90% dependent on imports, totaling $ 15.9 billion in June 2020 alone. Cumulative imports to the UAE were $ 288 billion in 2019. In value terms, the increase in the supply of goods to the UAE was 17.8%: imports of goods increased by $ 43 billion.
World recognition
The World Bank ranked the UAE as the16th easiest country to do business in, and 5th for arranging international trade. In the ranking of global consistency, the Emirates are ranked 9th and 10th in the logistics and infrastructure development index of all countries of the world.
International Trade Hub
The country has a wide foreign trade network covering more than 220 countries. In addition to the Customs Union with the 5 other GCC countries, the UAE is included in the GAFTA list of 18 countries according to the Agadir Agreement. This permits customs-free and duty-free trade across the entire zone.
Modern logistics solutions
The UAE has the best transport infrastructure in the Middle East and ranks 11th in the world in terms of logistics efficiency. An innovative project has started in Dubai, building a framework that will include a network to support unmanned cargo transportation with ground infrastructure, drone ports, loading bays and service stations.
Promising local market
The volume of retail trade in the UAE in 2020 amounted to $ 58 billion. Steady market expansion is assured because of a constantly growing consumer base due to the migratory population that is always increasing and the millions of tourists who visit every year. Dubai is one of the ten most attractive cities in the world and about $ 40 billion was spent there in 2020 by 16.73 million tourists from 233 countries. Experts agree that the UAE will continue to increase trade volumes and the numbers will at least double by 2022 despite the global crisis.

SORP is your reliable partner for doing business in the UAE

Comprehensive services

SORP offers comprehensive support for acquired companies and their shareholders: from licensing, maintaining Bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country

Individual approach

Your requirements are unique. That is why we treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities.

15 years of successful work

We have helped thousands of clients acquire, build and develop businesses in the UAE

Banking support

Assistance in choosing a bank that is suitable for your purposes, support with bank accounts opening and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

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