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Dubai Free Zones – Import and Export Procedures

Dubai has transformed itself into a logistics hub in the Middle East. It has easy access to the markets worldwide. Hence, Investors are preferring Dubai Free Zone for their trading, import, and export operations.

Also, the zero corporate taxation, zero customs duty, and 100% foreign ownership in the Free Zones are other attractions. The geographic position of the UAE allows companies to expand their trading activities globally. UAE has a number of shipping ports in Fujairah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Jebel Ali. This helps to connect UAE with the east and the western world.

Also, the international airports in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah are all capable of handling large amounts of cargo facility making the UAE the most sought-after trading location in the Middle East.

Dubai Free Zones and Import Export Business

Dubai Free Zones are the ideal place to start your trading business due to the ease of setting up a company and obtaining your trade license.

Free zones such as the Dubai Airport Freezone, Jebel Ali Freezone, and Sharjah Airport International Freezone have the following import export business support system:

  1. Customs Department offices
  2. Airport access for easy transfer of goods
  3. Warehousing facilities and business infrastructure support services

Thus a trading company registered in the Dubai Free Zones can easily scale up its business operations seamlessly. Also, fast-track the trading and shipping operations by utilizing the support services offered by the Free Zone.

The import and export from Dubai Free Zones into the UAE and other GCC Countries are regulated by a series of criteria for the company.

General Guidance for Free Zone Trading Companies

  • The importer must have a valid importer code from the customs
  • Goods must be in conformity with the activity of the licensed company
  • Goods must arrive in the free zone within 72 hours from the date of the customs declaration
  • Licensee shall not open, alter or dispense of the good easily customs check and clearance
  • Goods shall be inspected whilst entering the free zones or while transferring to the stores
  • There is a deposit of AED 500 for incomplete documentation (if not able to submit required documents)

Import into Free Zone

Freezone companies are allowed to import goods into a Freezone without the payment of customs duties. You can also store the goods for an unlimited period depending on the type and validity of the trade license.

Documents required

Submit the following documents to any customs centers of Dubai Customs at Jebel Ali, Port Rashid, Aweer Terminal, Airport Freezone, or Cargo Village.

  • Delivery order from shipping agent or airline agent addressed to a licensed company in the free zone
  • Delivery note by the free zone company confirming the acceptance of goods, (if the movement of goods is by land or from other Freezone areas)
  • Second copy of the bill of lading (for sea) and original airway bill (for air shipment) and road manifest (for land shipment)
  • Import permits from the competent agencies in the free zones for restricted goods
  • Sale invoice from the free zone licensee addressed to a licensed importer in the country detailing total quantity, goods description, currency, and the detailed total value
  • Certificate of origin approved by the chamber of commerce in the country of origin
  • Detailed packing list as per weight, method of packaging, etc.
  • Import goods declaration form

Finally, Customs Department in the free zone will issue a Free Zone Transit Inn or Free Zone Bill of Entry for entering goods into the free zone.

Import from Free Zone into UAE/GCC

The above documents can be submitted to the Customs department by the local or GCC importer or their clearing agents to receive the FZ Transit Out (Ex-FZ Import Bill).

The FZ transit out will enable the Freezone company to ship their goods from Freezone to the local market as well as to the GCC markets.

Export of Goods from Local Market through Free Zone (FZ Transit In)

The FZ Transit will enable Free Zone companies to buy goods from the UAE local market for export purposes. The company has to file a local export declaration form and file the free zone bill of entry (FZ transit in).

All trading companies in the free zone have to maintain a fully computerized, thoroughly auditable, and accountable inventory control system.

All the import-export transactions and bills have to be filed and accounts must be verified and maintained correctly. The inventories should be produced to customs on request for inventory reconciliation with customs records.

Exporting Goods from Dubai to the International Markets

Exports play an important role in the UAE’s international trade. The export procedures in Dubai are very straightforward.

The Exporter has to ensure all the required documents are submitted to the Customs Office much prior to the shipping dates. And Also, get all the approvals in place for the streamlined export process.

There are a few prerequisites for an export company to operate the business in Dubai. The major one is the export license issued by the Free Zones or the Dubai Economic Department if the company is on the Mainland.

Once the shipment contract is ready with your customer, the export company must follow the below procedures for successfully exporting goods to the international markets.

Procedure for Export

The exporter needs to submit the required documents at the customs office, pay the export declaration registration fees and collect the customs declaration certificate.

Following documents are required for exports

  • Instructions of the declaration of goods application or an approved export declaration certificate in the name of the licensed company.
  • The export permit from the customs for restricted goods
  • Sale invoice showing total quantity description and details of each item
  • Declaration of customs clearance

The trading business in the UAE is very lucrative. The opportunities and benefits from the trading business are immense.

The no Customs duty imports, logistics connectivity, ease of logistics operations, faster customs clearances, etc., makes UAE the most preferred trading hub in the world

To know more read: Starting an Import Export business in Dubai.

For more assistance on the import/export process in Dubai, talk to our experts right away!

Contact: Aurion Business Consultants

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