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Starting an Import Export Business in Dubai – All you need to know

Trading is one of the major business sectors in Dubai. Import & Export to and from the international markets is significantly supporting UAE’s economic growth and acts as a constant growth driver for the UAE’s business landscape. Import Export business in Dubai is the most sought-after business category for investors facilitating global trade.

Foodstuffs, precious metals, machinery, and equipment trading occupy the largest share of imports into the UAE.

Import Export Business in Dubai – Key Highlights

Import Export business license in Dubai is an essential business document for conducting any sort of local or global trade in the region. UAE is one of the most preferred locations for foreign entrepreneurs who are looking for import-export business expansion. It is due to the extensive business infrastructure and logistics support.

Import Export Company in Dubai is in demand due to growing business opportunities and demand from the local UAE population and the Asia & African Markets for a large number of trading goods, food produce, automobile parts, and more.

There are specific customs regulations for trading companies in UAE. These regulations are in place to streamline the import-export process in the UAE and fast-track trading activities.

Import Export Company License in Dubai

Dubai offers exceptional logistics and infrastructure support for import-export companies. Import Export Company License in Dubai is a lucrative business idea and has solid business opportunities for the company to grow.

Dubai has well-built and robust transportation, storage, and distribution network in place to support the import-export companies in the UAE. The most important trade partners of the UAE for imports are Japan, India, Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea. For exports, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France & Italy are the top trading partners.

For obtaining an Import Export Company License in Dubai the investor has to choose a Free Trade Zone or Mainland jurisdiction.

How to open an Import Export Business in Dubai?

Foreign entrepreneurs to open an Import Export Business in Dubai must apply for the required business activity in the Department of Economic Development or with the respective Free Zone in Dubai.

Investors can obtain a Business License from the Dubai Economy or the Free Trade Zone and facilitate global or local trade. The business owner must apply for an import-export code with Dubai Customs to conduct the trade operations.

Registering with the Dubai Customs for Import Export Code

The import-export code enables the trading company to bring goods from outside of UAE, re-export or export locally made goods to other countries, etc. All import and export businesses in the UAE have to get customs registration before they initiate any trading activity.

Import Export business license in Dubai

Import Export Company License in Dubai allows the investors to conduct global trade. However, all the imported goods to the UAE have to pass through the customs check at the airports/seaports and pass the clearance from Customs. For all the Import/Export to and from the Free Zone, there is no Customs Duty. As per Company law, Free Zones are out of the Customs scope in the UAE. The Import/Export companies in the Freezones are subject to some strict guidelines specified by the Freezone authorities and the UAE Customs.

Once the trade license and company documents are ready, register with Dubai Customs for receiving the import/export code. After the registration, the Import-Export business will get an import/export code from the UAE Customs Department.

How to get Import Export Code in Dubai?

The entrepreneur having a trading company in UAE can apply for the import-export code in UAE. For companies operating in Dubai, the import-export HS Code can be applied to the Dubai Customs Department. It is an essential document for the release of goods from the Port to the Dubai Mainland.

Further, the goods will be consumed either in Dubai Mainland, Free Zones, or Re-Exports outside of UAE. The Trading Company must follow certain steps to obtain the Import Export Code from Dubai Customs. The Process of obtaining the Dubai Customs Code is a straightforward process. The investor must submit an online application to Dubai Customs. There is a fee payment for obtaining the Customs Code from the authority.

  • Firstly, the company must apply for an import-export business license from any UAE Free Zones / Mainland.
  • Register the company with the Customs Department of Dubai.
  • Get an Import-Export code to initiate the import/export business.

The Customs Code must be renewed yearly and it depends on the validity of your trade license. It is best that the investor seeks assistance from expert Business Consultants such as AURION to obtain the Customs Code in the UAE.

To apply for the Customs Code there are few documents required by the Customs Authority. The investor must submit a copy of the current Trade License, a passport copy, a residency visa, and an undertaking letter if the trade license is professional type.

So, obtaining an Import-Export Code for Traders in the UAE is a direct approach. It is ideal to take the assistance of expert Business Consultants to apply for the Import-Export Code. They will coordinate the whole process of applying to the Dubai Customs Department and obtain the Import Export Code without any hassle. 

Documents Required – Importing Goods to Dubai

For an Import Export Business in Dubai to import goods to Dubai require the following documents:

  • Declaration form for import of goods
  • Specific Permit in case of importing certain restricted goods
  • Delivery order with the details of the shipment
  • Invoice accompanying the merchandise details.
  • Detailed Packing list
  • Certificate of origin for the Shipment
  • Trade license of the Importer
  • DFSA ( Dubai Financial Services Authority) declaration issued by Dubai Customs Services

Import and Export in Free Zones of Dubai

The Freezones are within the territory of UAE geographically but are considered outside the scope of UAE Customs territory. Hence, import-export business in Dubai registered in the Free Zones has a different requirement for customs clearance.

Import & Export Business Between Free Zone Company and a Local UAE Company

  • The importer should have an importer code and goods should be the same as that is mentioned in the trade license of the company
  • Goods should reach the destination within 72 hours of the customs declaration
  • Goods have to be checked by the Customs before entering the Free Trade Zone
  • The Customs-Clearance Letter has to be submitted to the concerned Freezone Authorities to store the goods in the Freezone warehouses for trading in the UAE market.
  • To trade in the local UAE market the Free Zone company must appoint a local distributor or open a branch of the Freezone company on the mainland, or export the goods to a mainland company by complying with the UAE Customs regulations.

For import/Export business between Freezone and a foreign company, the Freezones are exempted from customs duties while shipping your goods to the UAE.

Dubai is one of the easiest places to start a trading company as it is a hassle-free process.

Especially, with the help of expert business consultants like Aurion Business Consultants, the whole process of opening an Import/Export company will be made a reality at the fastest possible time.

To know more about Starting an Import Export Business in UAE, talk to our experts!

Contact: Aurion Business Consultants

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