Dubai has been a hub of trade and commerce with import, export activities taking a significant portion. Import, export, and trading operations were carried out in the Emirate of Dubai prior to the establishment of the United Arab Emirates. The Emirate of Dubai holds a vital locational advantage in the Middle East at the crossroads of major economies in Asia and Europe, with exceptional sea connections in the Arabian Gulf of Dubai promoting import, export, and trade-related practices. The Emirate of Dubai has given particular priority to the growth and development of facilities for trading-related activities.
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Starting an Import/Export Business in Dubai
The import and export industry of Dubai is also referred to as international trade. Before we understand how to start an import and export business in Dubai, we need to recognize how useful it will be to start an import and export business in Dubai and what the formalities are involved in starting an import and export business in Dubai. The import and export industry in Dubai is basically focused on the fact that one group or country has a surplus of some product or service that is in demand by another group or country.
Dubai import entails bringing goods and products from around the globe into the UAE while adhering to legal terms of services and licensing of the country. Whereas, Dubai export is the process of selling abroad the goods, products, or services that are locally produced while sticking to the guidelines as stated by the government officials.
10 Steps to Start Import & Export Company in Dubai
- Identify a local partner and discuss the business terms
- Prepare Memorandum of Association (MOA)
- Obtain the preliminary approvals from government agencies
- Register your trade name
- Select the business structure for your Company (i.e., LLC or partnership)
- Apply for a trade license in Dubai
- Lease or rent Office space
- Get suitable warehousing facilities for rent or lease
- Acquire the import & export license
- Submit the documents to authorities
Advantages of Starting an Import & Export Company in Dubai
- Well-established business centers
- Duty-free exports
- Numerous free zones concentrating on specific industries
- Strategic location in the MENA region
- Affordable business setup costs
- Streamlined visa permits for international traders
- 100 percent foreign ownership allowed
- Faster customs processing
- Easier partnership requirements
- Facilitates visa for dependants
- Permit to set up a business with multiple shareholders
- A robust financial system with a myriad of banking and finance services
Popular Products Permissible in Import-Export Business in Dubai
The list of products allowed for import-export business in Dubai are as follows:
- Crude oil and its products, along with its refined counterparts, are widely exported commodities in the UAE.
- Gold, Diamond, and other types of precious jewel-encrusted encrusted jewelry.
- Cars, automobiles, and various kinds of transport equipment.
- Cameras, drones, microphones, and other kinds of broadcasting and media equipment.
The export license in Dubai is required if the owner of the business wants to trade goods and services produced locally in another country or between the free trade zones of the UAE. In order to work seamlessly, one must have an authorized license from the Ministry. It should also be noted that, if the goods are shipped to either of the UAE Free Trade Zones, they will not have to pay any customs duty. While the Free Trade Zone is an integral part of the UAE, it is not part of the UAE Customs Territory. To export the goods from Dubai, an entrepreneur needs to keep the following in mind:
- Submit the documents required at the Customs Office
- Declaration registration fee for export must be paid at the customs office
- Customs Declaration Certificate is issued by the office
Following are the documents required to get an Export License:
- The licensing agency must give the company an approved Export Declaration Certificate or the Instructions of the Declaration of Goods Application (IDG) as it is mandatory during customs point of entry at the airport.
- If commodity exported falls in the restricted list, the exporter should have a permit from the regulatory agencies.
- A Sales invoice providing the description of goods, quantity, and value of each item is required from the company. An invoice should be addressed to the company outside the UAE.
Temporary export is done when goods are transported to a certain location for an interim period and are returned post usage in the exact same condition.
In case of a temporary export, the following procedure is to be followed:
The documents which are required for a Temporary Export Business Transaction are:
- Goods clearing declaration from the authorities
- Commercial Invoice (original)
- Packing list with the HS codes
- An original export permit from the competent agencies in the event of exporting restricted goods
- A formal letter from the company requesting a temporary export
A valid import license will allow the business owner to get any commodity inside UAE from other countries. It also allows smooth movement from one of the free trade zones of the Emirates or into a free trade zone from a UAE mainland by fulfilling the country’s legal necessities in terms of licensing and documents as well as permissions. To import the goods from Dubai, an entrepreneur needs to keep the following points in mind;
- Firstly, post the arrival of the vessel, a Bill of Lading must be submitted, and all the dues must be paid off by the importer.
- The shipping agent will issue the delivery order 3-4 days prior to the arrival of the vessel, and the cargo clearance completion must happen within this period.
- The Import Declaration form needs to be submitted online, where the importer shall make all the relevant payments. Post this the business will be given a Customs Import Declaration Certificate.
- Before giving goods to the Cargo, Dubai Customs will check all the required documents and even the vessel in some instances.
- Post a go-ahead from the Customs Department, the importer can appoint a transport company to receive delivery of commodities
- However, in case of any extra inspection, the container will go to the inspection area of the competent authority, and only after getting a clearance from them can the vessel exit the premises.
Documents that are required to Import are mentioned below:
- Invoice mentioning the description of the total quantity of goods and the value of each item addressed to the importer.
- Certificate of Origin stating the origin of goods approved by the country of origins Chamber of Commerce.
- A detailed document mentioning the weight of each product in a container, packaging, and HS code for all the items.
- Import Permit from the competent agencies if importer in importing restricted goods or duty exempted goods.
Why Choose RIZ & MONA Consultancy
Starting a company in Dubai is a time-consuming and challenging job for foreigners to manage the legal environment without professional guidance. If you are interested in starting an import & export business in Dubai, please contact us, our experts will guide you professionally right from finding the right partner, planning MOA, securing approvals, and registering your company. We also offer a post-incorporation facility by helping you locate rented office spaces and leased warehouses in Dubai.