Understanding customs requirements in different Emirates within the UAE

When relocating within the United Arab Emirates, knowing the local custom requirements is a responsibility that an expat should make a priority. Getting a heads up on what (and what not) to bring into the Emirates will save you a lot of time during the packing of your possessions.

When bringing in personal belongings to UAE, anyone moving to the Emirates does not have to pay duty taxes. These include clothing, toiletries, mobile phones, laptops, portable music equipment, strollers and prams, sports equipment, wheelchairs and gifts not exceeding 3000 Emirati Dirhams (USD$820). You can also bring in a maximum of 4 litres of alcoholic beverage or 48 cans of beer with no more than 335ml each, providing you are at least 21 years old (the minimum is 18 years old if travelling to Abu Dhabi). You can also bring in a maximum of 400 cigarettes / 50 cigars / 500 grams of tobacco. There is no limit on how much cash you can carry. However, carrying AED 100,000 (USD$27,000) will have to be declared to customs at the airport. The same applies for precious metals, luxury jewellery, or traveller’s cheques.

Travelling with Medication

If you are on medication or are travelling with medicines of any kind, be sure to declare these for inspection. Other items, such as digital storing devices, books, radios, plants, soil, films, CDs or DVDs, gifts above AED 3000, and pets should also be declared. Items that are of commercial quantities are subject to duty taxes. If you’re moving to the UAE it pays to be aware of any items that have been restricted by the Federal Customs Authority.

Household Furniture

If you’re planning to take your furniture with you, you must know that used household goods can be imported duty-free. If you are importing your car, each Emirate will have different rules but generally, you need to secure your passport, UAE resident visa, a passport-sized photo, your vehicle’s original purchase invoice, original certificate of origin and valid vehicle insurance. Fees will definitely apply when importing your car.

Prohibited Items

The UAE prohibits the importation of recreational drugs, such as narcotics, hashish, cannabis, cocaine, or any other drugs with similar effects. You can’t bring in anything counterfeit and anything from books and publications to paintings and sculptures that contradicts the teachings of Islam and implies immorality and indecency is not allowed. Other items include weapons, gambling machines, ozone depleting and radioactive materials, hazardous wastes, red laser pointers, falcons and candy cigarettes. It is also prohibited to bring sheets and pipes made of asbestos, elephant ivory, rhino horns, and three-layered fishing nets.

Failure or refraining to declare restricted goods could give you a violation subject to legal action. It could go from paying a specific fine to imprisonment from 1 month to a year while, bringing in prohibited goods could land you in jail from 6 months to 3 years including payment of a fine.

Engage an Expert

One of the best ways to import (or export) your personal belongings to the UAE is finding a mover that could do these things for you. If you hire a professional mover such as Allied they will  already know many of the customs requirements for the country you plan to move to. Experts in international relocations from and to the UAE, Allied can help alleviate much of the stress by sharing important knowledge about customs requirements. Stick with the best and stay out of trouble when you move.



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