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Import Code Dubai: Get Your Dubai Customs Code Within a Day

Oct 26, 2022 | Business Software and Tools

Dubai is one of the modern-day global business hubs, where foreign investors and businesses are welcomed with open arms. This city-state in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has much to offer regarding business opportunities. However, as with any other country, there are certain regulations that businesses need to follow to operate in Dubai. So why do you need an Import Code Dubai?

One of the requirements for businesses in Dubai is to have an Import Code Dubai, also known as a Dubai customs code. This article will explain what an Import Code Dubai is, why you need one, and the steps you must follow to get your Import Code Dubai.

What Is an Import Code Dubai?

An import code in Dubai is a code that is required for businesses that want to import goods into Dubai. Dubai Customs approves the code upon receiving and evaluating applications from interested businesses. This Dubai customs code allows businesses to clear their imported goods through customs legally with ease.

Investors and businesses worldwide consider the UAE as one of the global business hubs due to transparent and easy taxation policies, excellent infrastructure and the great strategic location of the country. In addition, the government of the UAE regularly undertakes measures to support business operations through the UAE’s free zones.

A graph showing the import code Dubai.

However, while you take advantage of the country’s business-friendly policies you must also ensure you are adhering to all the regulatory requirements. A valid import code in Dubai is one of them.

Who Can Apply for an Import Code?

A valid trade licence is the most basic prerequisite for applying for and getting an Import Code in Dubai. You will need one of the following trade licences to be eligible for a customs code application:

In special circumstances, you may apply for an Import Code Dubai using a governmental notification.

If you don’t have a trade licence yet, apply for one before applying for an import code. Then, you can have your trade licence shortly after by providing relevant documents and paying fees to the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department (DED) website.

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Why Do You Need a Dubai Customs Code?

Dubai Customs strictly complies with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Customs Tariff Codes and policies. The customs authority in Dubai and the UAE want to ensure that businesses always comply with the import regulations and avoid importing any prohibited products.

A Dubai customs code is like an import licence specific to your business. The authority uses the Import Code in Dubai to track your business’s imports, monitor your compliance with customs regulations, and ensure that you pay the right amount of import duties.

Benefits of Having an Import Code Dubai

A valid Import Code in Dubai includes benefits for both businesses and the customs authorities. Let’s quickly look at the key benefits:

  1. Legal requirement fulfilment: The government of UAE is always welcoming toward businesses and foreign investors. That said, they are strict in enforcing the laws. Having your import code Dubai is a legal requirement. So you should always comply with it as a good business practice.
  2. Reduced risk of customs penalties: To avoid costly customs penalties, you need to have a valid Import Code Dubai. This code is your proof that you’re importing goods into Dubai legally.
  3. Efficient customs clearance: Customs clearance can be a time-consuming and complicated process. But if you have a valid import code Dubai, the customs authority will clear your goods for import quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, you may have to go through the customs approval process for each of your imports separately and spend extra time and resources.
  4. Improved supply chain management: A Dubai customs code can help you better manage your supply chain. This is because the code allows you to track your imported goods through customs.
  5. Access to Dubai’s Free Zones: Free zones are special economic zones in Dubai that offer businesses several benefits, such as 100% foreign ownership, 0% corporate and personal taxes, and no restrictions on profit transfer outside the UAE. You’ll need an import code Dubai to set up your business in a free zone and avail the advantages.

Now that you can see the benefits of having a valid Dubai customs code, let’s find out how to obtain one once you open a new import-export business in Dubai.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Obtain Your Import Code

You can apply for an Import Code Dubai to Dubai customs using the eService or electronic service portal and obtain it within one business day if all documents are valid. Here’s a step-by-step process to obtain your Dubai customs code. Note that the process is also similar for Dubai customs code renewal, which we will discuss.

A screenshot showing how to get your import code Dubai.

Step 1: Required Document to Apply for an Import Code Dubai

Before you apply for your customs code, ensure you gather all the required documents because providing all the necessary documents in one go will help you avoid any procedural delays.

To apply for a new import code Dubai for your business that has not been registered on the Dubai customs portal already, you will need to submit the following documents:

  1. A valid copy of your trade licence or a commercial licence, which you can obtain from the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department (DED)
  2. Copy of your valid passport. If your business has multiple partners, you will also need to provide their passports.
  3. Emirates Post Licence (if you want the authority to send you documents by courier service)

When applying for a Dubai customs code renewal, you won’t have to submit passport copies. You will, however, need valid copies of your trade licence and the Emirates Post Licence.

Step 2: Required Fees For Your Application

Here are the Dubai customs code application fees you will need to pay when applying:

  • New application: Total AED 120
    • Application fee: AED 100
    • Knowledge and innovation fees: AED 20
  • Dubai customs code renewal: AED 25

Step 3: Apply Online

You can access Dubai Customs’ online service portal from the Dubai Trade website. Navigate to the Service section of the website and click on New Business Registration from the Dubai Customs tab.

A screenshot of how to apply for a business registration.

Here, you will find all the basic requirements and cost information to apply for your import Code Dubai.

Once you get your unique custom code, it remains valid for 60 days. So, you must renew it within the validity period to keep it operational.

A screenshot of the registration form for import code Dubai.

To register your business with the Dubai Customs portal, provide the following information:

  • Business details
    • Business name in English and Arabic (optional)
    • Indicate registration category – As your business is probably based in Dubai, select “Dubai-based company” from the drop-down menu
    • No. of employee (select a range)
  • Licence details
    • Licence number and type
    • Indicate issuing authority
    • Issue date and validity period
  • Business contact details
    • Phone and fax numbers (mandatory fields)
    • Emails
    • Business website and No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the individual to apply for customs code on the company’s behalf

Upon providing all the required information, you can save your application as a draft to continue later or proceed to the next step. The system will then ask you to upload the relevant documents. Once you finish uploading, click “Next” to go to the payment page and submit your application.

Step 4: Track Your Application

After you submit your application, you will likely receive approval within one business day if all documents are valid. Later, you can use the same portal to renew or amend applications.

You can also submit any queries regarding your application or the application process. The system will generate a Request ID for each of your queries, which you can use to track the request status at any time.

A screenshot of a tracking request form to track your import code Dubai.

What Are the Prohibited Items in Dubai?

The International Trade Administration of Dubai prohibits certain items from being imported to Dubai or exported from the country. Your import code Dubai will not cover these items. In addition to a valid Dubai customs code, you will need approval from specific regulatory bodies before you trade any of these items. Here are a few examples:

  • Agro products such as plants, live animals, and fertilisers: Requires additional permission from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
  • Pharmaceutical or medical products: Requires approval from the Ministry of Health & Prevention
  • Telecommunication and wireless communication equipment: Requires approval from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
  • Alcoholic beverages: Requires permission from Dubai Police
  • Processed food and personal hygiene products: Requires prior approval from Dubai Municipality. You may also need to submit a product sample and pay for a lab test to obtain approval for the food and personal hygiene items.

Import Code Dubai and Getting Professional Help

An import code Dubai is a regulatory requirement for your trading or commercial business operation to legally import any raw materials or finished goods in Dubai or UAE. Fortunately, the process of getting a Dubai customs code or completing the Dubai customs renewal is not difficult and time-consuming when you have all the documents ready for your export import business in Dubai.

Due to investor-friendly economic policies and strong infrastructure support, UAE can be an excellent location for your trading business. Confused where to start? Reach out to Virtuzone today for all the professional help you need to start your business in Dubai today.

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How can I obtain an Import Code in Dubai?

To obtain an Import Code in Dubai, you need to apply through the Dubai Customs eService portal. The process involves gathering necessary documents, such as a valid trade or commercial licence issued by the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department (DED), a copy of the passport for all business partners, and an Emirates Post Licence for document courier services. After preparing these documents, apply online via the Dubai Trade website by navigating to the Service section, clicking on New Business Registration under the Dubai Customs tab, and submitting your application along with the required documents. Approval typically takes one business day if all documents are valid.

Are there any fees associated with obtaining or renewing an Import Code in Dubai?

Yes, there are fees associated with obtaining and renewing an Import Code in Dubai. For new applications, the total fee is AED 120, which includes an application fee of AED 100 and knowledge and innovation fees of AED 20. The renewal fee for an Import Code is AED 25.

What documents are required to apply for or renew an Import Code in Dubai?

When applying for a new Import Code in Dubai, you will need to submit several key documents to ensure compliance with Dubai Customs regulations. These include:

  • A valid copy of your trade licence or a commercial licence, obtainable from the Dubai Economy & Tourism Department (DED).
  • A copy of the valid passport of the business owner(s) or partner(s).
  • An Emirates Post Licence, if you prefer to receive documents via courier service.

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