Bahrain - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2021-09-28

Customs Procedures

Importers or their local agents must complete a customs bill of entry before importing goods to Bahrain.  Importers should strongly consider using a registered, licensed clearing agent to ensure import procedures are completed expeditiously. 

The importer is required to submit the customs declaration in addition to the following documents for the importation of goods:

  • Import customs declaration form
  • Shipping agent delivery order from shipping agent line to importer/consignee (with valid commercial registration)
  • Three copies of the original invoices from the exporter addressed to the importer
  • Two copies of the packing list with detailed weights, packaging, and goods classification for each individual item within the shipment
  • An original certificate of origin from relevant chambers of commerce of country of origin of goods
  • A copy of the insurance policy
  • Original bill of lading
  • Import permit/approval from relevant authority for importation of restricted goods
  • Bank advice/guarantee (if applicable)
  • A statistical declaration if the final destination of the goods is within GCC countries.

Import Customs Clearance Procedures

After submitting the customs declaration form using the eCAS Customs Clearing System, the procedure for customs clearance is as follows:

  • Pay the duty and fees due at the cashier desk in the customs point where the goods will be cleared
  • Submit all the relevant documentation to the customs clearing officer at the customs point
  • Pay the relevant cargo handling fees and make an appointment for movement of the cargo at the port operator desk
  • Port operator will move the container to the relevant inspection point
  • Customs will risk assess the goods and inspection may be carried out accordingly
  • Goods will be cleared and allowed to leave the customs point.

For food items, Bahrain’s customs regulations require importers to present a manufacturer’s certificate stating that goods do not contain cyclamates.  All Arab origin products which are imported under the facilitation and trade exchange convention among Arab countries are reciprocally exempted from customs duties on producing a recognized certificate of origin.  However, all types of tobacco, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are excluded from such exemption.  Imported and exported goods are classified according to the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), Revision 3.