Bahrain - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
Last published date:

The Basic Customs Duty is a tariff imposed on goods that are transported across international borders.  Bahrain applies a Common External Tariff (CET) of five percent on nearly all imported goods with the exception of goods produced in the GCC region and countries that signed international trade commitments or bi-lateral trade agreements voiding the CET, including the United States.  Certain types of goods, including paper and aluminum, are charged a 20 percent duty rate upon import into Bahrain.

Bahrain has ratified and adopted the GCC Common Law on Anti-Dumping, Countervailing Measures, and Safeguards.  The legislation seeks to provide uniform protection to GCC industries from unfair international trade practices such as dumping (unfair pricing of imported products), countervailing subsidies, and an unjustifiable increase in the imports of certain goods (against which safeguards are implemented).

The Bahraini government prohibits domestic production of alcohol and tobacco.  For health and religious reasons, non-GCC alcoholic beverage imports are assessed a 125 percent customs duty and non-GCC imported tobacco products are assessed a 100 percent duty. 

The following items are restricted and their import into Bahrain is allowed only with a No Objection Certificate (NOC), valid permit, or approval document issued by the relevant regulatory authority:

  • Live wild animals, including horses (excluding circus or performance animals)
  • Animals, birds and their by-products
  • Animal or vegetable fertilizers
  • Insecticides and fungicides
  • Meat and meat products
  • Fish and seafood products
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Plants
  • Radioactive chemicals and active isotopes
  • Food products (processed and unprocessed)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medicines
  • Unadulterated ethyl alcohol, iso-propanol
  • Pedestrian-controlled four-wheel mini cars
  • Handcuffs made from iron/steel
  • Arms, ammunition, explosives and military weapons
  • Magazines and publications
  • Films and video 
  • Optical and magnetic audio-visual media 
  • Items infringing on intellectual property rights
  • Telecommunications, radio and television receiving and broadcasting equipment