Kuwait - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation
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Importers apply for import licenses from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and must be registered with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). The import licenses are valid for one year, are renewable, and allow for multiple shipments.

Import licenses for industrial machinery and spare parts are also required, which are issued by the Public Authority for Industry. Various ministries and agencies also issue licenses for specific products, including firearms, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and wild or exotic animals.

Only the local agent is authorized to clear items at Kuwait Customs by showing an official letter of representation as well as a letter by the end-user.


Kuwait documentation procedures require a commercial invoice, certificate of origin, packing list, and a bill of lading or airway bill to accompany all commercial shipments. Certain products may require additional licenses or certificates.

Commercial Invoice

One original and two copies are required, plus the certificate of origin. The invoice must contain an accurate description of the goods, marks and numbers, net and gross weights in metric measure, quantity, units, total value, and country of origin, and port and shipping information (name of vessel and transportation means). The invoice should be legalized by a local chamber of commerce or the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Certificate of Origin

One original and two copies are required. If products are of U.S. origin, the invoice must also include a statement that the products shipped are of U.S. origin and have been manufactured in the United States. This rule would also apply to U.S. commonwealths or territories. If the products are of U.S. origin but contain foreign content, the document must include country of origin of the non-U.S goods and percentage of content. The certificate of origin should be legalized by a local chamber of Commerce or the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Packing List

The packing list must provide detailed information on each item contained in any package and must be stamped with the company seal or stamp of the exporter or freight forwarder.

Bill of Lading

Three copies of the bill of lading are required. The bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of final destination, description of the goods, listing of freight and other charges, number of bills of lading in the complete set, and the acknowledgment signature that the carrier has confirmed receipt on board of the goods to be shipped.

The import license holder’s name must appear on the bill of lading, and he/she must be a Kuwaiti national.

For questions pertaining to document authentication, please consult with your importer and freight forwarder or customs broker.