Kuwait - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Agreements

Describes trade agreements this country is a party to. Includes resources where U.S. companies can get information on how to take advantage of these agreements.

Last published date: 2021-03-16

Regional Trade Agreements

In December 2008, Singapore and the GCC signed a free trade agreement (FTA), the GCC’s first FTA. In June 2009, GCC countries concluded an FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which includes the countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Customs Union

Kuwait is a member of the GCC along with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Oman. People from these countries can travel freely throughout the GCC. There is a 5% duty for goods at the first point of entry to the GCC and then the goods can travel freely throughout the GCC. (Note: Since June 2017 there has been a blockade of Qatar from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt. Direct travel between these countries is currently not allowed and Qatari citizens and residents are not able to travel to these countries. Goods cannot travel freely between Qatar and these countries as well.)

Bilateral Investment Treaties

Kuwait has signed bilateral investment agreements with the following nations (not all have been implemented): Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

Kuwait signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States in February 2004. The TIFA is the first step in developing economic reform and trade liberalization criteria to strengthen the U.S.-Kuwait economic relationship. At the first bilateral TIFA Council meeting, held in May 2004 in Washington, D.C., it was agreed that the TIFA process would provide for periodic technical discussions. Several areas in particular stood out as needing further attention: intellectual property rights (IPR), standards-related issues, taxation, and service and investment requirements. There is no move at this point to re-introduce a TIFA.