Qatar - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation
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All importers are required by law to have an import license.  Import licenses are issued only to Qatari nationals, or to the Qatari partner in a limited liability partnership and must be registered with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  This regulation also applies to wholly foreign owned entities operating in Qatar.

Import Licenses:  All imported meats, including beef and poultry products, require a health certificate issued by the country of export and a “Halal” slaughter certificate issued by an approved Islamic center in that country.

To clear goods from customs zones at ports or land boundaries in Qatar, importers must submit a variety of documents, including a detailed customs declaration, bill of lading, certificate of origin, pro forma invoice and import license.  Information on specific requirements should be obtained from the Customs and Ports General Authority.  Inspection of goods is generally conducted at the customs station, or as directed by the Director General, in the presence of the owner or his representative.

Additional Import Regulations:

Since April 1, 2011, Qatar Customs has required official invoices, an official certificate of origin (COO), and packing lists for shipments destined to Qatar (airport and seaport). Shipments without these documents will not be cleared under any circumstances and shall be returned to origin.

It is mandatory to write the HS CODE of the commodity in the official invoices and COO, otherwise shipment will not be accepted for clearance.

‘COUNTRY OF ORIGIN’ OR ‘MADE IN’ fields are mandatory for each piece, on materials, and on cartons.

The ‘COUNTRY OF ORIGIN’ OR ‘MADE IN MARK’ details on the shipment should match the information on the official invoice, COO, and on the materials (Any discrepancies will cause the shipment to be returned to the origin).

For goods originating from Europe: mention clearly on the COO the country of origin. Example: ‘Country of Origin: European Community – UK’. If the products are made in two countries, the country of origin should be both countries in the COO, invoice, and on the materials. Example: ‘European Community – UK & POLAND’.”

General Authority of Customs

P.O. Box 81, Doha, State of Qatar

Phone: +974 4441-1149

Fax: +974 4441-4959

In Qatar, the letter of credit (L/C) is the most common instrument for controlling exports and imports.  When an L/C is opened, the supplier is required to provide a certificate of origin and a certificate from the captain of the ship or from the shipping agency stating that the ship is allowed to enter Arab ports.  An Arab Embassy or Consulate or an Arab Chamber of Commerce should notarize both documents in the exporting country.

A letter of credit initiated in Qatar is usually endorsed with transshipment clauses.  It is customary in Qatar for importers to build their L/C’s computations on “cost and freight (C&F)” basis, and not C.I.F. Qatari merchants prefer to have insurance coverage provided by local and international insurance companies, to cover damage in transit to the goods covered under the L/C.