United Arab Emirates - Country Commercial Guide
Temporary Entry
Last published date:

The UAE Government allows temporary imports of goods for certain purposes and for specific periods by suspending customs duties until the import is used or re-exported. However, the company must submit a cash or bank guarantee equivalent to the customs duties prior to approval.

Temporary Entry Categories include:

  • Commercial samples for exhibition.
  • Containers and packers for refilling.
  • Goods imported for completion of processing.
  • Heavy machinery and equipment for projects – experiments, testing, completion, etc.
  • Items imported for competitions, theatres, exhibitions, sporting events, etc.
  • Machinery and equipment imported solely for repair.
  • Other products used for replacement and repair of defective machineries in local factories or similar urgent requirements.

Commercial samples for exhibitions/events must be:

  • Distinguishable.
  • In conformity with type, quality, and exhibition criteria.
  • Quantity consistent with the purpose of exhibition.

The ATA Carnet (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admissions) an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of nonperishable goods for up to one year. The ATA Carnet, valid for one year from issue date, can be used for a number of times during its validity period (in case of transit/shipment to other countries). Release permission under ATA carnet provided without any service charge during normal business hours. However, a service charge of AED 100 ($27) is levied for each ATA carnet processed out of normal business hours.

Commercial samples/goods under the cover of ATA Carnets:

  • Entry of goods for purposes of goods intended for display, use in exhibitions, fairs, meetings or similar events are permitted under ATA Carnet with the following information provided (other than perishable or consumable goods intended to be processed or repaired):
      • Name of issuing association.
      • Name of international guaranteeing chain.
      • Countries in which temporary admission (ATA Carnet) is valid.
      • Names of the guaranteeing associations of all such countries.
  • ATA Carnet Centers in Dubai:
      • Dubai Cargo Village Customs Center.
      • Jebel Ali Customs Center.
      • Dubai International Airport Customs Center.
      • Al Maktoum International Airport Customs Center.


Containers for refilling liquidated gas like oxygen, bags made of weaving materials, ready-made boxes and pallets made of wood, glass/plastic/iron or steel containers, etc., are admitted temporarily subject to following checks and controls:

  • Containers are empty, ready for refilling and re-exportation.
  • Meets health and safety provisions.

Temporary admission for finishing and re-exportation

Generally granted for six months renewable one year in total. Application for extension can be made 30 days prior to expiry with all relevant documents. However, such goods are subjected to following controls:

  • Obtain a client code from Customs Authority for the client whose goods are imported.
  • The importer must be licensed, and activities aligned with the nature of imported goods.

Heavy machinery for projects:

  • Submit copy of governmental contract for one of the projects in favor of the UAE government and/or an investment project requiring use of such machinery.
  • Temporary permission not for parts, including batteries, tires and consumables.

Temporary admission is granted for a period of six months renewable for similar periods, not exceeding three years at the most, unless applied for an extension with relevant documents proving continuation of project 30 days prior to the expiry date.

  • Provide evidence of completion of repair of machinery, equipment and devices upon re-exportation, including the nature of repair.

Settlement of temporary goods

  • Re-export of goods outside UAE (subject to physical verification and tally).
  • Deposit goods in free zones.
  • Deposit goods in customs warehouses.
  • Apply to Customs Authority for sale (local consumption), obtain approvals and pay customs duties. However, all other conditions and control measures will have to be met.

Goods under ATA Carnet:

  • May be re-exported through any of the four Customs Offices (irrespective of port of entry) in a single consignment or more.
  • Submit ATA carnet to ensure its validity.
  • Submit release permission of goods imported under ATA carnet.
  • Provide for physical verification of goods as per ATA carnet.
  • Goods imported under ATA carnet, but not re-exported are subject to customs duties and fines if the goods are damaged, distributed, lost, stolen, or sold.


Re-export by Air/Sea/Land

  • Re-export declaration giving details of exit of goods from UAE.
  • Exit/entry certificate.
  • Attested airway bill (for air) / bill of lading (by sea) / manifest copy (by land).

Re-export/deposit to free zone/Customs Warehouse

  • Re-export/deposit declaration (admission) showing entry of goods.
  • Exit/entry certificate.


A fine of $272 for each week of delay (or fraction thereof) to a maximum of 20% of the value of goods will be levied for delay of re-exportation of goods beyond the date of expiry.