United Arab Emirates - Country Commercial Guide
U.S. Export Controls

Includes the U.S. government export controls that companies need to abide by when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2022-07-26

All goods exported to or reexported from the UAE must have proper documentation issued by the Ministry of Economy and the various Chambers of Commerce in the respective emirates. U.S. firms seeking to export goods from the United States to the UAE should consult the appropriate U.S. export control agencies regarding the need for an export license for the UAE. 

The UAE has a thriving transshipment and reexport business, most notably in Dubai.  U.S. firms should also consult the proper U.S. authorities regarding the need to obtain reexport authorization for items to be reexported from the UAE to other countries, as well as exercise caution that U.S. goods are not reexported to prohibited end uses, end users, or destinations without the proper permission.  In addition to confirming the ultimate destination of exports to the UAE, U.S. exporters should ensure transactions do not involve any proscribed parties by consulting the U.S. Government’s consolidated screening list available at www.bis.doc.gov.  The Bureau of Industry and Security, including BIS’s Export Control Officer (ECO) at the Consulate General in Dubai, can assist U.S. firms in complying with U.S. and UAE export controls. 

UAE Trade Controls 

Although not a participant in any of the multilateral export control regimes, the UAE implements trade controls in line with the control lists established by the regimes (the Australia Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement) (websites: https://www.uaeiec.gov.ae/en-us/control-list-good; FANR-REG-09 V.1 ENG with cover.pdf).  Permits or licenses are required to import and export controlled items, including strategic goods, Chemical Weapons Convention scheduled chemicals, and armored vehicles.  In addition, consent is required for the transit or transshipment of Nuclear Suppliers Group-controlled items.  These requirements apply equally in the free trade zones. 

The UAE licensing authority for nuclear-related items is the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).  The UAE licensing authority for military items is the Ministry of Defense.  The Export Control Executive Office (ECEO) is the permitting authority for all other items (website: https://www.uaeiec.gov.ae/en-us/).  For more information on the U.S. export control system, see the BIS website at www.bis.doc.gov

Antiboycott Compliance 

BIS’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) administers and enforces antiboycott provisions (15 CFR part 760), which discourage, and in certain circumstances prohibit, United States persons from taking specific actions in furtherance or support of an unsanctioned foreign boycott by a country against a country friendly to the United States.  On August 16, 2020, the UAE issued Federal Decree-Law No. 4 of 2020, which repealed Federal Law No. 15 of 1972 Concerning the Arab League Boycott of Israel, thereby formally ending the UAE’s participation in the Arab League Boycott of Israel.  Accordingly, BIS has amended the EAR with an interpretation that certain requests for information, action, or agreement from the UAE that were presumed to be boycott-related if issued prior to August 16, 2020 would not be presumed to be boycott-related if issued after August 16, 2020, and thus would not be subject to the prohibitions or reporting requirements of EAR (see Supplement No. 17 to Part 760 of the EAR).  However, requests that are on their face boycott-related or that are for action obviously in furtherance or support of an unsanctioned foreign boycott are subject to Part 760 of the EAR, irrespective of the country of origination.  For further information, please contact OAC at +1 (202) 482-2381, or via email to OAC.WebQueries@bis.doc.gov or OACINQUIRIES@bis.doc.gov

U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Additional Information 

The United States imposes export controls to protect national security interests and promote foreign policy objectives related to dual-use goods and less-significant military items through implementation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (15 CFR Parts 730-774). The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is responsible for regulating, implanting, and enforcing dual-use export controls. Export Administration (EA) is responsible for processing license applications, counselling exporters, and drafting and publishing changes to the EAR; Export Enforcement (EE) is responsible for compliance monitoring and enforcement of the EAR. BIS works closely with U.S. embassies, foreign governments, industry, and trade associations to ensure that exports from the United States of items subject to the EAR comply with the regulations. BIS officials conduct site visits, known as End-Use Checks (EUCs), globally with end-users, consignees, and/or other parties to transactions involving items subject to the EAR to verify compliance.

An EUC is an on-site verification of a non-U.S. party to a transaction to determine whether the party is a reliable recipient of items subject to the EAR. EUCs are conducted as part of BIS’s licensing process, as well as its compliance program, to determine if items were exported in accordance with a valid BIS authorization or otherwise consistent with the EAR. Specifically, an EUC verifies the bona fides of transactions subject to the EAR, to include: confirming the legitimacy and reliability of the end use and end user; monitoring compliance with license conditions; and ensuring items are used, re-exported or transferred (in-country) in accordance with the EAR. These checks might be completed prior to the export of items pursuant to a BIS export license in the form of a Pre-License Check (PLC) or following an export from the U.S. during a Post-Shipment Verification (PSV), regardless of whether or not a BIS license was required. 

BIS officials rely on EUCs to safeguard items subject to the EAR from diversion to unauthorized end uses/users and destinations. The verification of a foreign party’s reliability facilitates future trade, including pursuant to BIS license reviews. If BIS is unable to verify the reliability of the company or is prevented from accomplishing an EUC, the company may receive, for example, more regulatory scrutiny during license application reviews or be designated on BIS’s Unverified List or Entity List, as applicable.

BIS has developed a list of “red flags”, or warning signs and compiled “Know Your Customer” guidance intended to aid exporters in identifying possible violations of the EAR. Both of these resources are publicly available, and their dissemination to industry members is highly encouraged to help promote EAR compliance. 

BIS also provides a variety of training sessions to U.S. exporters throughout the year.  These sessions range from one to two-day seminars that focus on the basics of exporting to coverage of more advanced, industry specific topics. Interested parties can check a list of upcoming seminars and webinars or reference BIS provided online training. BIS Export Control Officers (ECOs) located at U.S. embassies and consulates in seven overseas locations also conduct outreach to raise awareness of reexport control requirements with foreign business communities.

BIS and the EAR regulate transactions involving the export of “dual-use” and less-significant military items (commodities, software, and technology) as well as some U.S. person activities.   For advice and regulatory requirements on items under the export control jurisdiction of other U.S. Government agencies, exporters should consult other U.S. Government agencies. For example, the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has authority over the defense articles and services that are not subject to the EAR.   A list of other agencies involved in export control can be found on the BIS website and in Supplement No. 3 to Part 730 of the EAR.

The EAR is available on the BIS website and on the e-CFR (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations) and is updated as needed.

The Consolidated Screening List (CSL) is a list of parties for which the United States Government maintains restrictions on certain exports, reexports or transfers of items. The CSL consolidates eleven export screening lists of the Departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury into a single data feed as an aid to industry in conducting electronic screens of parties to regulated transactions. Exporters should determine the export requirements specific to their proposed transaction by classifying their items prior to export, and reviewing the EAR’s requirements specific to the item(s) and the proposed end-use and end-user, as well as consulting the CSL to determine if any parties to the transaction may be subject to specific license requirements. 

Assistance is available from BIS by calling one of the following numbers:

  • (202) 482-4811 - Outreach and Educational Services Division (located in Washington, DC – open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm ET).
  • (949) 660-0144 - Western Regional Office (located in Irvine, CA – open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm PT).
  • (408) 998-8806 - Northern California branch (located in San Jose, CA – open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00 pm PT).

BIS Export Control Office 

Tel: (971) 4-309-4192 

You may also e-mail your inquiry to the Export Counseling Division of the Office of Exporter Services at: ECDOEXS@bis.doc.gov.

Contact information for BIS’s overseas ECOs can be found at: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/enforcement/oea/eco