United Arab Emirates
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2019-10-13
The consignee/agent should obtain a delivery order from the Shipping Agent and submit original standard trade documentation as per the following:
  • Commercial invoice from the exporter addressed to the importer with details about quantity, goods description and total value of each imported item
  • Certificate of origin, stating the country of origin and approved by the Chamber of Commerce in the country of origin
  • Detailed packing list including weight, method of packing, and HS code for each item
  • Import permit from the competent agencies in case of importing restricted goods or duty exempted goods
  • Bill of entry or airway bill
For all food products, the following certificates are required in addition to the above:
  • Original health certificate issued by the appropriate government agency in the exporting country, attesting to the product’s fitness for human consumption
  • Original Halal slaughter certificate for meat and poultry products
With the exception of food, all shipments of goods to the UAE require “legalization” of documents.  This is a two-step process: 
Documents must be verified by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the UAE Embassy’s exclusive verification agent.  After Akin Gump has verified the documents, companies must submit the paperwork for legalization to either the UAE Embassy in D.C., or to the respective Consulate covering the State in which the company is based.  For Consulate/Embassy coverage and further information on the legalization process, please click here.

For more information, please visit the UAE Embassy’s web page
Customs offices are located at the UAE airports, seaports and entry/exit points on the land borders. Refer to the list of Customs offices in the UAE as per UAE’s Federal Customs Authority.