United Arab Emirates
Prohibited & Restricted Imports

Includes a list of goods that are prohibited from being exported to the country or are otherwise restricted.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

There are certain goods that cannot be imported, exported, transited or require permits from the competent authority.  The restrictions and prohibitions of goods are determined in accordance with GCC Customs Tariff Codes.  The classified goods under those customs tariff codes will require a permit while submitting the online Customs Declarations.  The UAE has a very strict policy in dealing with import of banned items. 
Below is a list of banned items:

  • Controlled/recreational drugs and all narcotic substances (Hashish, Cocaine, Heroin, Poppy Seeds, Hallucination Pills, etc.)
  • Goods intended to be imported from boycotted countries
  • Goods from Israeli origin or bearing Israeli trademarks or logos
  • Crude ivory and rhinoceros horn products
  • Gambling tools and machineries
  • Three layers fishing nets
  • Original engravings, prints, lithographs, sculpture and statues in any material
  • Used, reconditioned and inlaid tires
  • Radiation-polluted substances
  • Printed publications, oil paintings, photographs, artwork, pictures, cards, books, magazines, stone sculptures and mannequins, which contradict or challenge Islamic teachings, values and decencies
  • Any other goods, the importation of which is prohibited under UAE customs laws or any other laws in the country
  • Forged and duplicate currency
  • Cooked and home-made foods
  • Pirated content
  • Items used in black magic, witchcraft or sorcery
  • Exotic, protected and endangered animals and certain breeds of dogs

Restricted Imports include alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and pork products.  Also, certain goods such as birds and animals (domestic pets), medicines and weapons can be imported/exported only after receiving necessary permits from the competent authorities.  The U.S. Embassy Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) annually publishes the Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) report for doing business in the GCC-4 (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and UAE).  The full report is available on their website.  The report covers topics, such as food laws, labeling requirements, shelf-life, food additives regulations, packaging and import procedures. Prohibited Imports (Food): Irradiated food products

Permitting authorities and goods for permit requirements:
 

CONTROLLING AUTHORITIES CATEGORIES
Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Live Animals and products of animal origin
Ministry of Interior Explosives, Arms, Ammunitions and their parts / accessories
Dubai Municipality Vegetable Products, Prepared Food Stuff, Products of Chemical
Dubai Police Alcoholic beverages
Ministry of Economy Industrial Raw Materials
Ministry of Health Pharmaceutical products and Medical/ Surgical instrumental and apparatus
Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology Tires / Drinking Water
National Media Council Printed books, newspapers and similar products, work art, collectors “Pieces and Antiques”
Dubai Multi Commodities Center Authority (DMCC) Pearls, diamonds and rough diamonds

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
Telecommunication equipment
Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) Nuclear reactors and radio transmitters
United Arab Emirates Coast Guard Group Boats, cruise ships
 

For more information, please refer to the Dubai Customs website.