United Arab Emirates - Country Commercial Guide
Prohibited & Restricted Imports

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

Last published date: 2020-09-12

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 some prohibited items:

  • All kinds of narcotic drugs (taking into account the control of prohibited items in general and narcotic substances in particular, where certain prohibited goods may be imported or exported subject to producing approvals of the competent authorities).
  • Goods of Israeli origin or bearing Israeli flags and emblems.
  • Gambling tools, machineries and devices of all kinds.
  • Nylon fishing nets.
  • Live swine.
  • Used, reconditioned and inlaid tires.
  • Radiation and nuclear fallout contaminated substances.
  • Items that contradict Islamic faith and public morals.
  • E-cigarettes and electronic hookah.
  • Paan and betel leaves.
  • Any other goods or items, the importation of which is prohibited under the Common Customs Law or any other law or regulation applicable in the UAE.

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 2019 report for the UAE. The report covers topics, such as food laws, labeling requirements, shelf-life, food additives regulations, packaging and import procedures, prohibited food imports.

Restricting authorities and respective good categories are listed in the table below as per the Dubai customs website:

Controlling Authorities

Goods Categories

Ministry of Climate Change & Environment

Live animals, plants, fertilizers and insecticides

Ministry of Defence / Armed Forces / Ministry of Interior

Ministry of Defence / Armed Forces / Ministry of Interior Arms, ammunitions, explosives, and fireworks

Ministry of Health & Prevention

Pharmaceutical products and Medical/ Surgical instruments and machines

National Media Council

Print materials, publications, and media products

Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation

Nuclear energy-related products

Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology

New tires

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

Transmitters and radio equipment

Dubai Police

Alcoholic beverages

Dubai Municipality

Foodstuffs, personal care and cosmetic products

UAE Kimberley Process office

Rough diamonds


Federal Customs Authority (FCA)

Customs Offices