Lowtax Network

Back To Top

How to Import and Export Goods in UAE - Things to Know

Contributed by Aurion
15 September, 2020


Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) is the most preferred business center for trading and export companies especially those looking at export, import, and re-exports in the UAE.

SAIF Zone is a designated zone ( VAT Free Zone) and has an in-house customs checkpoint for easy clearance of shipments.

The proximity to Sharjah airport makes it a preferred choice for air freight forwarding companies, international distribution companies, and trading firms to easily transport the goods to global markets.

Why Choose SAIF Zone for Setting up a Trading Company?

The SAIF Zone has a well-established infrastructure offering a wide range of facilities starting from shared office space to large manufacturing units. It caters to a large business community with varying business requirements.

It is also close to the busy seaport, the Khalid port, and two other deepwater ports the Khorfakkan Port and Hamriyah Port, facilitating faster and more streamlined trading operations.

SAIF Zone offers its investors a host of business benefits in the lines of operational efficiency, lowering costs, expanding to international markets.

Also, setting up a Trading Company in SAIF Zone for import-export activity is an easy and hassle-free process.

The cost-effective Trade License package, office space, and warehouse facilities offered make it a perfect choice for setting up a company in the UAE.

How Does the Import Export Companies Operate in UAE?

For starting an Import Export Company anywhere in the world and successfully operate it to achieve business growth, it is pre-requisite to know more about the Import, export tax, customs duty, and other taxation norms of the area where the business is operating.

In UAE, there are two major business jurisdictions for company formation - The Mainland and Free Zone.

They have distinct characteristics and business benefits. For Trading Companies especially to facilitate import, export, and trading in international markets, the Free Zones are the right choice.

How Free Zones in UAE Streamline International Trading?

Free Zones in UAE offer Zero Customs duty on imports to the Free Zone, as well as most of the Free Zones have a customs checkpoint and are in proximity to the busiest Airports & Seaports of UAE.

Also, the Free Zones in UAE are well connected by roads to major business centers and consumer markets across the UAE and Oman.

Hence, with a well-established logistics, storage facilities, and transportation network, the Free Zones are ideal destination for an international trading company to easily facilitate faster trade operations.

What are Designated Free Zones?

A designated Zone as specified in the UAE Cabinet decision is a VAT Free Zone. For VAT, the designated Free Zones are considered to be out of the purview of VAT.

The Designated Free Trade Zones in UAE is where the VAT is charged at 'Zero Percent' or there is no VAT payment required for companies trading in the Designated Free Zone.

There are few conditions to be met for classifying the transaction as VAT free.

To find out more, read: What is a Designated Zone?

Designated Zone Lists

  • Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port (Abu Dhabi)
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone
  • Khalifa Industrial Zone (Abu Dhabi)
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone - North-South (Dubai)
  • Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone(DUCAMZ)
  • Dubai Textile City
  • Free Zone Area in Al Quoz (Dubai)
  • Free Zone Area in Al Qusais (Dubai)
  • Dubai Aviation City
  • Dubai Airport Free Zone
  • Hamriyah Free Zone (Sharjah)
  • Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (Sharjah)
  • Ajman Free Zone
  • Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Ahmed Bin Rashid Port
  • Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road
  • RAK Free Trade Zone
  • RAK Maritime City Free Zone
  • RAK Airport Free Zone
  • Fujairah Free Zone
  • FOIZ (Fujairah Oil Industry Zone

Designated Zone's Movements of Goods for VAT treatment:

FROMTOVAT Treatment
Designated ZonesDesignated ZonesNon-Taxable
Designated ZonesMainlandTaxable (5% UAE VAT)
MainlandDesignated ZonesTaxable (5% UAE VAT)
Designated ZonesForeign Countries/GCC CountriesNon-Taxable
Foreign Countries/GCC CountriesDesignated ZonesNon-Taxable

Required Documents for Free Zone Importing and Exporting Goods

Importing Goods to Free Zone from Foreign Country/Outside UAE:

  • Bill of Lading/Custom Bill (Air Way Bill or Bill from Terminal of Arrival)
  • Suppliers Invoice
  • Packing Lists/Delivery Note
  • Bill of Entry (Free Zone Customs Form) to be filled upon entering of goods

Importing Goods to Free Zone from Mainland:

  • Suppliers Invoice
  • Packing Lists/Delivery Note
  • Bill of Entry (Free Zone Customs Form) to be filled upon entering of goods

Exporting Goods to Foreign Country/Outside the UAE from Free Zone:

  • Bill of Entry
  • Suppliers Invoice
  • Invoice to Customer
  • Packing Lists//Delivery Note
  • Bill of Exit (Free Zone Customs Form) to be filled upon exiting of goods

Exporting Goods to Mainland from Free Zone:

  • Bill of Entry
  • Suppliers Invoice
  • Invoice to Customer
  • Packing Lists//Delivery Note
  • Bill of Exit (Free Zone Customs Form) to be filled upon exiting of goods

Note:

  • In exporting goods to Mainland distributor is not required or Mandatory, that depends on the agreement between the Supplier and Customer.
  • 5% duty is imposed on goods imported from abroad excluding goods in transit to GCC countries. However, the duty varies on some goods according to the tariff.
  • Goods originating from GCC countries are treated as UAE local goods, provided that 40% of the raw materials used for manufacturing such goods is originated in the GCC

Import Operations through Sharjah Port - Things to Know

However, if the Import Operations is through Sharjah Port, then the documents will be as follows:

  • Delivery Note
  • Packing Lists
  • Original Invoice from Supplier
  • Attested Certificate of Origin
  • Bill of Lading
  • Receipt of Custom Duties/settled payment
  • Inspection Report from Sharjah Port
  • Bill of Entry/Import Declaration

If the above documents are not completed, then the amount of AED1000 to be deposited and can only be refunded after completion of the required documents.

Export Operation through Sharjah Port

And for Export Operations through Sharjah Port, then the documents will be as follows:

  • Original Invoice
  • Bill of Exit/Export Declaration

To find out more about Designated Free Zone for VAT or Starting a Trading Company in the UAE Free Zones, talk to our expert team right away!

Contact: Aurion Business Consultants




 


« Go Back to Articles

Articles Archive

Event Listings

Listings for the leading worldwide conferences and events in accounting, investment, banking and finance, transfer pricing, corporate taxation and more...
See Event Listings »