Guidelines for Import Export Business in Dubai

Guidelines for Import Export Business in Dubai

Posted by | August 8, 2018 | Uncategorized
import export business in dubai

Guidelines for Import Export Business in Dubai

To import goods into Dubai, an Importer should have a valid Trade License issued from any of the License Issuing Authority in U.A.E. and should be registered with Dubai Customs.

The Importer has the option to carry out import procedures online or manually through Ports & Customs Documentation Centers. The procedure mentioned below describes the paperless import process through Dubai Trade.

To access Dubai Trade portal electronic services the customer must register himself with Dubai Trade. The registration process is available online on Dubai Trade Portal (

Guidelines for Import Export Business in Dubai

  1. To initiate the Import process in Dubai, the importer must obtain following documents in original from the exporter:
    • Original Bill of Lading copies
    • Commercial Invoice
    • Packing List
    • Certificate of Origin

The above documents are required irrespective of the sales agreement and payment method agreed between the importer and exporter.

  1. Based on the vessel arrival date, the importer must then approach the shipping agent to submit the original Bill of Lading and settle any dues with the Shipping agent. In return, the shipping agent must issue a Delivery Order to the importer.

    A Shipping agent may issue Delivery Order 3-4 days before vessel arrival. The Importer must ensure that all cargo clearance formalities are completed before the Delivery Order expiry date.

    Post expiry of the Delivery Order, DP World will not release cargo to the importer. In such cases the Delivery order needs to be extended by the agent and the Shipping agent may charge an additional fee for providing the extension.

  2. The importer can then login to Dubai Trade to create and submit the Import Declaration application for Dubai Customs clearance. The importer can make payment for customs duties and other fees online using the CDR account or E-payment using credit card or direct debit. In case of restricted goods or duty exempted cargo, the importer must arrange for necessary permits from the designated Permit Issuing Authority before filling the Customs Import Declaration. For import of goods from outside the country into Dubai following documents are required:
    • Commercial invoice from the exporter addressed to the importer detailing total quantity, goods description and total value for each item
    • Original certificate of origin approved by the chamber of commerce at the country of origin detailing the origin of goods.
    • Detailed packing list as per weight, method of packing and HS code for each individual article contained in the shipment.
    • Import permit from the competent agencies in the event of importing restricted goods or duty exempted goods.
  3. Dubai Customs will verify and evaluate the information provided for the purpose of payment of customs duties and import approval. Dubai Customs may mandate examination, checking and inspection of the goods by a competent authority before release of cargo to the importer
  4. At the time of Import Declaration application submission, if the mode of payment selected is CDR account, then the importer can print the Customs Import Declaration immediately after approval. In case the mode selected is e-payment, then the importer must use the E-Payment service to make payment for customs duties and fees using a valid credit card or direct debit account. On successful payment completion the importer can print the Customs Import Declaration.
  5. The Importer can settle DP World dues any time after receiving the Delivery order from the Shipping agent. The importer must use the DP World Payment e-service on Dubai Trade portal to make payment to DP World using the Advanced Deposit account or e-payment gateway. The e-payment gateway allows importers to make payments using credit card, e-dirham card or direct debit.
  6. The importer can check the vessel arrival using the Vessel Enquiry e-service and container discharge status using the Container Enquiry e-service.
  7. 10Once the container is discharged, the importer can then nominate a transport company to take delivery of the cargo/ container from DP World on importer’s behalf using the Haulier Nomination service on Dubai Trade.
  8. 11.The importer can also generate an e-token through Dubai Trade portal. e-Token system manages the flow of trucks entering and exiting the Jebel Ali Port. e-Token number is a unique identifier generated by Dubai Trade portal when a user selects a designated day and time slot to pick or drop containers from Jebel Ali Port using a registered truck. The importer must provide this e-token number to his nominated haulier. The haulier can then enter Jebel Ali port by quoting the e-Token number or presenting the e-Token slip to the security at the Jebel Ali port gates. DP World will deliver the containers to the nominated haulier as advised on e-Token. The haulier will be provided an Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR) by DP World for each container taken out from the Jebel Ali port.
  9. If inspection is required as per the Customs Import Declaration, the haulier must take the cargo/ container to the inspection area of the competent authority. Post inspection clearance, the haulier can exit the Jebel Ali Free Zone by presenting a copy of the EIR to the security staff at the Free Zone gates.

Guidelines for Import Export Business in Dubai

An Exporter should have a valid Trade License issued from any of the License Issuing Authority in U.A.E. and should be registered with Dubai Customs.

The Exporter has the option to carry out export procedures online on Dubai Trade or manually through Ports & Customs Documentation Centers.

The procedure mentioned below describes the paperless export process through Dubai Trade.

To access Dubai Trade portal electronic services the customer must register himself with Dubai Trade. The registration process to obtain Customer Code is available online on Dubai Trade Portal (

The Export process in Dubai:

  • On obtaining order for sale of goods, an Exporter first enters into an agreement with Shipping Agents to carry his cargo from Dubai to the Port of Destination and makes an export booking with the Shipping Agent.
  • The Shipping Agent in turn requests DP World to release Empty Container to the Exporter for the purpose of Export.  This Service (Export Booking) is done electronically through Dubai Trade Portal where the Shipping Agent provides details of Container (size; type etc.); Outbound Vessel details and identifies the Exporter.
  • The Exporter or his representative is than required to nominate the Hauler online.  This nomination will be valid for both picking up the Empty Container from DP World and delivering back the Export Container.  The Exporters can also nominate a Preferred Hauler where by any Booking done in favour of the Exporter by Shipping Agents is directly nominated to the Preferred Hauler.
  • In case, Exporter wishes to use his own trucks then he can directly create an Electronic Token on Dubai Trade. This service (E-Token) allows Exporters to book an appointment with DP World to pick up the Empty container.
  • The nominated Hauler than accesses Dubai Trade Portal and generates an e-Token for picking up the Empty Container from DP World. The Hauler is further required to provide his Truck details and select the time of his arrival to DP World Port from the available time-slot.  The e-Token is designed to facilitate seamless movements of Container from & to the Port.
  • DP World ensures all compliances and loads the Empty Container on the Hauler’s Truck who in turn delivers the Container to Exporter’s Warehouse.
  • The Exporter arranges for stuffing the cargo meant for export in the Container and informs the Hauler.
  • The Hauler generates an e-Token, this time for Export Container and accordingly picks up the Container from Exporters Warehouse and delivers the same to DP World.
  • DP World ensures all compliances and off-loads the Export Container in the designated area for loading on the subject Vessel.
  • Exporter submits an Export Declaration online detailing the cargo information including invoice information.  Dubai Customs verifies the information and on meeting of all requirements approves the Export Declaration.
  • The Exporter completes the inspection formalities if required (conditioned to cargo type).
  • The Exporter lastly goes online and pays DP World charges pertaining to Export of Container.
  • Exporter approaches Chamber of Commerce to obtain Certificate of Origin that has to be sent to the Importer. Furthermore, an Exporter is required to obtain additional permits conditioned to type of goods.
  • DP World ensures various compliances including passing of Export Declaration; availability of Container before the cut-off time; etc. before finally loading the Export Containers on to the Vessel.  Any failures results in Shut Out and the Shipping Agents are duly informed.  Shipping Agents are provided with several online services to monitor on the various compliances.
  • The Shipping Agent issues Bill of Lading to the Exporter, generally after vessel sailing, which is the Contract of Carriage and contains details of cargo.  The Exporter has to send the original Bill of Lading along with Invoice; Packing List; Certificate of Origin etc. to the Importer to enable him/her to clear documentation with the Customs of Importing Country.

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Reach Online accounting software systems are rapidly evolving, giving business owners the ability to choose how and where they manage their finances. Whether at home or on-the-go, business owners are now able to execute administrative functions such as instantly viewing bank balances, tracking expenses, sending invoices ,supervising the work flow of branches through Reach online VAT Accounting Software thus making business more viable. There are many advantages of using an online accounting system including:

Reach online VAT accounting system can help you manage your business by improving your recordkeeping processes and give you the tools you need to analyze business results and make sound financial decisions.

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Technology Used

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Cloud Computing is a concept through which organizations can manage their data centres, processes and applications online via internet on the scheme of pay for use basis. Many of today’s small businesses find great advantages when adopting a virtual office environment. Rather than maintaining one centralized business location, employees are given the opportunity to work from home and connect via computer. Virtual offices can stretch across the country, or even exist within a small geographic area while still providing benefits to both employees and employers. Yet certain business functions need to be managed differently in a virtual environment. When it comes to accounting, a cloud system can improve virtual office management, especially for tasks such as expense tracking and financial report consolidation.


Reach online Accounting Software proves to be the best choice for Export and Import oriented business. In this VAT regime it has become imperative for companies to make use of VAT software which is FTA approved.  Reach Online VAT Accounting Software is FTA prescribed and the business can use this single software instead of multiple software for various business operations.

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