United Arab Emirates - Customs and duties

Dubai, the major area for foreign trade, is a free trade zone and free port with no restrictions on imports or exports. The individual emirate governments exert no control over imports, except for licensing. Customs duties are levied ad valorem; the rates differ among the emirates but are generally nominal (4% for most goods), except for a duty of 50% on alcoholic beverages (importation of which requires special permission). The duty on tobacco was is 90% of the CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value. Duty-free imports include machinery, construction materials, foodstuffs, medicine, and printed matter. Food imports require a health certificate and meats require a certificate from a slaughterhouse that has been approved under Islamic law. Import licenses are required for all firms desiring to engage in importation. The United Arab Emirates is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Sa'udi Arabia. The GCC has been in discussions for a common external tariff (CET) for some years.

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