Customs Clearance

PDE EXPRESS is dedicated to providing the highest possible Customer service to clients. We deliver a complete range of customs Clearance services for your import and export shipment in United Arab Emirates. Our customs clearance services promises to provide the most competitive Prices and making sure your shipment gets cleared on time. We also provide Express clearance and our expert team will guide you for required import/export Documents.

PDE EXPRESS offers normal and supplementary customs services:
• Import and export clearance
• Courier shipment clearance ( we have courier license )
• Customs deferment
• Cargo clearance and documentation
• Post clearance modification
• Customs-related storage
• Custom document preparation
• High value clearance

UAE customs

The customs have existed in the UAE for more than one hundred years (as per FCA website). Going through several phases, the customs took the institutional shape in the age of the late Sheikhs H. H. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and H. H. Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. In the first half of 2002, the UAE Cabinet approved 2 decrees 617/7 of 2001G and 157/12 of 2002G assigning the then Ministry of Finance and Industry to hire an international consulting office to offer recommendations on creating a federal customs authority and authorising the ministry to follow up on the execution of the procedures and measures needed. The UAE has topped the world in the Efficiency of Customs Procedures Index as per the Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2017 published by IMD World Competitiveness Center. The index gauges the efficiency of customs authorities of 63 countries around the world. It is determined by surveying an audience of businessmen and institutions about their experience with the customs authorities’ services in the area of shipping. The rankings are based on efficiency of resource management, with businessmen accounting for 33.3 percent of the audience and the rest is based on 346 indicators.

Banned items

The UAE is very strict in dealing with the import of banned items and the illegal import of restricted items into the UAE.
A broad list of banned items includes (not limited to):
• controlled/recreational drugs and narcotic substances • pirated content • counterfeit currency • items used in black magic, witchcraft or sorcery • publications and artwork that contradict or challenge Islamic teachings and values • exotic, protected and endangered animals and certain breeds of dogs (PDF, 416 KB) • gambling tools and machines. p

Restricted items in the UAE

Certain goods such as animals, medicines and weapons can be imported/exported only after receiving necessary permits from the competent authorities. Some of the restricted goods are:
Pets and domestic animals You can import cats and dogs into the UAE after receiving permit from Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. You will need to provide your pet's vaccination card, health certificate, his passport and details about this microchip. Some pets might need to test for rabies before entering the UAE. For more information, check with the UAE-based airlines about specific rules regarding the permitted pets. You can import, export, release and seek transit of horses and for import live animals, birds and ornamental fish into the UAE after receiving permit from Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

Agricultural products

You can import seeds, tubers, outdoor seedlings and honeybees into the UAE after receiving permit from Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.


According to Ministerial Resolution No. 14 of 2016 pertaining to control on imported food for non-commercial purposes, you can bring in a maximum of:
• 20 kg of yoghurt • 50 litres of oil (including olive oil) • 10 kg of various types of vegetables and fruits • 100 kg dates • 10 kg sweets and bread • 30 kg of grains, cereals and red meat • 10 kg of fish and seafood • 500 gm of caviar • 11 kg of eggs • 20 kg for honey and sugar products • 5 kg for herbs and spices including vinegar, orange blossom water and rose water • 500 gm of saffron • 10 kg of special-purpose food such as children's food is allowed • 20 litres of drinks and syrups including water • 5 kg of juice concentrates • 25 kg of canned food.


Publications including artwork (whether physical or electronic) that contradict Islamic values are banned. Your personal items may be scrutinised to check if you are carrying one of these. If found, your material may be censored or confiscated and you be may fined, jailed and/or deported.


Weapons, ammunition, body protection and related equipment (like cleaning kits, gun belts, etc.), however small the quantity and whatever the purpose, all require permission from Ministry of Interior before entering or transiting the UAE.

Technical equipment

Equipment like satellite phones, listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras or binoculars, may require a licence from Telecommunications Regulatory Authority for use in the UAE.

Personal goods

Passengers' personal belongings are permitted entry and shall be exempted from customs fees if the passenger meets the following conditions:
• value of gifts, perfumes and personal luggage does not exceed AED 3,000 • luggage and gifts must be of limited quantity and not in commercial ones • passenger should not be a frequent traveller with goods on a regular basis, or a member of the respective conveyance crew

Commercial goods

The UAE levies import and export duties on commercial goods depending on:
• which emirate the business is registered in • whether the business is registered on the mainland or in a free zone • nature of goods being moved • the source and destination of the goods being moved • trade agreements between the UAE and the other country • any other applicable laws.

Rate of customs duty

According to the website of General Directorate of Customs, Abu Dhabi, the rate of customs duty is five per cent of the value of goods plus Cost Freight Insurance plus Clearing agency charges. It is and 100 per cent on cigarettes.


Common Customs Law of the GCC States (PDF, 567 KB)