Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Customs Regulations in UAE

On entering UAE at the airport or elsewhere, visitors may be subject to a check by customs officers. Tourists should take careful note of the following customs regulations:
Visitors to Dubai can bring the following items free of duty:
 » Gifts with a value not exceeding AED 3,000
» 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 500g of loose tobacco
» 4 litres of alcohol, or 2 cartons of beer (1 carton = 24 cans, each not exceeding 355 ml)
The following items of personal luggage are also exempt from duty, provided it is of a personal and not commercial nature:
 » Personal belongings, cameras, radios, CD and DVD players, projectors, telescopes, mobile phones, computers, baby strollers, portable music equipment, sports equipment
» Up to AED 40,000 in cash and travellers cheques provided the passenger is 18 or over
Items prohibited in Dubai include narcotic drugs, goods from Israel or with an Israeli logo/trademark, crude ivory and rhinoceros horn, gambling equipment, tires, radioactive material, forged currency, cooked and home-made food, and prints, sculptures, and lithographs.
There are several types of items that must be declared to Dubai Customs on arrival. Non-declaration of these is an offence. Such items include:
  •  Cash (or equivalents) above AED 40,000 or $US 10,000
  •  Pets
  •  Skins of endangered animals subject to the CITES Convention
  •  Books, films, DVDs, CDs, photographs
  •  Gifts with a value of more than AED 3,000
  •  Medicines – even if for personal use
  •  Fireworks, explosives, weapons, ammunition, knives, swords, self-defence equipment
  • Plants, trees, soil
  • Narcotics
  • Medicines
Note: Due to increasing concerns from readers concerning medicines we reference the following information. We take no responsibility whatsoever for its accuracy or whether it is currently up to date.
Statement on medication
Individuals may bring medicine into the country for their personal use. Up to three months’ supply of a prescription item can be brought into the country by a visitor and 12 months’ supply by a resident if they can produce a doctor’s letter or a copy of the original prescription. Narcotic items can only be brought into the UAE in exceptional cases with prior permission from the director of medicine and pharmacy control. These guidelines relate to medicines brought in by an individual through an airport or border crossing and medicines arriving by post. 
Visitors must take care to ensure that medicines and medications prescribed in their home countries are not restricted before travelling to the UAE. The UAE Ministry of Health’s Drug Control Department publishes a list of controlled medicines and medications. Visitors should contact the Ministry of Health drug control department to check whether their medication is on the controlled list, and needs prior permission for importation. The Customer Service Centre of the drug control department can be contacted by emailing, by telephone on +971 2 611 7240 or by fax +971 2 632 7644.
The following PDF documents are on the UAE Ministry of Health website:
 » Guidelines for Import of Personal Medicines
» List of Restricted and Controlled Drugs