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All you should know before exporting to UAE

Contents
1

CertificationProcess..................................................................................................................................3
1.1

ExportCertificatesRequired............................................................................................................3

1.2

SpecificAttestationRequiredOnTheExportCertificate............................................................4

1.3

GovernmentCertificateLegalEntryRequirements.....................................................................4

1.4

OtherCertification/AccreditationRequirements..........................................................................4

2............................................................................................................................................................................5
3

LabelingRequirements.............................................................................................................................5
3.1

GeneralRequirements......................................................................................................................5

3.2

Labelingregulations.........................................................................................................................5

OtherRegulationsandRequirements.....................................................................................................8

OtherSpecificStandards...........................................................................................................................8

ImportProcedures.....................................................................................................................................9

CustomsproceduresforAgriculturalGoods.......................................................................................10
7.1

CustomsRegimes............................................................................................................................10

7.1.1

ImportforHomeConsumption................................................................................................10

7.1.2

TemporaryImport(ImportforReExport)..............................................................................11

7.1.3

Warehouse...................................................................................................................................11

Appendix...................................................................................................................................................13
8.1

AnnexureCountryofOriginCertificateSample.....................................................................13

8.2

AnnexureHalalSlaughterCertificate.......................................................................................14

8.3

AnnexureHealthCertificate.......................................................................................................15

8.4

FoodColors......................................................................................................................................16

8.4.1

AnnexurePermittedFoodColors(Natural)........................................................................16

8.4.2

AnnexurePermittedFoodColors(Artificial).......................................................................18

8.4.3

AnnexureColoringallowedinSelectFoods.........................................................................18

8.4.4

AnnexureProhibitedColoring...............................................................................................20


1 CertificationProcess

1.1 ExportCertificatesRequired1

Products
Drypea,lentil,
Rice,seeds,
freshfruits&
vegetables,
etc.

Titleof
Certificate
Animal&Plant
Health
Inspection
Service(APHIS)
Phytosanitary
Certificate

Allproducts

Countryof
OriginCertificate

Allproducts

Health
Certificate

Meat&Poultry
Products

FoodSafety
Inspection
Service(FSIS)
ExportHealth
Certificate
HalalSlaughter
Certificate

Meat&Poultry
Products

AttestationRequiredon
Certificate
Thisistocertifythatthe
plant(s)
Product(s)describedherein
havebeeninspectedand/or
testedaccordingto
appropriate
officialprocedures,are
consideredtobefreefrom
quarantinepests,andconform
toPhytosanitaryregulationsof
theimportingcontracting
party
includingthoseforregulated
nonquarantinepest.
Thegoodsareofxxxorigin

Purpose

Pestand
insect
free
confirmation

Countryof
origin
confirmation
Thegoodshavebeenprepared Health
andshippedundersanitary
Certificate
conditionsandarefitfor
human
consumption.
Animalswereslaughteredand Product
processedinaccordanceto
produce
U.S.
under
healthregulations
hygienic
conditions
Animalswereslaughteredin Product
AccordingtoIslamic/Sharia
produce
laws
inaccordance
&requirements
withSharia
Law

1PleaserefertoAnnexures9.1,9.2and9.3forcertificateexamples

Requesting
Ministry
Health
Department
ofthelocal
municipality,
Ministryof
Environment
&Water

Customs
Authority
Health
Department

Health
Department

Health
Department

confirmation
1

1.2 SpecificAttestationRequiredOnTheExportCertificate

HalalslaughterandhealthcertificatesneedtobenotarizedbytheUAEEmbassyorConsulate(or
anyotherArabEmbassyorConsulateintheabsenceoftheUAEEmbassy)inIndia.Nonnotarized
certificatesmaybesentbackfornotarizationwithin15days.

1.3 GovernmentCertificateLegalEntryRequirements

Originalcertificatesmustaccompanyshipmentatthetimeofentry.Sometimesimportersare
allowedtohavethedocumentssenttotheirbanks.

Certificatesareusedforonlytheaccompanyingshipmentsinceitcarriesthedetailsof

theshipment.

U.S.Stateissuedexportcertificatesareacceptable.

Modificationtoanycertificateisnotpermittedonceissuedandshippedaccompanyingthe
product.

1.4 OtherCertification/AccreditationRequirements

Originalinvoice,billofladingandpackinglistarerequiredtoaccompanytheabovereferenced
certificatestomeetdocumentationrequirementsoftheCustomsAuthorityforthereleaseofthe
shipment.

2 LabelingRequirements

2.1 GeneralRequirements
TheFoodDepartmentoftheDubaiMunicipalitytooktheinitiativetodraftafoodimport
mechanismwhichtranslatesthelabelingandshelflifestandardstoanapplicationprocedure.It
alsoprovidesboththeimporterandtheexporterfurtherclarificationtothestandardsandthe
methodofapplication.

2.2 Labelingregulations

WhiletheUAEhasacceptedEnglishonlylabelsinthepast,bilinguallabelsarenowrequired.
Arabicstickersandlabelsshouldbelegibleandshow,atleast,thefollowinginformation:
1.Productdescription;
2.Ingredients;
3.Countryoforigin;and
4.Netweight
Someproducts,suchproductsintendedforinstitutionaluse,maybeexemptfromtheArabic
labelingrequirement,butthemechanismisdesignedtoeventuallyprovidegreaterclarityonthis
point.Exportersshouldworkcloselywiththeirimporterstoensurethattheirproductswillmeet
theneedsofretailers.
Labelingregulationsapplytoallproductsshippedinbulkandinstitutionalsizedcontainers.Bulk
cartonsoffreshfruitsandvegetablesmustcontainmostlabelinformation,butneednotcarry
production/expirydates.However,productiondatingcontinuestobeakeydifference.Afoodlabel
mustcontainthefollowinginformation:

Productname(nameofthefood)inaprominentpositiononthelabel;

Ingredientsindescendingorderofproportion;

AdditivesusingtheirEnumber(groupnamesareaccepted)

Thesourceoftheanimalfats(beef,buffalo,etc)
o

AnimalfatsandingredientsshouldbesourcedfromanimalsthatareHalal
slaughtered.Theuseofporkfat,aswithallporkrelatedproductsasingredients,is
restricted.Porkproductsmaybesoldindesignatedexcludedareasofretailstores
andincertainrestaurants.OthernonHalalmeats(meatandpoultry)arepermitted
importthroughanexemptionissuedbytheDirector,FoodControlSectionofthe

municipality.Suchproductsaresubjecttocertainrestrictions,i.e.,canonlybesold
tononMuslimsviathedesignatedareas/establishments.Labelsforporkandpork
containingproductsmustcomplywiththegenerallabelingrequirementsandmust
clearlystatethattheproductcontainspork.Foodlabelsmaynotincludepicturesof
pork,normayrecipeslistpork.Toavoidconfusionwithregulatoryofficialsand
consumers,exportersmaywishtosteerclearofnamestraditionallyassociatedpork
onnonporkproductssuchasturkeyhamorbeefbacon;however,thisisnota
requirementandsuchnamesarepermitted.

Thefoodstuffandingredientswhichareknowntocausehypersensitivityshallalwaysbe
declared;

Netcontentinmetricunits;

Productionandexpirydates
o

Production/expirydatesmustbeengraved,embossed,printedorstampeddirectly
ontotheoriginallabelorprimarypackagingatthetimeofproduction,using
indelibleink.P/Edatesprintedonstickersarenotanacceptablealternative,aswell
asU.S.barcodinginlieuofP/Edates.OnlyonesetofP/Edatesonthelabelis
permitted.P/Edatesmustbeprintedinthefollowingfashion,dependinguponthe
shelflifeoftheproduct:

Day/month/yearforproductswithashelflifeofthree(3)monthsorless

Month/yearforproductswithashelflifelongerthanthree(3)months

Underthemonth/yearformat,thelastdayofthemonthisconsideredtheexpiry
date.Exporterswholistthefirstdayofthemonthfollowingtheexpirydatehaverun
intoissueswhentryingtoclearshipments.Themonthmaybeprintedinnumbers
orletters.Forexample,both3/08andMarch08areacceptableformats.

ThewordProductionortheletterPmustprecedetheproductiondate.The
expirydatemustbeprecededbyoneofthefollowingstatements:Expiration
(date);Fitfor..fromthedateofproduction;Useby(date);Usebefore
(date);Sellby(date);Validuntil(date)fromthedateofproduction;ortheletter
E.

Countryoforigin;

Thenameandaddressofthemanufacturer,producer,distributor,importer,exporteror

vendorshallbedeclaredonthelabel;

Specialstorageandpreparationinstructions,ifany;

Foodsmakinghealthclaimsmustbelabeledaccordinglyandrequirepreapprovalbythe

MinistryofHealth;

Lotidentification.

Alcoholicbeveragesandalcoholcontainingproductscanbeimportedbutonlythroughauthorized
importerswhoruntheirownretailshops.Therearenospeciallabelingrequirementsforalcoholic
beveragesbeyondwhatistypicallyrequiredinthecountryoforigin.Aswithfoodproducts,
labelsforpetfoodsmustbeprintedinArabic.Arabic/Englishlabelsarepermitted,asareArabic
stickersinlieuofArabiclabels.ThepetfoodlabelmustcontainthestatementNotfitforhuman
consumption.Production/expirydatesarerequiredforpetfoods.
Mostmajormunicipalitiesofferthefollowingservicestofacilitatefoodproductimports:
Preshipmentapprovalof:
FoodLabelsCopiesoflabelscanbesent(faxcopiesoremailsareacceptable)directlyor
throughoneoftheimporterstohealthofficialsforreviewandregistration,atnocost.
Whenapprovedandregistered,theproductsbarcodewillbeaddedtothemunicipalitys
listofapprovedandregisteredproducts.Thisprocedureismeanttofacilitatethe
importationofproductsandreduceclearancetime.Whilepreapprovalisnotrequired,
ATODubaistronglyencouragesexporterstohavelabelsfornewproductspreapproved.

ProductsOfficialswillanalyzeaproducttodeterminecompliancewithfoodingredient
standards.Costsinvolvedvary,dependingontypeofproductandingredients.
LaboratorytestingisrequiredonfirstconsignmentstotheUAE.Thesameproductmaybe
subjecttofuturerandomlaboratorytesting.Whilepreapprovalisnotrequired,ATO
Dubaiencouragesexporterstohavetheiringredientspreapprovedfornewproducts.

Occasionally,localhealthofficialswillpermittheimportationoffoodproductswithminorlabeling
infractions.Exemptionsaregrantedonaonetimebasisandthesaleofsuchproductsusuallyis
limitedtoinstitutionalendusers.

3 OtherRegulationsandRequirements

Allimportedfoodproductsmustbeaccompaniedby:

Ahealthcertificateissuedbytheappropriategovernmentagencyintheexporterscountry,
attestingtotheproductsfitnessforhumanconsumption,

AHalalslaughtercertificateissuedbyaUAEapprovedU.S.IslamicCenterandnotarizedbythe
UAEEmbassy/Consulate,

BillofEntryorAirwayBill,

Packinglist,

CountryofOriginCertificate.

TheUAEEmbassyorUAEConsulateintheUnitedStatesmustnotarizehealthandHalalslaughter
certificates.
Therearenospecialpackagingorcontainersizerequirementsforfoodproducts.TheUAEdoesnot
allowtheimportationofirradiatedfoodproducts.Aradiationfreecertificateisrequiredforfood
productsfromEuropeandAsia.
Therearenospecificrequirementsforimportedfoodsamples.Samplesforfoodshowsandother
promotionaleventsareroutinelyexemptfromlocallabelingandshelfliferequirements.Product
samplesmustbeclearlymarkedassamplesandaccompaniedbyastatementclaimingthattheyare
notforsale.
Since1998theUAEhasleviedacommercialinvoicelegalizationfee(equivalentto1percentofthe
consignmentvalue)onallimportedproducts.ThefeecanbepaidattheUAEEmbassy/Consulate
orintheUAEuponarrival.ProductswillnotbereleasedfromCustomsuntilthefeeispaid.

4 OtherSpecificStandards

Inspectionofficialsroutinelycheckforsalmonellainpoultryproducts.Ifsalmonellaisdetectedin
morethan20percentoftestedsamples,theshipmentwillberejected.
Importsofalcoholicbeveragesarestrictlycontrolled.Onlyafewlocalcompaniesarelicensedto
importandsellalcoholicbeverages.Theseproductsareexemptfromlocallabelingrequirements.
Theimportofnonalcoholicbeveragesispermitted,buttheseproductscannotcontainmorethan
0.05percentofalcoholbyvolume.Theseproductsarealsoexemptfromlocallabelingrequirements.

Thesaleofporkproductsisstrictlyregulatedandconfinedtowellmarkedareasofsupermarkets.
Restaurantsmustclearlyidentifyproductsonthemenuthatcontainpork.Onlyselectedretail
outletsandhotelsarepermittedtosellpork.
TheUAEMinistryofAgricultureandFisheries(MAF)isresponsibleforregulatingtheimportation
ofliveanimalsandplants.

5 ImportProcedures

TheUAEboastssomeofthemostmodernairandseaportfacilitiesintheworld.Foodshipments
usuallyareoffloaded,inspectedbyhealthofficialsandclearedthroughcustomswithinhoursof
arrivalatport.(Dubaiportsaretheprimaryentrypointsforfoodproducts.)
Everyfoodshipmentissubjecttovisualinspectionuponarrivaltoensurecompliancewithlabeland
shelfliferegulations.Shipmentsaresubjecttorandomlaboratoryanalysis.Babyfoodsandedible
oilsaresubjectto100percentsampling.Otherfoodproductsaresampledinaccordancewiththe
samplingpolicymanual,whichsetsoutthefrequencyofsamplingbasedonfoodtype,brandand
countryoforigin.Aconsignmentundergoinglaboratoryanalysisisstoredunderbonded
warehouseselectedbytheimporter,withinthesameemirateofarrival.Laboratoryresultsare
generallyknownwithin510days.Newtomarketfoodproductsaresubjecttothoroughlaboratory
analysis.Oncecleared,theyaresubjecttorandomsamplingasareotherfoodproductsonthe
market.
Aproductwillberejectediffoundunfitforhumanconsumptionornoncompliantwithlabel
requirements.Ineithercase,theproductwouldbedestroyedbythelocalmunicipalityorre
exportedtothecountryoforiginwithin30days,attheimportersdiscretion.Productsnot
conformingtolabelrequirementsmaybereexportedtoathirdcountry(nonGCC).Finesmaybe
imposed,dependingontheseverityoftheviolation.
AproductrejectionmaybeappealedtotheHealthDepartmenthavingjurisdictionoverthatport.
Themunicipalitywillconveyaspecialcommitteetoreviewthepetitionandissueafinaldecision,
normallywithinaweek.Thecommitteesdecisionisfinal.
Incaseofaminorlabelinfraction,ashipmentmaybepermittedentryonaonetimebasisforlimited
sale,i.e.,toinstitutionalendusersonly.Amajorinfraction,suchasimproperlabelingofproducts
containingporkortamperingwithP/Edates,isseverelypunished,particularlythoseinfractions
discoveredafterimport.Suchproductsareautomaticallybannedfromimport,usuallyforseveral
months,andthebrandnameandimporterisoftenreportedinthepress.

6 CustomsproceduresforAgriculturalGoods

ApreconditionfortheclearanceofanimportofanyagriculturalfoodproductintoDubai(the
primaryportwhichwillbeusedforexportintoUAE)istheImportCertificatefromtheDubai
Municipality.SimilarFoodControlandEnvironmentLaboratoriesprovidethisfunctionineach
Emirate.Also,foranyfoodproductthatistoentertheUAE,theremustbealicensegrantedtothe
consigneetotradeinfoodstuffs.Importsofagriculturalproductslistedbelowmustbeapprovedby
theFoodControlSectionofthePublicHealthDepartmentoftheDubaiMunicipality:

Cerealandwheatorryeflour,groatsormeal

Riceandbrokenrice

Productsprocessedfromcereals

Cerealbasedcompoundfeedingstuffs

Beefandveal

Pigmeat

Poultrymeat

Eggs

Milkandmilkproducts

Productsprocessedfromfruitsandvegetables

Oliveoil

Whiteandrawsugarwithoutfurtherprocessing

Syrupsandothersugarproducts;and

Wine

6.1 CustomsRegimes

6.1.1 ImportforHomeConsumption
ForanyfoodproductthatistoentertheUAE,theremustbealicensegrantedtotheconsigneeto
tradeinfoodstuffs.Customsrequiresthefollowingdocumentation:

ImportersLicensetotradeinfoodstuff

ImportGoodsDeclaration

DubaiMunicipalityapprovalletter

CommercialInvoice

CertificateofOrigin

BillofLading

PackingList

DeliveryOrder(addressedtotheCustomsDepartmentstatingthedescriptionofthe
carrierandthecargoandstatingtowhomthecargoistobedelivered).

6.1.2

TemporaryImport(ImportforReExport)

TheDirectorGeneralofCustomsmaygranttemporaryadmissionforthefollowingitems:

Heavymachineryandequipmentneededtocompletespecificprojectorneededfor
conductingtestsforaspecificproject

Foreigngoodsimportedforprocessing

Anyitemsimportedforexhibitionsandthelike

Machineryandequipmentimportedforthepurposeofrepair

Containersandpackingmaterialsimportedforrefilling

Animalsadmittedforgrazing

IfimportedfoodproductsenterDubaiforreexport,theimportermustsupplyawritten
undertakingthatthefoodstuffswillnotbesoldinDubaiandthatthegoodshaveenteredfora
specialpurposesatisfyingthetemporaryadmissionrequirements.Inaddition:

Depositorbankguaranteefortheestimateddutypayable

Afterreexportingthedocumentstheimportermustsubmitevidencethatthegoodshave
beenexportedtotheDubaiMunicipalitysFoodControlsection.

6.1.3

Warehouse

TheDirectorGeneralofCustomsmaypermitgoodstobedepositedintobondedwarehousewith
suspensionofdutypaymentuntilenteredforhomeconsumptionorexported.Theconsigneemust
submitadepositorbankguaranteefortheestimateddutypayable.Thereisatimelimitof365days
forstorageafterwhichdutywillbecharged.Warehousesystemisprimarilyforstorage,soany
activitiesthatinvolvevalueaddingarenotpermitted.

7 Appendix
7.1 AnnexureCountryofOriginCertificateSample

7.2 AnnexureHalalSlaughterCertificate

7.3 AnnexureHealthCertificate

7.4 FoodColors
7.4.1

AnnexurePermittedFoodColors(Natural)

Thefollowingisalistoffoodcolors,naturalandartificial,permittedintheUAE:
Color/

International

Other

Description

Number

Names


RedtoYellowColors
Carmine

120

Cochineal,CarminicAcid

Annatoextracts

160B

Bixin,Norbixin

BetaCarotene

160A

Caroteneblend

Lycobine

160D

BetaApo8carotenal

160E

BetaApo8carotenoidacid
Lutein

160F
161B

Carrotoil

None

Beetrootred

162

Betanine

RedtoPurpleShade
Anthocyanins

163(i)

Grapeskinextract

163(ii)

Blackcurrantextract

163(iii)

Beetpowder

None

Paprika

None

Paprikaoleoresin

160C

Enocianina

OrangeandYellowColors
Saffron

None

Naturalyellow6

Turmericpowder

100(ii)

Curcumin

100(i)

Turmericoleoresin

None

Riboflavin

101(i)

Riboflavin5SodiumPhosphate

101(ii)

Chlorophylls

140

Chlorophyllins

Chlorophyllcoppercomplex

141(i)

Sodiumandpotassiumsaltsof

141(ii)

chlorophyllcoppercomplex

GreenColors

BrownColors
Plaincaramel

150A

Causticsulphitecaramel

150B

Ammoniacaramel

150C

Ammoniasulphitecaramel

150D

153

BlackColor
Activatedvegetablecarbon
InorganicColors
Titaniumdioxide

171

Ironoxides

172

Foodwhite6


7.4.2

AnnexurePermittedFoodColors(Artificial)

RedColors
Azorubine

122

AlluraRed17 129

Carmosine,Foodred3
Foodred40

YellowColors
SunsetyellowFCF

110

Tartrazine

Foodyellow4,Yellow5forfood,drugsandcosmetics

102

Foodyellow3,FoodorangeS,Yellow6forfood,drugsandcosmetics

BrownColor
ChocolatebrownHT 155

Foodbrown3

GreenColor
FastgreenFCF143

Foodgreen3,Green3forfood,drugsandcosmetics

BlueColors
Indigotine

BrilliantblueFCF

132

Carmineindigo,Blue2forfood,drugsandcosmetics,Foodblue1

133

Foodblue2,Blue1forfood,drugsandcosmetics

151

Foodblack1,BlackPN

BlackColor
BrilliantblackBN
7.4.3

AnnexureColoringallowedinSelectFoods

InternationalNumber

Color

Food

MaximumLimit

127

Erythrosine

CherryandProducts

None

128

Red2G

Sausages

20ppm

161G

Canthaxanthin

CookedSausages

30ppm

FrozenFoods

100ppm

173

Aluminum

ExternalCoverfor

AccordingtoGood

CakeandPasta

ProductionPractice

174

Silver

ExternalCoverfor

AccordingtoGood

Sweets

ProductionPractice

175

Gold

ExternalCoverfor

AccordingtoGood

Sweets

ProductionPractice

180

Lithotrubine

CheeseCovering

AccordingtoGood
ProductionPractice

None

OrangeB

Sausageand

150ppm

FrankfurtersCovering

None

CitrusRed2

OrangePeel

2ppm


7.4.4

AnnexureProhibitedColoring

InternationalNumber

Color

104

Quinolinyellow

124

Ponceau4R

SudanReds1234

Remarks

Prohibitedinallfoodproducts

Prohibitedinallfoodproducts

Prohibitedinallfoodproducts