According to the provisions of Articles 77-88 of the GCC Common Customs Law aim to organize the procedures of import / export goods into / out of the UAE free zones and duty-free shops, the following procedures, measures and controls shall be adhered to:
Article 1: Definitions
Free Zone: a part of the state’s territories in which commercial or industrial activities are practiced under the respective laws of the state. Any goods entering that zone are considered to be outside the customs zone and shall not be subject to the usual customs procedures, but subject to customs control.
Duty-Free Shop: a licensed building or place in which goods are placed free of customs duties (taxes) for purposes of display or sale.
Free Zone deposit Request: an e-custom request presented by the person concerned, his/her representative or authorized customs broker, which includes information about the goods to enter into the free zone.
Free Zone exit Request: means an e-custom request presented by the person concerned, his/her representative or authorized customs broker, which includes information about the goods to exit out of the free zone.
Article 2: General provisions
a) Free zones and duty-free shops should have been officially designated according to a decision issued by the competent authorities and the GCC shall be informed accordingly.
b) The registered, natural or legal persons and entities licensed by the authority managing the free zones and duty-free shops, shall have the right to practice their activities inside these free zones and duty-free shops.
c) The registered companies are required to obtain an “importer code” from Abu Dhabi Customs Administration (ADCA).
d) Goods imported into free zones and duty-free shops are required to be in conformity with the activity defined in their license.
Article 3: Controls for deposit and exit goods.
a) Goods deposit and exit free zones and duty-free shops considered as foreign goods.
b) Prohibited Goods or in violation of national provisions and regulations shall not be entered.
c) The following goods shall not be deposit into free zones and duty-free shops:
1. Flammable goods, excluding fuel.
2. Radioactive materials.
3. Arms, ammunition and explosives of any kind.
4. Goods infringing the laws relating to intellectual, commercial, industrial, intellectual property, literary and art property rights.
5. Any kind of narcotic drug and/or derivatives thereof.
6. Goods originating from an economically boycotted country.
7. Goods prohibited from entering the Customs Union or the country of final destination.
d) Imported goods, listed in the Cargo Manifest, may not be transferred or admitted into the free zones and duty-free shops unless by approval from the Director General .
e) Goods in free zones and duty-free shops shall not be subject to any restriction in respect of the period they can remain therein.
f) The Import Permit issued by the competent control authority must be presented for restricted goods.
g) Foreign Goods re-exported from inside the local market to free zones and duty-free shops, are Subjected to export restrictions and to re-exports.
Article 4: Required Documents
A- The following documents must be attached to the Goods deposit Request:
• Copy of Customs Declaration
• Commercial invoice
• Packing list
• Import Permit for restricted goods
• Copy of Commercial License
B- The following documents must be attached to exit request:
• Copy of the deposit request
• Certificate of Origin
• Packing list
• The assignment of goods ownership, if any
C- The following documents must be attached to the Customs Declaration
• Original invoice
• Original Certificate of Origin
D- The requirements:
• Delivery order for air or sea imports
• Bill of Landing for air or sea imports
• Cargo Manifest for land imports
• Packing List for multiple items (several items, provided that it includes the coordinating system code as well as the international code for chemicals and hazardous materials)
• Copy of the company’s Commercial License
Article 5: Procedures for depositing goods into the free zones and free-duty shops
The owner of the goods, his/her representative or authorized customs broker shall electronically present a free zone Deposit Request attached to the required documents in the following cases:
A. Transfer of goods from a particular customs center by a Transit Declaration to the free zone or duty-free shop.
B. Transfer of goods from a free zone by a Transit declaration to the free zone or duty-free shop.
C. Transfer of goods from a customs warehouse by a Transit declaration to the free zone.
D. Transfer of goods from the local market by export declaration (for national goods) to the free zone.
E. Transfer of goods from the local market by a Re-export Declaration (for foreign goods) to the free zone.
Article 6: Procedures for exit of free zones and duty-free shops
The owner of the goods, his/her representative or authorized customs broker shall electronically prepare a free zone exit Request attached to the required documents in all cases and according to the destination, as the following:
A. From the free zone to the local market, a free zone exit Request and Import Declaration shall be prepared .
B. From a free zone to another free zone, a free zone exit request and a Transit (IN) Declaration shall be prepared.
C. From the free zone to a customs warehouse, a free zone exit Request and a Transit (IN) Declaration shall be prepared.
D. From the free zone to another country (passing through the territory of the country), a free zone exit Request and Transit (IN) Declaration shall be prepared.
E. From the free zone to another country (without passing through the territory of the country), a free zone exit Request and Transit (OUT) Declaration shall be Prepared.
Article 7: Transfer of the ownership of goods inside the free zone
The ownership of goods deposited (or part thereof) may be transferred from one company to another company within the free zone in accordance with the following requirements:
• Both companies (buyer and seller) operate in terms of the same commercial license activity.
• The licenses of both companies have been issued inside the same free zone.
• The owner of the goods or his/her representative shall electronically present a Transfer of Ownership Form attached to the following documents:
- Detailed original invoice
- Original packing list
- Copy of the commercial license of both buyer and seller
Article 8: Destruction and Shortages in Free Zones and duty free shop.
a- the case of either the Customs Authority or the Concerned Party become aware of expired goods that require destruction, the Customs Center shall be notified in writing with details of the item/s’ number and reasons for destruction - taking into account that the Concerned Party shall incur the related expenses and any resulting liabilities related thereto. A Destruction Report shall be issued by the competent committee designated by the Center’s Director. This Destruction Committee shall comprise of representatives from the Customs Center and the Concerned Party.
b- In case of locating shortages in the stock of a particular item, the Concerned Party shall promptly notify the Customs Center concerning the shortage or missing item and a report shall be issued accordingly, including detailed information on the incident in terms of the shortage or missing item/s, the number and value, in addition to taking the necessary legal procedures relating thereto.
All previous circulars and instructions governing the bringing in / out operations from / to the free zones and duty-free shops are hereby cancelled and replaced by these regulations .