UAE: Customs duty exemption, certain products imported from Europe

UAE: Customs duty exemption

Dubai Customs issued Customs Policy No. 51/2021 that retroactively provides a customs duty exemption for a new list of goods (referred to as “Category B”) in the agreement between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA—the EU Member States plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein).


The effective date of duty exemption benefit for “Category B” goods is 1 July 2020.  

The agreement completed its fifth year of enforcement on 1 July 2020. Certain products are exempt from customs duties on the first day of the sixth year following the entry into force of the agreement. Therefore, the deferral exemption provided in Article 2.2 of the Agreement is now in force.

The list of goods in “Category B” includes:

  • Food items (pasta, macaroni, and French fries)
  • Cereal products (cornflakes and food made from roasted cereal products)
  • Bakery products (bread, pastries, margarine, baking powder, and yeast)
  • Coffee and tea products
  • Sauces including ketchup, soy sauce and mayonnaise
  • Food supplements
  • Mineral water and beverages
  • Bamboo
  • Softening agents
  • Glue

Read the full list of goods included under category B, see Dubai Customs Policy No. 42/2015 [PDF 1.1 MB].

KPMG observation

GCC-based businesses and consumers could see a reduction in the prices of “Category B” goods.

Businesses need to consider reviewing their pricing policies and their supply options in order to benefit from this recent exemption. Businesses that paid duties for Category B products imported into the GCC after 1 July 2020 may request a refund of said duties.  

Read a February 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the United Arab Emirates

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