parcel dubai

All you need to know about sending to the UAE

With a population of 8.2 million that continues to grow rapidly, the United Arab Emirates is becoming an increasingly important destination for both business and pleasure. Now known as a hub for the Middle East, international mail traffic between the seven constituent emirates and the UK is becoming busier. As such, senders need to know that their deliveries - be it parcels, packages or envelopes - will reach their destination safe and sound.

To ensure senders and recipients both end up happy, both need to ensure they are familiar with the customs, restrictions and prohibitions employed by the UAE. By following this guide, each party will know the rules and regulations surrounding mailing to the UAE.

Customs duty

The vast majority of mail shipped to the UAE is subject to a customs duty upon arrival. The basic fee is five per cent of the shipment's value, though certain items have a higher duty fee; cigarettes and alcohol can reach up to as much as 50 to 100 per cent.

When sending a parcel or package, the right documentation is needed for it to reach the recipient quickly and safely. This can include the original invoice pertaining to the shipment, a certificate of origin, the bill of entry and a customs duty receipt/exemption certificate.

Import restrictions

There are strict restrictions and prohibitions in force regarding what comes in to the UAE, so senders have to be vigilant when mailing parcels and packages to the region.

The conservative nature of the UAE's central governing body means shipments containing printed material or media are likely to come under close scrutiny. Expect one eye to be cast over books, music and movies; if these materials are found to be against the 'values of the nation', they could be censored or even banned. In addition, pets and animals may be subject to quarantine and should have up-to-date veterinary records.

Both non-infectious and infectious perishable biological substances are prohibited - similar to most countries - whilst firearms, ammunition, other weapons and their components are also not permitted. Other prohibitions include illicit drugs, aerosol products and forged or duplicate currency.

Certain permits can be acquired for products that would otherwise be prohibited. Radio transmitters and receivers require a special permit alongside pork products and precious gemstones. Medication also requires special dispensation before sending it to the UAE. More information can be found on the UAE Customs page.

Once senders have followed these guidelines, shipping a parcel or package to the UAE couldn't be simpler. All you need to do now is find a courier that can ship packages to the UAE simply and efficiently. We think we might know of one...

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Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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