General FAQs

OFS team are available 24 hour during the week and weekends

Freight forwarding is the coordination and shipment of goods from one place to another via a single or multiple carriers via air, sea, rail or road.

Dubai SME was created as an integrated division of the Department of Economic Development (DED). It was developed as a resource for support, information and outreach for the growing small and medium enterprise sector.

One of the major goals of Dubai SME is to promote innovation and leadership across all segments of the small and medium enterprise sector. With that in mind, they seek to turn ideas and creativity into successful businesses.

You can reach our operation team by calling our Landline number +97143450001 or by sending email to

OFS team are available across all UAE ports and can clear your shipment from any ports in UAR

You can track you Sea Shipment by getting the Bill Of Lading “BOL” number and enter it in the box here

If you want to track your shipment using the Container number, then click here

You can track you Air Shipment by getting the Air Waybill “AWB” number and in entering it in the box here

Import to UAE

import goods into the UAE, companies must have the correct trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) from the Emirate. Foreign companies can either set up an office in the UAE or appoint a UAE national as sponsor, agent, or distributor to do business in the UAE “mainland” (that is, not in the free zones). Companies that set up in a FTZ can also use their trade license to import goods into that FTZ. To import goods, the UAE-based company (consignee/agent) should get a delivery order from the Shipping Agent and submit the following original standard trade documentation:

  • Commercial invoice from the exporting company addressed to the importer with details about quantity, goods description, and total value of each imported item.
  • Certificate of origin, stating the country of origin and approved by the Chamber of Commerce in the country of origin.
  • Detailed packing list including weight, method of packing, and HS code for each item.
  • Import permit from the competent agencies in case of importing restricted goods or duty exempted goods.
  • Bill of entry or airway bill.

Food products, also require the following certificates:

  • Original health certificate issued by the appropriate government agency in the exporting country, attesting to the product’s fitness for human consumption.
  • Original Halal slaughter certificate for meat and poultry products.
  1. The customs valuation is based on CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) which means that the amount used to assess customs duty is the sum of cost of goods, insurance and shipping cost to UAE
  2. Customs duties at 5% is levied on CIF value
  3. All non document express shipments destined to UAE are subject to a 5% VAT on goods value regardless of value
  4. Customs duties are not applicable for goods related to information technology, however a surcharge of 1% on CIF value is applied
  5. Intoxicating liquors will be subjected to a 50% customs duty on their CIF value while import of tobacco products are subject to 100% of the CIF Value
  6. International express or courier imports with declared value below AED 1,000 are duty free
  7. Goods with declared value of more than a AED 1,000 will be treated as normal cargo goods, and will require a formal customs clearance
  8. Deposit of 5% of the CIF value has to be provided to Customs Authorities which will be refunded upon shipments’ exit for re-export
  9. Generally the declared CIF amount on invoice is accepted, but Customs Authorities might estimate a different value based on their inspection

A number of goods are exempted from customs duties. Below are some of the applied exemptions:

  • Raw materials for manufacturing in UAE destined for companies holding industrial license
  • Imports for non-dutiable authorities and organizations
  • Diplomatic goods
  • Used personal effects
If goods, prior to its entry into UAE, has passed through any GCC country where custom duties have been paid, the Original Customs Declaration stamped from GCC customs must accompany the goods to avoid paying custom duties in UAE.

Import Declaration is processed in the event of goods being imported into UAE from other countries. The below documents are needed:

  • Bill of Entry
  • Original Waybill
  • Original Commercial Invoice
  • Original or copy of the Certificate of Origin approved by Chamber of Commerce at country of origin
  • Packing List (detailed)
  • Form of exemption from customs duties in case exemption requirements are fulfilled

OFS team will help you to do this, please send your inquiry to and one of our team will contact you to fulfil your request. 

Before any food item can be imported into Dubai, the food item AND its label needs to be registered in
the Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS) of Dubai Municipality.

The following information is MANDATORY on the food label:

  1. Brand name
  2. Product name: a summarized description of the food product.
  3. Food ingredients: arranged in a descending order according to the weight or volume. All
    ingredients should be listed.
  4. Production & expiration dates of all products, except those which are exempted from displaying
    the validity or expiration dates, such as fresh produce.
    The only accepted format of dates is: dd/mm/yyyy, for products with a shelf life longer than 3 months mm/yyyy is accepted.
  5. Name of the food manufacturer, packer, distributor or importer.
  6. Net weight or volume.
  7. Country of origin should be declared clearly and should be specific. EU is not a country of origin!.
  8. Product’s barcode.
  9. Lot number.
  10. The language of the label should be Arabic. 
  11. Approved stickers could be used to translate (part of) the food labels in Arabic language.
  12. The minimum requirement for the Arabic information on the label or sticker are:

      • Product name,
      • Food ingredients,
      • Country of origin,
      • Storage conditions (if applicable),
      • Instructions for use (if applicable),
      • Nutritional information (if applicable).
    Any stickers used should not be easily removable!

  13. Storage conditions (if the validity of the product depends on such conditions)

  14. Mentioning the ingredients which may cause hypersensitivity

  15. Instructions for using the product (if needed)

  16. Nutritional information is optional (catering only – and products for special use such as for babies and patients, etc.)

Any assistance for importing food items please drop an email to our team on 


Labeling regulations apply to all products shipped in bulk and retail-sized packaging. To avoid shipment rejection, it is important to comply with UAE label requirements and verify that all information mentioned on the product label is accurate and legible. Companies are strongly encouraged to review the regulations related to their specific commodity and clarify any questions prior to exporting.


Food labels must include the following information:

  • Product name (name of the food) in a prominent position on the label.
  • Ingredients in descending order of proportion.
  • Additives. Names of additives or E-number must be declared with the group name of the additive.
  • Nutritional declaration.
  • Net weight volume (reference section VII.11. for accepted weight and measure).
  • The name and address of the manufacturer, producer, distributor, importer, exporter, or vendor.
  • Country of origin.
  • Expiry dates, special storage and preparation instructions. Production and expiry dates shall be declared for the products having mandatory shelf life.
  • Allergy information on ingredients (if any).
  • Lot identification.
  • The source of animal fats (beef, buffalo, etc.).
  • Foodstuff and ingredients which are known to cause hypersensitivity.
  • Barcode.
  • Irradiated food.


Labels must be in Arabic only or Arabic/English. Arabic stickers are accepted. The production and expiry dates must be printed on the original manufactured installed label. All stickers must be approved by UAE authorities prior to use and should be included during the label assessment process. Stickering on imported items must be performed prior to export and cannot be completed upon entry. Companies should consider cultural norms and values when designing and developing product packaging. The minimum information requirements for the Arabic label or sticker are:

  • Product name.
  • Food ingredients.
  • Country of origin.
  • Storage conditions (if applicable).
  • Instructions for use (if applicable).
  • Nutritional information (if applicable).

Export from UAE & Dubai

  1. Original Commercial Invoice
  2. Security department approval might be required for the following countries: Iran , Syria, and Sudan (Khartoum)
  3. For certain goods, a strategic export license is required. Example where these licenses are needed include: military, dual-use, chemicals, technological, electronic goods, and agricultural goods. 

Other documents that could be required would depend on the specific requirements of the destinations.

When goods are being exported out of the free zone the following documents is needed:

Goods with declared value of AED 1,000 and below

  • Bill of Entry
  • Performa or original Commercial Invoice

Goods with declared value of AED 1,000 and above

  • Bill of Entry
  • Performa or original Commercial Invoice
  • Delivery advise
  • Importer Code
  • HS Code form
  • Copy of Trade license

Import Declaration is processed in the event of importing goods into UAE for purpose of re-exporting. The below documents are needed:

  • Bill of Entry
  • Original Waybill
  • Original or copy of the Commercial Invoice
  • Original or copy of the Certificate of Origin approved by Chamber of Commerce at country of origin.
  • Packing List (detailed)
  • Copy of trade license issued in UAE
  • Letter from licensed company/exhibition authorities showing purpose of entry, period, quantity, description and value of each item showing serial numbers
FAQs - Orient Freight Solutions