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How to Export to UAE from India?

Export to UAE Dubai from India Guide - Process, Benefits, Documents and More
Table of Contents

Strategically speaking, Dubai is one of the best locations for getting involved in international trade. It is a global economic hub with business-friendly laws offering significant benefits to businesses registered here.

However, entrepreneurs and business owners looking to export to UAE, Dubai, from India can find themselves in a more favourable position. The UAE has implemented various trade policies and regulations that favor e-commerce and trading companies in India.

The country has signed a UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to motivate the flow of imported goods from India to Dubai. The CEPA reduced or removed tariffs on more than 80% of imported goods from India. 

This creates a huge opportunity to start an import-export business here. With less or no tariff combined with other benefits offered by CEPA, it can be a golden chance to set your feet in the Dubai market. 

However, the overall process of starting to export goods from India to Dubai includes many steps, which increases the chances of committing errors, especially with customs regulations and product codes. Therefore, we have created this guide to help you understand the overall process and its intricate details. 

But let’s begin with the most obvious question.

Why?

Why Export to UAE from India?

The UAE ranked 18th in terms of exports and 21st in imports worldwide. These statistics alone make it one of the best countries to start a trading business from anywhere in the world. It is also a member of the World Trade Organization and has substantial trade relations with many countries. 

However, exporting to the UAE from India holds a significant advantage that other countries might not have. The UAE exports most of its goods to India. Not just that, the Emirates also imports most products from India after China. 

Additionally, the UAE and India signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022 to improve their trade relationships and offer significant advantages to exporters on both sides. The UAE is a good market with an excellent chance to scale export business, as the per capita purchasing power here is AED 70,711.

Documents Required for Export to Dubai From India

The following documents are mandatory to start exporting goods from India to Dubai. 

  1. Certificate of origin that mentions the country in which the shipped goods were processed or manufactured
  2. Commercial invoice from exporter to importer 
  3. A Bill of Entry, Airway Bill, or Sea waybill is a document attached to an international cargo and allows tracking of the package
  4. Detailed packing list of relevant exporters and their shipped goods
  5. Pro forma invoice highlighting mutually agreed terms and conditions between the importers and exporters 
  6. Sales-purchase contract between both parties 
  7. Export-related documents
  8. Temporary shipment documents
  9. Specific documents and certificates for certain goods, depending on their nature
  10. Insurance certificate
  11. Details of manufacturer, manufacturing date, and expiry date

If you are exporting food from India to Dubai, you also need these two documents with the above:

● Original health certificate attesting the food’s health for human consumption by a relevant government agency from the country of origin

Original Halal certificate for meat, chicken, and other poultry products

In addition to that, all UAE imports from India need the legalisation of documents, except in the case of food.

The document legalisation consists of two steps:

● The UAE Embassy Verification Agent approves documents

● As the verification process is complete, the UAE Embassy must sanction the process, which costs a minimal fee

Procedure to Export Goods from India to Dubai

Obtain an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC)

To start exporting goods from India to Dubai, every business must secure an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) provided by the DGFT, short for Directorate General of Foreign Trade. This unique identification number is mandatory for individuals or businesses exporting goods and products from India. The IEC officially recognizes your company’s involvement in international trade operations. 

Identify the Harmonised System (HS) code

Identifying the Harmonised System (HS) code for your products is crucial to ensure their accurate classification as customs require. Based on these codes, the exporter must pay customs duties and follow specific regulations.

The HS code is a globally accepted coding system that categorizes goods based on their unique characteristics and nature. Finding the correct HS code for your exported goods and products ensures a seamless customs clearance process. 

Gather essential documents

To start exporting from India to Dubai, you must prepare and submit many essential documents as needed by relevant authorities. The documents usually include:

  • a commercial invoice 
  • packing list 
  • shipping bill 
  • any specific certificates or permits necessary for a particular product category 

In some instances, the authorities may demand additional documents, such as a Certificate of Origin or a Phytosanitary Certificate, based on the nature of your products. 

Before you start exporting goods, ensure that all the paperwork is completed at your end to streamline the export process.

Engage a shipping agent or freight forwarder

It is recommended that a reputed shipping agent or freight forwarder be engaged for the smooth transportation of goods from India to Dubai. Professional shipping agents/freight forwarders have experience and expertise in handling shipments and can provide proper guidance to find the most appropriate mode of transportation. 

These professionals also assist with the documentation, including bill of lading, bill of entry, or airway bill, so you remain compliant with shipping laws and regulations. 

Complete customs clearance in India

Customs clearance is necessary to ship goods from India to Dubai. To obtain clearance, you must submit the shipping or export bill to the Indian customs authorities. 

Other supporting documents, such as the commercial invoice, packing list, and any relevant certificates or permits, are also required. 

You may also need to fulfill the export duties fees, if applicable, as per the regulations. 

Arrange transportation to the designated port or airport

After receiving the customs clearance, you must make the necessary arrangements to transport the goods to the designated port or airport. You must ensure the products are packaged and labeled according to international shipping standards. 

Proper packaging and labels are mandatory to ensure the safety of your goods during transit. 

Seek a custom clearing agent in Dubai

As exported goods from India arrive in Dubai, they also require customs clearance. Hence, hiring a credible custom clearing agent is advised to make the procedure as smooth as possible. 

An experienced agent with in-depth knowledge of Dubai’s customs regulations can help you with a smooth customs clearance process. You have to share the required documents with them, such as the commercial invoice, packing list, airway bill, and any additional certificates or permits mandated by the Dubai customs authorities. 

Pay applicable customs duties and fees

Before the goods are released for re-export or market consumption, you must evaluate and pay the applicable customs duties, taxes, and any extra charges as applicable. A customs clearing agent can help you determine the total costs and even assist with the payment. 

Arrange delivery of goods in Dubai

After paying the fees, the Dubai Customs Authority releases your shipment. Therefore, you need to arrange for the quick delivery of products to the desired destination. 

It is a good idea to connect with reputed and reliable logistics companies. Find the one that provides a smooth transportation experience without delays or disruptions in the supply chain. 

If you follow all the steps mentioned from start to finish, the entire export process becomes much smoother. By following every step carefully, you stay compliant with all the customs and trading regulations.

Benefits of Exporting from India to Dubai with a Trading Company Licence in the UAE

You can also choose to obtain a trading licence in Dubai, which offers added benefits while exporting from India to Dubai. Obtaining a trading licence and setting up a trading company in the UAE is much more straightforward.

Here are some benefits you get by registering a trading company in Dubai.

Cost-effective Dubai business opportunity

The costs associated with starting a trading company AED 12,000 at maximum. It is very low if you consider the benefits that you receive with a trading company licence in the UAE. Let’s look at more such benefits below.

Ease of Doing Business

As discussed above, setting up a trading company in Dubai is easy due to efficient government processes.

100% Foreign Ownership

The UAE now permits 100% foreign ownership in free zones and the mainland (except for a few activities), granting you complete control over your business.

Repatriation of Profits

There are no restrictions on the repatriation of business profits out of the UAE, ensuring you can freely transfer your earnings.

Reduced Bureaucracy 

A trading licence in Dubai streamlines customs procedures and minimises paperwork for exporting and re-exporting goods.

Efficient Dispute Resolution

Dubai excels in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), especially arbitration through the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC). DIAC provides a neutral, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation in India or other countries.

Enforceable Awards 

Due to international treaties, DIAC awards are recognized and enforceable in over 170 countries, including India. This ensures firm support for any judgments you receive.

Neutrality and Expertise 

Disputes are managed by seasoned arbitrators who are skilled and experienced in international trade practices. This ensures a fair and objective resolution based on industry standards.

Confidentiality

DIAC arbitration proceedings are confidential, helping maintain business relationships and protect sensitive commercial information.

Control Over Process

Parties involved in the dispute can have more control over the arbitration process than court proceedings. They can select arbitrators and opt for customised procedures.

Establishing your import and export company in Dubai and incorporating a DIAC arbitration clause in your contracts set up a clear and efficient dispute resolution mechanism. This mechanism offers protection in case of disputes with your exported goods.

Obtaining a trade licence in Dubai can make your processes more seamless and convenient. With a trading company in Dubai, your exporting business from India will be more profitable and efficient.

Dubai handles approximately 70% of the UAE’s import and export trade. As it is mainly in the re-export business, total imports are slightly equal to total exports. 

Considering this, Indian exporters help Dubai’s economy by exporting goods. Also, due to the re-export of products, there is scope to scale as imported goods will be re-exported from Dubai.

Here are some of the top products exported to Dubai from India –

  • Pieces of iron or steel
  • Telephone sets
  • Petroleum products
  • Diamonds and precious metals
  • Electrical machinery and equipment
  • Machinery and mechanical appliances
  • Nuts and edible products
  • Cereals
  • Natural or cultured pearls
  • Ships, boats, and floating structures
  • Nuclear reactors
  • Organic chemicals
  • Articles of apparel and clothing
  • Food products such as rice and seafood 
  • Mineral oils, mineral fuels, and products for their distillation

Restricted Goods for Import in Dubai

As an exporter, you must know which goods are restricted from being imported into Dubai. It would help if you were extremely careful not to try to export any of the following goods:

  • Narcotic drugs 
  • Gambling machines and devices 
  • Israeli goods or goods with Israeli flags and emblems 
  • Nylon fishing nets 
  • Live swine 
  • Used, reconditioned, and inlaid tires
  • Paan/betel leaves 
  • E-cigarettes and electronic hookah
  • Radioactive and nuclear fallout-contaminated objects
  • Products that do not align with Islamic faith and public morals 
  • Any goods or products prohibited under the Common Customs Law or any other law or regulation by a UAE authority 

In addition to the goods mentioned above, there are some restricted goods that can be imported by providing an import permit. Such semi-restricted goods include:

  • Live animals, plants, fertilisers, and insecticides
  • Nuclear energy-related products
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Rough diamonds
  • New tyres/ Drinking Water
  • Transmitters and radio equipment
  • Foodstuffs, personal care and cosmetic products
  • Print materials, publications, and media products
  • Ministry Of Defence or Armed Forces or Ministry of Interior Arms, ammunitions, explosives, and fireworks
  • Pharmaceutical products and Medical/ Surgical instruments 

Import and Export Regulations in Dubai

The UAE has its own set of laws and regulations for import and export activities. Before starting a trading business, every business owner must learn these regulations and ensure compliance with them.

For instance, certain goods are banned from being imported into Dubai. You also require customs clearance and have to comply with their requirements to obtain it. 

Failure to comply with local regulations may result in unforeseen consequences, such as penalties. 

Tips for Successful Import-Export Business in Dubai

Like any other business, an import-export business in Dubai requires constant effort, significant investment, and a clear roadmap to succeed. Here are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. 

  • Research the market and identify products in demand
  • Build relationships with potential customers and suppliers
  • Build a reputable and robust online presence
  • Invest in digital marketing, including SEO and social media marketing 
  • Focus on quality and excellent customer service
  • Be patient and stay focused

Working with Avyanco Business Consultancy

Dubai offers Indian entrepreneurs a big opportunity in the import-export industry. As India is already Dubai’s largest trading partner and Dubai engages in re-export, there is a lot of room for growth. 

The UAE offers many advantages to businesses registered here. However, importing and exporting goods requires a good understanding and knowledge of various laws associated with company registration, international trading, and customs. 

Avyanco Business Setup Consultancy is here to help you avoid the hassle. Trusted by hundreds of businesses like yours, we have years of experience and expertise in helping you set up and operate an export business from India to Dubai.  We assist you through each phase, including preparing documents, getting clearance, obtaining certificates and licences, and securing the IEC. Connect with us to start exporting from India to Dubai with proper guidance and expert assistance.

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About the Author

jashvant-avyanco-business-setup-consultancy-ceo

Jashvantkumar Prajapati

(Founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC.)

He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.