What Is the New Import Procedure?
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) has created a new system for electronic attestation of import commercial invoices. From 01 February 2023, all customs clients are required to apply online for commercial invoice attestation when making a customs declaration at Dubai Customs. This applies when submitting through all channels, when importing specific declaration types, and when invoices are above a particular value.
Is This a Dubai or UAE-wide Procedure?
This is a new import procedure for the entire UAE but so far it has only been integrated with the Dubai Customs system. For other emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and RAK, integration is ongoing and the procedure will be subject to their own online attestation rules.
Why Has This New Procedure Been Introduced?
The new procedure adds an extra layer of security and fraud prevention at Dubai Customs. It also facilitates data collection, providing MOFAIC with a full overview of imports from the rest of the world, including high-risk countries.
How Does the Online Procedure Work?
To obtain attestation, simply register on the MOFAIC website and follow the steps which include applying for a new attestation, filling in the form, uploading a pdf of each commercial invoice, and paying the fees.
What Happens after Submission?
Following this, MOFAIC generates an attestation number, which is called an eDAS, as proof of attestation, and the applicant receives a digitally attested commercial invoice. The eDAS is integrated with the UAE Customs system to confirm the completed attestation prior to import declaration.
Understanding the New Procedure: Your Customs Team Answers Your 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions
To prepare for this new import procedure, members of the DHL Dubai Customs team have been working closely with the UAE authorities.
This new import procedure is required when importing goods from all countries (“the rest of the world”) and from UAE freezones.
Shippers must follow the new procedure if goods are valued at over AED 10,000 (approx. $2,720). The exceptions to this are if goods of this value are personal imports, imports from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) origin, imports to a freezone, transit imports, diplomatic, police or military imports, charitable society or international organization imports, and business-to-consumer e-commerce movements.
The MOFAIC charge is AED 150 (approx. $41) and the service fee is yet to be clarified.
The MOFAIC penalty for failure to comply is AED 500 (approx. $136).
There is a grace period of 14 days after customs declaration of the goods. This gives time to obtain attestation in order to avoid a penalty and/or suspension of services.