From: Saudi Arabia
To: Anywhere
From: Saudi Arabia
To: Qatar
From: Anywhere
To: Qatar

Important: Be sure to check both general and product-based categories for relevant information. Product-based categories include parts and accessories unless otherwise specified. See disclaimer below and use independent care before relying on this information.

Qatar: Import (general)

General import regulations and requirements

Qatar has very strict regulations which must be adhered to in order to obtain customs clearance of goods. Failure to comply may result in delays in clearance, holding of goods, penalties, storage/demurrage fees, or return of goods to origin. The following infraction(s) may lead to shipment detainment and/or return to origin:

Qatar observes the Arab boycott of Israel.

(Last updated on 2013-11-11)

Customs clearance procedures and requirements

Qatar has implemented an automated customs clearance program.

This "Customs Clearing Single Window e-service" enables authorized users to clear goods and pay duties electronically. The program also provides tariff codes and classifications, including other pertinent Customs information.

For more information and application see:

(Last updated on 2013-11-05)

Samples, low value and non-commercial importations

Samples may be imported free of duty provided they cannot be sold as merchandise.

Express shipments are allowed a maximum (de minimis) value regime for duty free entry of USD 822.00 (~ EUR 595.00).

(Last updated on 2014-04-28)

Import customs tariff

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are all member-countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Customs union that has established a common external tariff rate of 5% for most goods imported from member countries.

Certain items, e.g., basic foodstuffs and medical items, are exempt from the Common External Customs Tariff (CXT) and enter the member-countries free of duty. Currently, each member-country has created an individual "exempt/duty-free" list.

Note: Kuwait prohibits the importation of pork, pork products, alcoholic beverages, products containing alcoholic beverages, gambling machines, and pornographic materials.

(Last updated on 2014-09-04)

Customs valuation basis

For items subject to ad valorem duties, the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement applies. According to this agreement, there are six acceptable methods of determining customs value. Typically the first method is used (unless the buyer and seller are related parties). When the value cannot be obtained this way, or is rejected by customs, one of the other methods is to be used, in descending order:

  1. Transaction value (the price actually paid or payable by the importer, plus certain costs and expenses)
  2. Transaction value of identical goods
  3. Transaction value of similar goods
  4. Deductive value (the sale or resale value, reduced by certain costs such as customs duties, taxes, and commissions)
  5. Computed value (calculated by adding together certain costs/values for production, materials, profit and other expenses)
  6. Fall-back method

See additional information on the WTO website under WTO Customs Valuation.

(Last updated on 2013-02-28)

General import license/permit requirements

An Import license is required for almost all products. Import licenses are issued to Qatari nationals only and must be shown with his trading activities in Trade license.

(Last updated on 2013-11-12)

Prohibited or highly restricted imports

Prohibited items include: Pork and pork products.

Restricted items include: Alcoholic beverages (severely restricted).

This country prohibits imports of hazardous waste as per the Basel Convention. For additional information see: Basel Convention (select country for details).

Note: Imports from Israel and Iraq are prohibited.

(Last updated on 2014-07-22)

Foreign exchange controls and letters of credit

The central bank is the Qatar Central Bank, POB 1234, Doha; phone: +974 4445 6456

It has authority over foreign exchange transactions, however there is no foreign exchange control legislation. There are no restrictions on payments for approved imports.

The unit of currency is the QAR = Qatari Riyal [Arabic: ريال,] (subdivided into 100 Diram [Arabic: ر.ق]).

(Last updated on 2013-11-05)

Commercial invoice

A commercial invoice is required for every commercial shipment. At least three (3) original, signed copies should be included in the shipping documents sent to the consignee or his agent. Check with importer concerning exact amount of originals/copies needed.

The commercial invoice should conform to the information required for Consular legalization. It should be including the following information:

Do not show a value of zero for any item; as this will not be accepted by Customs.

Invoice should be attested by a Chamber of Commerce, signed in blue ink and stamped with an original company seal. Consular legalization is required.

The invoice must be on the letterhead stationery of the seller. Either English or Arabic is acceptable. It should also contain the following statement:

Also include statement that all products are of ___________ origin and manufacture, and list name and address of manufacturer; or, if there are components of different countries of origin, list countries and percentage of foreign parts in the products.

If insurance is purchased by the importer in Qatar, this must be stated on invoice.

Note: If the shipped goods contain any foreign components, include their country of origin and their percentage of the cargo.

For more information on preparing and distributing commercial invoices, see comments on: Commercial Invoice and Shipping Document Distribution Based on Specific Functional Needs.

Airfreight shipments, in most cases, require the shipping documents to accompany the cargo/air waybill(AWB).

Non-commercial shipments require a pro-forma invoice.

(Last updated on 2014-09-05)

Packing list

An original packing list is required, signed in blue ink and stamped with a company seal. Include at least three (3) copies.

Net weight and gross weight must match weights on commercial invoice and bill of lading.

In general, even when it is not required regulation, it is recommended that a packing list be used with all shipments containing more than one shipping unit of packaged cargo. Most countries require a packing list be provided together with the commercial invoice. The required information must be consistent with all information shown on the commercial invoice.

At least three (3) copies of the packing list should be included as part of the shipping documents sent to the consignee or the agent thereof. The exact contents of each package should be clearly identified. This should include each item's gross weight and net weight and each package's marks and numbers.

(Last updated on 2014-05-14)

Transport document

A properly prepared transport document is required for transportation purposes and as a source document for customs purposes.

An original bill of lading/airwaybill is required Net weight and gross weight must match that shown on the commercial invoice, packing list, and certificate of origin.

For ocean cargo, an Ocean Bill of Lading is typically used.

Freight charges are generally prepaid.

For detailed information on completing a bill of lading, please see our Interactive Bill of Lading Exhibit. (Scroll down to see the form, and click on any field for details on the information that goes in that box.)

An Airwaybill replaces the bill of lading for air cargo.

For ocean transport, a steamship company certificate is required, stating that the ship is not from Israel or will not stop in that country at any point during the voyage. This document must also be certified by the appropriate chamber of commerce and receive Consular Legalization.

(Last updated on 2014-02-03)

Certificate of Origin (general)

Certificate of origin is required for all imports.

Certificate of origin and commercial invoice must first be notarized by a notary public and then legalized at the Consular Section of the Qatar Embassy accredited to the place of business of the exporting company. The certificate of origin must be translated into Arabic. Also, one photocopy of every document to be certified is to be submitted. Electronic signatures are not accepted. All information must be typed, not hand-written.

Certificate of origin must include the invoice number and HS code.

Country of origin must be specific (i.e., goods originating in European Union clearly must mention actual C/O; EU is not sufficient). Show "Country of Origin: European Union - UK". Should goods be made in different countries, country of origin of all countries must be shown on certificate of origin, invoice, and on imported material. Show "European Union - UK and Poland" (i.e. European Union by itself, without actual country of origin is not acceptable).

"Country of Origin" or "Made in" fields are mandatory for each piece, on materials and on cartons. Details of physical shipment must match information provided on commercial invoice, C/O, and on imported materials (any discrepancies will cause shipment to be returned to origin point).

Statement to be shown on certificate of origin and to be signed by an approved representative of the shipper/exporter:

"We hereby certify that the goods enumerated in this invoice are not of Israeli origin nor do they contain Israel materials. Also the goods are not shipped by a vessel on the Arab Blacklist or calling at any Israeli port."

The Qatar Embassy’s consular legalization fee is based on the total amount of the invoice. For accurate fee assessment, contact the Embassy accredited for your location. (at Qatar Embassy go to Documents Legalization in center of page)

(Last updated on 2014-09-16)

Official cargo insurance requirements

If a shipment is insured by the Qatari importer it must be stated on the Commercial Invoice.

If it is insured by the exporter, at least three (3) copies of a Certificate of Insurance are required.

The certificate must include a statement indicating that this insurance company is not on the "black list" in Qatar.

The insurance certificate must be notarized, certified by the appropriate Chamber of Commerce and receive Consular Legalization.

(Last updated on 2013-08-02)

Other general import document requirements

Shipping documents must be in Arabic or an Arabic translation must be provided with the documents.

Shipping documents must be prepared under the importer's name. Importer must be registered and have a license to import the goods.

Customs will accept only official invoice, official certificate of origin (C/O) and packing list. They are all mandatory (shipment without these documents will not be cleared by Customs and shall be returned to origin).

Harmonized Commodity Description Code, also known as Harmonized System (HS) code , must be shown on official invoice and C/O (without these documents shipment will not be accepted for Customs clearance).

"Country of Origin" or “Made in” fields are mandatory for each piece, on materials and on cartons. Details of physical shipment must match information provided on commercial invoice, C/O, and on imported materials (any discrepancies will cause shipment to be returned to origin point).

(Last updated on 2013-11-07)

Wood packaging materials

All Wood Packing Material (WPM) must be made from debarked wood. It must be treated, certified and stamped with the internationally standard WPM Mark, according to the ISPM-15 Standard.

Review "International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures" document as outlined in Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade, issued by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Plant Protection Service, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, I-00100 Rome, Italy; fax: +39 6 570 56347; email: ippc@fao.org

Contact: Plant Protection Section, Dept. of Agricultural Development, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, POB 1966, Doha; fax: +974 676148; email: NONE@qtar.qa

For a listing of countries that have adopted ISPM-15 requirements see: ISPM15.com.

(Last updated on 2014-05-19)

Shipment packaging and marking requirements

Dangerous Goods require the use of U.N. Performance Oriented Packaging (UN POP).

Note: Qatar Customs, effective July 7, 2013 requires that all Ocean/Air and Road imports/exports must be palletized. Non-compliance with new regulation will be penalized with a fine of QAR 500.00, repeat offenders will be fined QAR 1,000.00.

Recommendation: for marks use at least three digits, for numbers at least four digits. This recommendation should also be followed if there is only one package in the shipment (identification assistance and pilferage prevention).

Optionally, each package should be marked with:

(Last updated on 2014-02-03)

Product packaging/labeling requirements

All products must be labeled in Arabic.

Product-specific packaging and labeling requirements may apply to food products.

Note: Products must be permanently labeled/marked with country of origin (C/O).

Additional product packaging and/or labeling requirements may apply to particular types of products. Refer to the product-based information herein for the product you are considering to import or export. An exporter should also verify with its prospective importer in the destination country as to requirements for a specific product to be shipped.

(Last updated on 2013-11-23)

Standards

Product standards are regulated by the Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QS), POB 23277, QA-Doha; phone: +974 4413 9400; fax: +974 4413 9411; email: standard@qatar.net.qa

Also see ISO Standards Membership.

GCC Standards (click button for English on top bar, right side): The Gulf Cooperation Council member countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have recently established standards (GCC Standards) for the importation of certain products. These standards have been instituted in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Standards Authority (SASO), Imam Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Mohammed Rd. (West End), POB 3437, SA-11471 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; phone: +966 1 452 0000; fax: +966 1 452 0086; email: saso@saso.org.sa.

(Last updated on 2014-01-07)

ATA carnets

The ATA Carnet currently is not accepted in this country.

An ATA Carnet is obtained in the country from which the goods are to be first exported (see list of participating countries). Initiating and governing authority for ATA Carnets is the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), 38, Cours Albert 1er, F-75008 Paris, France; phone: +33 149 532828; fax: +33 149 532859

Note: An ATA Carnet is typically accepted for Commercial Samples, Exhibitions and Fairs, and/or Professional Equipment. An ATA Carnet does not cover perishable or consumable items, nor goods for processing or repair. Some countries are more restrictive in the scope of allowances for temporary imports covered by ATA Carnet. It is recommended that prior verification be made with the issuing agency.

(Last updated on 2014-05-16)

Important: Exercise independent care before relying on information contained herein. Although we strive to ensure all information is correct and current, GISTnet assumes no liability for detrimental reliance on this information. Trade requirements may change with little or no prior notification, de-facto requirements in certain countries vary from official regulations, and particular shipments and/or importers may have special destination customs arrangements. We encourage you to check with the importer or its customs agent in the destination country for specific importation requirements for specific products and circumstances. We ask your help with feedback (cidb@gistnet.com) concerning information which may be outdated or incomplete.