All you Need to Know Before Exporting to the UAE

Hello! Welcome to Farmers Corner! I suppose you have read the article ‘Leveraging on Meet The Farmers Conference for Agricultural Business Funds’. If yes, I presume that you are getting ready for this year’s Meet The Farmer’s Conference and that also means that you are ready to network with the top notch agribusiness off-takers in the UAE. You need to know what to do before you begin forming partnership and exporting goods to the UAE. Find out the steps to take to become an exporter from Africa to Dubai in this interesting piece.


To import goods from another country into the United Arab Emirates, you will be required to submit the following original documents

    • Commercial Invoice: document is to be issued to the importer detailing total quantity, goods description and total value of each item.
    • Certificate of Origin: This is a document that states the country of origin for your goods and this must be approved by your country’s Ministry of Commerce. This certificate is needed for every product you want to export.
    • Health Certificate: This is a proof that the goods have been prepared and shipped under sanitary conditions and are fit for human consumption.
    • Food Safety Inspection Service Certificate: It ensures that meat and poultry products were slaughtered and processed in accordance to the health regulations.
    • Packing List: It is a list that contains the method of packing the shipment. You will have to provide detailed information on the goods, including the weight and code number.
    • Import Permit: Obtain permission of importation from competent agencies in case you encounter restriction on goods.
    • Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Phytosanitary Certificate: The certificate is issued only if your goods have been inspected and properly tested to ensure Phytosanitary regulations of the goods e.g. products like lentils, rice, grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, etc. Don’t be scared, the big word stands for measures taken to protect humans, animals and plants from diseases, pests or contaminations.

NOTE: Original certificates must accompany shipment at the time of entry since it carries details of the shipment.

Next, you must ensure that your shipments are properly labelled with the following information:

  • Product description
  • Ingredients
  • Country of Origin
  • Net weight
  • Cartons of fresh fruits and vegetables must contain label information but you mustn’t include the expiry dates.

See Also: Leveraging on Meet The Farmers Conference for Agricultural Business Funds

Other Requirements:

Attach the following certificates to food items for exportation to UAE:

  • A health certificate is to be issued by exporter country to ascertain that the food items are healthy for consumption.
  • A Halal slaughter certificate is needed from a UAE approved Islamic Center and authorized by the UAE Embassy/Consulate.
  • Dubai Municipality approval letter
  • Importer’s license to Trade
  • Bill of Entry or Airway Bill
  • Packing list
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Delivery Order (addressed to the Customs Department stating the description of the carrier and the cargo and stating to whom the cargo is to be delivered).
  • Country of Origin Certificate

“The exporter is required to pay a commercial invoice legalization fee (this is 1% of consignment value) on all imported products.”

Also note that the import of alcoholic beverages are strictly controlled in the UAE. Only a few local companies are licensed to import or sell alcohol. Non-alcoholic beverages imported into the UAE cannot contain more than 0.05% per volume.

On arrival to the UAE, every food shipment will be inspected to ensure compliance with label and shelf life regulations. Make sure you properly label your produce after packaging. New-to-market products are subject to thorough laboratory analysis and the result will be ready within 5-10 days.

Now that you know what to do, ensure that you effect quality measures into farming processes. Look out for the next article on ‘Exporting to UAE Free Zones’.

To learn more about exporting to the UAE, you should attend ‘Meet the Farmers Conference’ which will hold on 27th and 28th November, 2019. Register as an Exhibitor | Sponsor | Attendee


  • Abdulfatai kolawole

    Good information

  • Abdulfatai kolawole

    Good information am intersted

  • atanas mutiso

    Good information for exporters.

    • info

      Yes it is. Specially curated for you :). Be part of MTFC 2019, visit here : to register for the conference, and get ready to meet, learn from and network with agribusiness industry experts and off-takers both in Africa and the GCC region.

    • info

      Hello George, thanks for your interest. Please visit here to participate. You could also sponsor or exhibit at Meet The Farmers Conference 2019. Complete the form and you’d be sure to hear from us soon.

  • Ivy

    Will love to attend let me know when the submit is close by

    • info

      Hey Ivy, the soon you register the better. The early bird registration is closing real soon, and the space is very limited. Book your space now, click here to register :