The General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs has recently issued an e-commerce policy in line with the emirate’s digital transformation goals to solidify its position as a regional and global logistics area, as well as support the UAE’s digitalization journey for the next 50 years.
The policy, effective August 15, applies to goods imported or exported by firms for online trading, including exports outside the UAE. These include imported goods to distribution centers in the local market, as well as companies in the free zone or custom warehouses.
It also applies to exports of goods by businesses from distribution centers (whether in the region of in the free zone or customs warehouses via electronic platform) in the local market to the GCC countries and others.
Businesses who wish to engage in e-commerce activity are obliged to complete the registration requirements at the Customs’ Customs Licensing Department. Companies must present a customs registration number, while e-commerce businesses must establish distribution centers for goods intended for sale through their electronic platforms.
The decision also bans goods that violate the regulations mostly related to protection of intellectual, commercial, industrial, literary and artistic property. Other products that are prohibited also include drugs of all kinds and their derivatives, goods from a country that has been decided to be economically boycotted, as well as goods not allowed from entering the customs union or in the country of final destination and transit. The policy also forbids entry of “flammable goods except for fuels, in addition to radioactive materials, military weapons, ammunition and explosives of any kind.”
The policy exempts electronic purchases through sales platforms for the “goods and imports for personal purposes” of companies, provided they do not exceed AED1,000.
The new e-commerce policy Abu Dhabi Customs’ move to provide a competitive investment environment that goes in line with the private sector. It also aims to ease customs procedures, regulate movement of personal goods, as well as identifying customs procedures supported by the digitalization strategy.
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