How to Apply for Import Export Customs Code

import export code dubai

Just about everything in your home and office is imported nowadays. Dubai’s key location in the Middle East between Africa, Asia and Europe makes it the perfect site for an East-meets-West import export business.

An import export trading company in Dubai (and the United Arab Emirates) is a lucrative business activity, and it is one of the most attractive business types for foreign entrepreneurs and investors to begin in Dubai. Goods can be imported for the local UAE market, exported to neighbouring countries, or traded on the global market and international trade. Dubai boasts world-leading transport infrastructure thanks to its economic development: roads, ports, and airports to make an import export business easier to operate and turn a profit with low import and export taxes.

To import and export items to Dubai, a customs clearance code is required from Dubai Customs and a relevant import export business license for free zone companies.

In this article, we’ll help you learn what you’ll need to apply for an import export customs code, how to apply for one, and how to operate as an import export business. The application process is simple and straightforward business in Dubai, but to avoid any errors or delays it is best to partner with a company formation specialist such as Trade License Zone with experts in this field to help you get to trade.

What is a Customs Client Code?

To import or export items to Dubai, your import export business must be registered with the Dubai Customs agency to get a code for the clearance of goods.

Applicants must hold a relevant and valid trading license in a UAE free zone to meet the requirements for a customs clearance code. As we’ve mentioned, the process is straightforward to apply with Dubai Customs – if you know what you’re doing, that is. Customs client codes are valid for the duration of a business’ trade license and need to be renewed annually. Only after renewing your trade license can you apply to renew your customs client code to begin your trading activity.

The process to register and apply for an import export code is summarised as follows:

  • Complete an Online Application on Dubai Customs’ Trade Portal website
  • Pay for processing and customs client code
  • They review your application for approval

Once the authorities are satisfied, Dubai Trade Portal will issue you with an electronic customs client code.

Working with specialists such as Trade License Zone will ensure that your paperwork is in order, your applications are perfect, and that you’ve registered for the correct customs code. Trade License Zone will reduce any chance of problems or delays so you’re able to trade as quickly as possible.

Why is a Customs Code needed for Businesses in the UAE?

It is mandatory in the UAE for businesses importing and exporting goods to hold a customs client code. This regulates the import and export of items into Dubai and the UAE.

Documents Required for a Customs Client Code Application

Documents required to apply for a customs code through the Dubai Customs department and Dubai Trade Portal are as follows:

  • A valid trade license
  • Copies of the company’s shareholders or directors’ passports
  • A Letter of Undertaking (applicable for businesses holding a Professional Trade License)

Cost of a Customs Client Code

Businesses wishing to apply for a customs client code need to pay for the allocation of their customs code. The costs are:

  • New customs registration for a Customs Client Code: AED 100
  • Renewal of Customs Client Code: AED 25

Steps to get a Customs Code

Applying for a customs client code is simple through the Dubai Trade Portal’s website. We can break the process down into key steps:

  • Complete the customs code application form from Dubai Customs on the Dubai Trade Portal website
  • Submit the documents required, as previously mentioned
  • Register your application form with the following essential info:
    Business info
    Facility info
    User profiles of the company’s shareholders and directors
    Mirsal info

Once Dubai Customs has reviewed your application and approved it, your customs client code will be generated and electronically delivered to you. With the help of Trade License Zone, your documentation and submission will be faultless to allow you to trade as soon as possible.


While the trade license process has been streamlined and simplified by the United Arab Emirates government, it still takes some hard work and in-depth knowledge of the region, its markets, its many customs and regulations to make the right decisions. That’s why it’s always advisable to sign up for the services of a UAE business setup company to guide you on your company’s trade license, import and export code, and business setup based on your needs and budget.

When you work with Trade License Zone’s professional consultants, we’ll guide and manage the entire incorporation process for you, and guide you through the latest government regulations regarding your trade license application and business needs. Get in touch today for a personalised quote and competitive advantage.

We’ll give you peace of mind that your trade license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection.

All you need to provide is some basic documentation and some information about your company. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant government departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to trade. It is that simple.

Contact us to get a personalized quotation based on your business activity