Re-Export Business in UAE – Things to Know

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Re-export business in UAE is growing in numbers year on year. The trade value of re-exported goods is recording significant growth rates compared to previous years in UAE.

Out of UAE’s total exports, the re-exported goods form more than 45% approximately. Despite the slowdown in global economies and the onset of a pandemic, the re-exports from UAE hold a significant share of growth.

What are Re-Exports?

Re-Exports are goods that are imported from abroad to UAE that go through customs. Then, it is re-exported by a third party without any alterations made to the product.

Re-Export Business in UAE

Free Zones play a vital role in promoting the re-export market in UAE. They offer attractive infrastructure, legislative environments, ports & Customs departments support, and logistics support. The Free Zones support the growth in the re-export market in UAE.

Import Procedures to UAE

To import goods into the UAE, companies must have a trade license. Obtain the Trade License from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the Free Trade Zones in UAE.

Foreign companies can either set up a branch office or a new company in UAE for conducting business. They can also appoint a UAE National as their agent, distributor, or sponsor to set up a business in the UAE

Documents Required for Importing Goods to UAE

To import goods, the UAE-based company (agent) must get a delivery order from the shipping agent and submit a few trade documents to the customs.

  • Commercial Invoice from the exporting company to the importer with consignment details – Quantity, Goods Description. Total Value of each imported item
  • Certificate of origin – starting the country of origin and approved by the chamber of commerce of the country
  • Detailed packaging list – weight, method of packing, HS code for each item
  • Import Code from the authorities (Port & Customs, UAE) and special approvals in case of importing restricted goods or duty exempted goods
  • Bill of entry or airway bill
  • Food Products import will have additional permits and documentation required:
  • Original Health Certificate issued by the Government Agency in the exporting country (Attested for product’s fitness for human consumption)
  • Original Halal Slaughter Certificate for meat and poultry products

The Goods imported to UAE for re-export will be notified in the customs using a separate product code and permit letter.

Once the Imported items enter UAE it is either stored in designated Customs Warehouses or Free Zone/Mainland Warehouses. Then re-exported to the desired countries by the re-export company.

How to start a Re-Export Business in UAE?

The company to start a Re-Export Business must first take a trade license from UAE and then apply for an import-export code from the port and customs.

To coordinate the trade operations of imports, and re-exports the company must partner with a freight forwarding agent or shipping company. It enables the smooth transition of goods to and from the ports of UAE and back.

Re-Export Business in Dubai

There are a few documentations required at every stage depending on the goods transported and the nature of the re-exports.

The items re-exported must not be re-processed or altered from the original product. As the products have to pass through customs, any alternation will require permits. The Trader must produce required certificates to prove the origin and other details of the product.

Where to Register a Re-Export Company in UAE?

The re-export company in UAE can be registered either in the Free Trade Zones or in the Mainland of UAE. Both the business jurisdictions have their advantages when it comes to operations, logistics, and administration.

UAE mainland is an ideal choice for business focussing on the GCC and North Africa regions for re-exports. It is also beneficial for expanding into the UAE market with a trading unit or distribution network.

Re-Export Company in UAE

It gives the investors room for large-scale expansion. Investors can easily add more branches, retail outlets, warehouse spaces, etc. Also, they can reduce maintenance costs, hire more staff, and expand seamlessly.

However, when it comes to international trade the best option is Free Zones as there is Zero Customs duty to import into the Free Zones. The company can take a warehouse in any of the Free Trade Zones to store the items for re-export.

It is highly beneficial for the company for managing the inventory and coordinate the shipping activities from the Free Zone.

Why Choose Free Zones for Re-Export over Mainland?

There are multiple benefits for the investors in choosing the Free Trade Zones in UAE for setting up a Re-Export Company.

The main ones are the 100% foreign ownership and the full profit repatriation. Also, the free customs duty for Free Zone imports makes it an attractive choice for re-export and international trading companies.

The Free Zones in UAE are well-equipped with their logistics and warehouse setup for facilitating trade and storage of goods. Most of the Free Zones have in-house Customs clearance that will enable faster exist and entry of goods to and from the Free Zone premises.

Facilitating Seamless Re-Exports by Free Zones

The proximity of the Free Zones with the Country’s major Airports and Seaports makes it easy for trade operations. The investors get access to world-class amenities, office spaces, warehouse facilities, etc. They also can obtain land for manufacturing units and get access to administrative services and more. All at a cost-effective fee from the Free Zones of UAE.

Setting up and operating a company in Free Zone is a relatively easy process to follow for a start-up or a new entrepreneur.

In a nutshell, Free Zones remain an ideal choice for starting and operating a Re-Export company in UAE. It helps in international trade and market expansion. Companies can easily conduct re-exporting of permitted goods under the company.

To know more about Starting a Re-Export Company in UAE or Import-export license in UAE, Connect with our expert team right away!

Read more about “How to Import and Export Goods from a Free Zone in Sharjah?“.


A Marketing Consultant working @Aurion Business Consultants specialized in writing about Business Setup in UAE tips, License Packages, Free Zones, LLC Company Formation, Startups, etc in the UAE.


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