UAE Food & Drink Regulation Update

Date: 21/04/2020
Author: GMCC
Company: GMCC

To assist businesses in these difficult times, our partner in the UAE has informed us that authorities have implemented some regulation changes to support the food and drink sector.

Temporary waiver of Arabic labelling for UK food Companies

The Department of International Trade has successfully lobbied with the relevant authorities in the UAE to ease some of the requirements for food & drink companies selling into the UAE.

Consequently, the authorities have agreed to temporarily allow food items to enter all Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other UAE ports without the mandatory Arabic labelling requirement and without having to stamp production dates on mandatory items. However, expiry/best by dates still need to be mentioned on all items.

This change does not apply to alcoholic beverages as the clearance of these items are managed by customs authorities.

Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) for water products site audits has now been replaced with online audit. The end date to this isn’t stated as well. There are no changes to halal certification and other ESMA requirements as of now.

Whilst an end-date to this has not been stated it’s assumed is that this will go on until the Covid-19 crisis is over. It will be reviewed on 30th June 2020.

Customs duty discount on all imports

Dubai Customs is offering a reduction in custom duty imposed on imported goods sold locally in the UAE. This discount is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business in the Emirate in order to support trade. This offering is currently valid for goods processed under import declaration from March 15, 2020 to June 30th, 2020 and sees a reduction of custom duty from 5% to 4%.

In addition, Dubai Customs has revoked the AED 50,000 bank or cash guarantee required to undertake customs brokerage activities. Bank or cash guarantees deposited by existing customs brokers and clearing companies will be refunded. This Customs notice came into effect on March 15, 2020.

For more information, please contact and we can connect you with our partner in the UAE.