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UAE travel: Full list of items that are banned and allowed

Dubai - Video: UAE customs laws, penalties and tips to ensure a risk-free travel to and from the country.

Photo: Federal Customs Authority/Twitter
Photo: Federal Customs Authority/Twitter

By Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 30 Mar 2021, 11:13 AM

Last updated: Tue 30 Mar 2021, 11:16 AM

Travellers to and from the UAE have to abide by customs procedures as laid down by a pan-Gulf unified law and other relevant legislations in the country. The UAE's Federal Customs Authority (FCA) has listed what travellers can legally carry, and items that are banned. The authority has also specified the maximum cash a traveller can carry.

Here is the full list of what's allowed and what's not; penalties; and some tips to ensure risk-free travel.

>> Value of gifts brought in with travellers should not exceed Dh3,000.

>> All travellers coming to or departing from the country should disclose any currencies, negotiable instruments payable to bearer, and/or precious metals of stones valued more than Dh60,000.

>> Permitted luggage

- Digital cameras, TV and receiver (one of each)

- Personal sports equipment

- Portable computers and printers

- Medication for personal use, provided it complies with applicable regulations.

- Movie projection devices

- Radio and CD players

>> The maximum number of cigarettes allowed per traveller is 200.

>> Tobacco products and alcoholic drinks should not be carried by travellers aged below 18 years.

>> Prohibited items

- Narcotics

- Paan substances, including betel leaves

- Gambling tools and machines

- Nylon fishing nets

- Live animals of pig species

- Raw ivory

- Laser pens with red light package

- Fake and counterfeited currency

- Publications, pictures, religiously offensive or immoral drawings and stone sculptures.

>> Restricted commodities

(Entry of a number of restricted commodities may be allowed after permission for the competent authorities)

- Live animals

- Plants

- Fertilisers and pesticides

- Weapons, ammunitions, explosives and fireworks

- Medicines, drugs and medical equipment and instruments

- Media publications and products

- New vehicle tyres

- Transmission and wireless devices

- Alcoholic drinks

- Cosmetics and personal care products

- Raw diamonds

Note: Permission has to be sought from authorities, including the Ministries of Climate Change and Environment, Defence and Armed Forces, Interior, Health and Prevention, Culture and Youth, Industry and Advance Technology; and Federal Authority for Nuclear Energy, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, Dubai Police and Kimberley UAE.

>> Penalties

Travellers caught smuggling illegal goods will be subject to a fine, imprisonment or both penalties.

>> Legal definition of smuggling

Unified customs law defines smuggling as the entry or an attempt of entry or taking out any goods from or to the state without paying duties wholly or partially.

>> Examples of smuggling

- Refraining from heading to the first customs department with the goods upon entering the state

- Travellers’ non-declaration of any goods of commercial type in their possession

- Diverting goods away from the customs department without disclosure

- Furnishing forged documents

- Placing false signs to evade duties or the provisions of prohibition and registry

- Transporting or possessing prohibited or restricted goods without providing an evidence of systematic importation.

>> Tips for a risk-free journey

- Don't take luggage from unknown persons

- Don't take friends' luggage without verifying contents

- Declare cash sums and precious items

- Carry a certified prescription for medications

- Follow the guidelines and instructions issued by airlines and forwarding companies

- Don't conceal information on prohibited or restricted substances.


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