The importer is responsible for paying VAT on a reverse charge basis when products or services are brought into the United Arab Emirates. However, some goods are exempt from VAT upon import. If these goods are imported or imported into the UAE, the recipient will not have to pay VAT. These exemptions should not be confused with duty exemptions for certain imported goods. These goods are exempt from his VAT only. For some of these items, there would still be a need to pay customs duty. Let’s examine the products that are free from import VAT.
a. Imported goods by the armed forces and the intelligence community
Imports of all supplies needed by the armed forces and internal security agencies, including weapons, ammo, gear, and military vehicles as well as their replacement components and any other relevant goods are exempted from VAT on import.
b.Personal effects and gifts accompanied by travellers
The gifts and personal items that visitors bring into the UAE are free from VAT.
These items are non-commercial in nature and must meet certain conditions.
c. Used personal and household items transported by UAE nationals residing abroad when returning home, or by expatriates relocating to the UAE for the first time.
Used personal and household goods brought into the UAE by a UAE national upon his return to the UAE after a stay abroad are exempt from VAT. If an expatriate from another country is moving to her UAE for the first time, the used personal and household goods they bring with them will also be exempt from her VAT.
No VAT will be charged if goods exported from the UAE are returned or if goods temporarily exported for processing or repair are returned to the UAE.
UAE residents and businesses can therefore take note of these goods which are exempt from her VAT upon import.
You can also register for VAT Registration on our website: