Dubai Customs Notice – Attestation of Import Commercial Invoices by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Import into the UAE
Dubai Customs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Starting 1 February 2023, all imports into the local market must have an invoice attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This applies to shipments of value equal to or more than AED 10,000.
Previously, import into the UAE only required an original invoice with no requirement for the chamber of commerce attestation or other authority from the shipping/exporting country.
So why? Mainly to add further security to prevent fraud and ensure the actual value of imported goods is declared. This will be achieved by cross-referencing invoices processes/paid through the UAE banks.
The above is as per the Dubai Customs Notice No. 11 of 2022. Dubai Customs advised any further clarification is with the MoFA.
Now on the MoFA website, it is stated that for MoFA to attest commercial invoices, those invoices will have to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the shipping/exporting country AND the UAE Embassy or Consulate of the shipping/exporting country.
And this is where it becomes problematic for multinationals with hundreds of monthly shipments. First is the time required for all these new attestations, and then the cost involved and manpower. One or two shipments a month is easy. 100 shipments per month are going to have a big impact.
Calling the customer support of MoFA, they verbally advised that imports into the free zones do not require invoice attestation. That’s good. But from the free zones to the local market, attestation is required.
Through some unofficial discussions and calls, some said that attestation from outside the UAE will not be required from the UAE Consulate/Embassy or MoFA.