According to the CIA World Factbook, imports totalled USD39.12 billion in 2014 (estimated).
Importers of goods into Qatar must sign up to the Importers’ Register and be approved by Qatar Chamber. Customs duty and legalisation fees are levied on all commercial shipments, irrespective of its value.
Customs tariffs fall under these categories:
- Exempted – fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen fish, dairy, meat, books, and newspapers.
- 5% – clothing, per fumes, cars, electronic appliances and devices.
- 100% – tobacco, with the customs tax based on number or weight, whichever is greater.
There are 672 goods exempted from customs duties under the Common Convention of the GCC States, as well as exemptions granted to certain bodies and persons under Customs Law No 40 of 2004. There are fees for the attestation of the
Certificate of Origin (from Qatar Chamber) and a tariff for the attestation of the Commercial Invoice, based on shipment value.
No customs duty is applied on cargo of which at least 50% is manufactured within the GCC; if less than 50%, duty is applied only on the percentage of the cargo which is GCC manufactured. To qualify for exemption, goods must be accompanied by a GCC Certificate of Manufacture from the Chamber of Commerce in Riyadh, KSA.
All commercial shipments are subject to examination by General Authority of Customs prior to clearance. There is a ‘single‐window’ system to help facilitate trade, with e‐government systems, a 24/7 call centre, a personal smart card and use of a state‐of‐the‐art payment system. The Freight Solutions Committee was set up to accelerate the customs clearance of cargo – the process now takes only three hours.
New regulations were introduced in 2013 to prevent fake products from entering the market. It is now mandatory for all general goods to have non‐removable marking of their place of manufacture to be eligible for customs clearance. This applies to both air and sea freight. The import of vehicle tyres, spare parts and electrical home appliances now has to be based on a ‘certificate of conformity’ issued by the authority concerned. All general cargo for customs clearance must be backed by an original commercial invoice on the shipper’s letterhead, with stamp and signature. They also require attestation by Qatar Chamber. The packing list of each consignment must have the number of pieces, weight and volume.
The General Authority of Customs states all importers must obtain an HS Code (Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System), an international system for classifying traded products. This must be linked to the trader’s Commercial Registration and import licence.
There are no restrictions on bringing personal effects into Qatar. Banned imports include alcohol, pork and e‐cigarettes. The import of pets is allowed.
Points of entry
General cargo usually enters via the Salwa Overland Terminal, Hamad and Doha International Airports, or Doha Port. Commercial cargo may also enter via Mesaieed Port and Ras Laffan. Work is well underway at the New Port Project to ease pressure on the current facilities.
Al Nadeeb For company registration, user guides, and tariffs as per the Harmonised System Code, visit Al Nadeeb, the Qatar Clearance Single Window.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Qatar exported USD121.2 billion (estimated) worth of goods in 2014, comprising liquefied natural gas, petroleum products, fertilisers, and steel. There are no duties on exports.