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How To Apply for an Import and Export Customs Code

A step by step guide to applying for an importer or exporter code with Dubai Customs

Oct 30, 2022

If you are looking to start trading your products in the GCC, then you have most likely heard of a requirement for a importer or exporter customs code. In the below article, we will introduce this concept to you as well as provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to obtain the code.

 I – What is an Importer / Exporter Customs Code:

An importer or exporter code is known by many names. It can be referred to as customs code or a Mirsal business code as well. For the purpose of this article, we will refer to it as a customs code below. It is a official code that is issued by Dubai Customs for UAE businesses to import or export goods into and from the UAE. It is a code which will link your shipments with your UAE trade license.

II – Is a Customs Code required to do business in the UAE?

If you are looking to import or export goods to and from the UAE, then the following requirements have to be met:

A) You must have a local UAE license that allows you to trade and conduct business for your product types

B) You have to be registered with the customs authority to obtain the customs code.

Before we go through a step-by-step guide on how to apply, there are a few exceptions for when a code will not be needed:

A) If you are working with a distributor such as Shorages, then the distributor can provide their own custom codes. By doing so, the distribution company will act as the Importer on Record (IOR) for imports and the Exporter on Record (EOR) for Exports. This will save time when looking into quick options to begin trade in the UAE.

B) An importer or exporter code is mostly required for bulk shipments. In most cases, express courier shipments into and from the UAE will not require it.

III – Step-By-Step Guide To Applying:

1.  Business Registration:


If you already have a UAE license, the first step is to register the business with Dubai Trade.

  • Head to https://www.dubaitrade.ae/en/
  • Click on “Service Center”
  • From the panel of service centers, click on “Dubai Customs” and then on “Request Business Registration”


  • After clicking on “Request Business Registration”, head over to the “Start Service” button. This service will allow your business to register with Customs so that you may officially and legally transact with Dubai Customs. (Cost at the time of writing is 120 AED)
  • Fill in the required fields with your company details and click on “Save as Draft”



  • Proceed to click on “Next” after confirming your details
  • Save the information given in the message. This information is useful to track the request later on. And note that the Validation Code is the same as the Company Trade License Number.
  • The dashboard will take you to another page where further information is required

2. Additional Information

The following sections of the business profile should be filled before submitting the request. Business Address, Business Type, License Activities, Facility Details, User Registration, Attachments, Group Information and Document Templates

2.1 Business Address:

  • Click on “Add+” below business Addresses
  • Fill in the requested details as they appear on your trade license
  • Click on “Save” when done and the following should appear:


 2.2 Business Type:

  • Click on “Add+” below Business Types
  • Specify whether you would like to “Import” or “Export” or both by adding multiple Business Types
  • Click on “Save” when complete

2.3 License Activities:

  • Click on “Add+” below License Activities
  • Specify the activity closes to your line of business, this can be for example “Garments, Textiles and Gifts E-Trading”
  • Click on “Save” when complete and the following should appear


2.4 Facility Details (If Required):

·        Click on “Add+” below Facility Details

·        Specify the name and type of facility where you intent to store your products in:

o   Branch is required for a Free zone Branch of a Local Company

o   Free zone is required for Dubai Based FreeZone Companies

o   Premises is required for Cargo Handler Business Type

o   Warehouse is required for Customs Warehouse Licenses

·        Depending on the Facility type, different fields will be required to be filled.

·        Once all information is complete, click on “Save”.

2.5 User Details:

·        Click on “Add+” below User Details

·        Fill in the requested information with details of the user which will be accessing the platform: