The Ras Al Khaimah Customs Department is tasked with protecting the United Arab Emirates from all items or good that may be harmful to the country and society. To stop smugglers illegally importing goods, the Customs Department may carry out checks on visitors. If you are asked to stop, please cooperate to help them do their job.

Passing through Customs

Customs Department officers are authorized to examine and search travelers at all of Ras Al Khaimah’s points of entry or exit. If you have any prohibited or restricted goods, commercial goods or tobacco / alcohol exceeding the stated limits, please declare them immediately. If in doubt, please declare them to the inspector.

What you’re allowed to bring in

If you are over 18, you are allowed to bring the following items for personal use when travelling into the UAE:

  • 400 cigarettes.
  • 50 cigars.
  • 500 grams of tobacco for smoking.
  • 4 litres of alcoholic beverages or two cases of beer.
  • Gifts and souvenirs to a value of under AED 3,000.

Exempted from customs duty:

  • All mobile musical devices
  • One radio
  • TV
  • Multi media camera / device
  • Mobile telephones
  • Sporting equipment and accessories
  • Laptop computers
  • Tablet devices
  • Printers and computer accessories
  • Pushchairs and buggies for children

Declaring cash

You must declare any cash, cheques and other financial and bearer instruments with a value over AED 100,000 when entering or leaving the UAE. Under-18s are not entitled.

What you’re not allowed to bring in

Prohibited goods

These are goods which are completely banned in the UAE.

  • All narcotic drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, hallucination pills, cannabis, hashish, poppy straw, seeds, hemp etc. All drugs and medicines listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of AUE & Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention of International Narcotic Control Board and Psychotropic substances included in Schedule 1 of the 1971 Psychotropic Convention
  • Paan and Naswar
  • Offensive weapons such as swords, swordsticks, flick knives, butterfly knives, push daggers, belt-buckle knives, death stars, stealth (non-metallic) knives, knives disguised as everyday objects, knuckle-dusters, blowpipes, truncheons and other martial arts equipment
  • Air pressure weapons
  • Electric shock devices
  • Fireworks
  • Non commercially produced cooked foods, meats and slaughtered birds
  • Radioactive materials
  • Gambling tools and equipment
  • Printed publications which contradict Islamic teachings or deliberately imply immorality, such as within photographs, cards, books, magazines, films, videos and DVDs
  • Items considered to be involved with black magic and witchcraft
  • Goods of Israeli manufacturing origin
  • Counterfeit, fake and patent infringing goods e.g. watches, CDs, DVDs, medicaments, designer goods and clothing

Certain goods are prohibited or restricted to protect health and the environment. For advice call the RAK Municipality 00971 (0) 7 2332422 or visit www.rakmunicipality@rak.ae

Restricted goods

These are goods which you cannot import with official authority such as a license or import permit

  • Military weapons, explosives and ammunition
  • Resident and non resident passengers can bring into the UAE a maximum of three months’ supply of Prescription Only Medicines (POM) for their personal use, provided that they are able to provide a valid medical prescription from a registered medical practitioner. All medications should be in their original packaging and not expired. Drugs listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE & Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention of International Narcotic Control Board cannot be carried by international travelers to the UAE. No psychotropic medicines are allowed without prior approval from the Ministry of Health (www.moh.gov.ae) even for personal use, in small quantity and / or with prescription. Any such medicines will be seized and the person/s carrying them liable to prosecution.
  • Endangered species, including animals, birds and plants, whether alive or dead, and any parts or goods made from them. This includes such things as fur, ivory or leather taken from an endangered species. For advice contact UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) – tel: 800-3050 or visit www.moew.gov.ae
  • Certain plants and their produce, including trees, shrubs, potatoes, certain fruit, bulbs and seeds. For advice, contact MoEW – tel: 800-3050 or visit www.moew.gov.ae
  • Pets or domestic animals may travel into or from the UAE if they meet the necessary regulations that apply, including a valid import permit being granted by the UAE MoEW in advance of travel. For online application and advice, please visit www.moew.gov.ae

Smuggling

Heavy penalties apply for smuggling

  • Never carry anything into the UAE for someone else.
  • Never bring prohibited goods into the UAE.
  • If you are driving, make sure that everyone travelling with you knows what goods are prohibited or restricted. If you are found to be smuggling goods in a vehicle, the vehicle may be seized.

Customs and Travelers’ rights

Customs rights

Customs Inspectors expect to be able to do their job with the cooperation and support of the travelling public. They have the right to stop, inspect and question people travelling into and out of the UAE, for prohibited and restricted goods, such as drugs and firearms, or where they have reasonable grounds to suspect someone may be carrying goods or any other items which are liable to seizure / forfeiture.

Travelers’ rights

Travelers have the right to expect Customs Inspectors to be courteous, impartial and behave with compete integrity. If you have goods or a vehicle seized by Customs, they will give you a form listing the seized items and explaining the reasons.

How to appeal if you think the seizure was unlawful

All appeals must be received in writing at RAK Customs Head Office within fifteen days of the date of seizure and could subsequently be heard at the Court of the First Instance.

How to ask for the return of your goods

Providing they are not prohibited or restricted, you may ask for the return of your goods – even if you accept that RAK Customs department had a legal right to seize them. This is called Conciliatory Settlement (Compromise) and involves a separate appeals process for persons dissatisfied with decisions about returning items. Your request for the return of your goods must be received in writing at RAK Customs Head Office within fifteen days of the date of seizure.

Further details of offences and procedures can be found within the RAK Customs Offences Manual.

Smuggling information for Customs

If you have information about smuggling in RAK or the UAE, including illegally imported drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and all other prohibited or restricted goods, please call RAK Customs Risk Management team on 072 333 733 extension 999 or email aawin@customs.rak.ae

Any information you give will be treated as confidential.

Further information

If you have any questions or need further general advice, please contact RAK Customs Department.

RAK Customs Department
Head Office, PO Box 8
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Tel: 00 971 (0) 7 2333733
Fax: 00 971 (0) 7 2330233
Email: info@customs.rak.ae

Further information is available at www.rakcustoms.rak.ae

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