Shrewd entrepreneurs around the world are capitalising on the exciting e-commerce opportunities in the Middle East.
It’s a flourishing region showing year-on-year growth in online sales; in fact, the e-commerce market of the Middle East has almost doubled in size in just a few years, growing to a huge $80 billion last year.
The region boasts a rich mix of exciting e-commerce destinations, each with their own unique characteristics and ways of doing business. For online retailers, they need to get to grips with the individual rules and regulations of target countries in order to establish their businesses there and reach new shoppers.
Regulations of selected markets
Here are some e-commerce destinations in the Middle East and their customs requirements, which will give you an idea of the range of rules when delivering to this region:
- Saudi Arabia: There is no customs threshold in Saudi Arabia and the customs tariff on the majority of imported goods is 5%. There is a tariff of 12% or 20% on some imports to support certain national industries.
- United Arab Emirates: The UAE generally levies customs duties on imported goods at the rate of 5%, with shipments valued under AED 1,000 exempt.
- Qatar: There is currently no sales tax but it’s anticipated that Qatar will introduce a broad VAT of 5% on imported goods.
- Israel: Imports with a CIF value up to USD 1,000 and with a weight up to 30kg are exempt of import duty. However, VAT, Purchase Tax, and Import Port Fee still apply.
- Egypt: Egypt uses a system of fixed prices to determine customs values where, if the value of the invoice is lower, then the fixed price is implemented.
- Oman: There is no sales tax, VAT or threshold on goods in Oman; most products are subject to a 5% duty, irrespective of their values.
- Kuwait: An import tariff of 5% applies to most products, while some items have a tax rate of 10% to 12% to protect national industries.
- Turkey: The EU and Turkey is linked by a Customs Union agreement, covering all industrial goods. The customs threshold from which tariffs are applied is EUR 75 or 30kg.
- Bahrain: Customs duties are usually 5% for imported goods, with the exception for alcohol and tobacco where higher duties apply.
- Morocco: Customs import duty in Morocco depends on the product. There is a para-fiscal import tax of 0.25% and VAT of 20% (rates of 7% and 14% apply to some products and services).
- Jordan: The rate of customs duties has been reduced in stages by the government over the years. A general sales tax similar in operation to VAT is imposed at the rate of 16% on imports.
Asendia in the Middle East
Thanks to our partnership with Oman Post, a national postal carrier for Oman, Asendia is uniquely positioned to help you deliver to countries across the Middle East. Combining our vast global capability with local expertise, our end-to-end service ensures delivery in the Middle East is always completely reliable and efficient for your customers.
We believe in bespoke solutions, which is why our products are tailored to suit your needs and the preferences of consumers in the Middle East.