Customs regulations and required documents
Personal effects import regulations
A weak and unpredictable judiciary, corruption, conflicts of interest in regulatory and commercial matters, and monopolies hinder imports.
Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.
Importers are required to provide the State Customs Committee with the following: signed import contract (and contract number), customs declaration, permission(s) from the relevant state entity(s) when applicable, bill of lading, sales invoice and packing list, certificate of origin, and certificate of quality of the imported merchandise.
Goods imported into Azerbaijan for processing and later re-exported are subject to normal duties and taxes at the time of importation. As soon as processing has been completed and the goods are re-exported, a draw-back procedure can be initiated to recover the taxes and duty paid. There is no formal procedure for submitting an application, and this process is cumbersome to use. The State Customs Committee establishes the time for the processing and re-export of the goods, usually within two years. In addition, it may also stipulate a minimum amount of finished product be held to assure that the imported goods are utilized for the purpose intended.
Provisions for import of goods and equipment are an integral part of production sharing agreements (PSAs) in the energy sector. Goods, tools, equipment, supplies, and services necessary for successfully carrying out the objectives of the PSA are generally exempt from import duties and taxes. By extension, foreign firms registered to do business in Azerbaijan, and who provide services for contractor parties or foreign sub-contractors participating in PSAs, may also be exempt from duties and VAT on imported goods and equipment. In all cases, the specific terms of the PSA will govern each individual situation.
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.
Azerbaijan is not a member of the WTO and has not made progress on accession to the WTO. In 2016, Azerbaijan imposed higher tariffs on a number of imported goods, including agricultural products, to promote domestic production through import substitution.
Azerbaijan adopted a new set of tariffs in 2018, simplifying the regime to include only three rates: 0%, 5%, or 15%, depending on the import. Under the new regime, the majority of raw materials and machinery are exempt from customs duties. Finished products and agricultural produce are all typically charged a 15% tariff.
Under the production sharing agreement (PSA) contract regime used in the energy sector, contractors, their agents, and subcontractors are entitled to import and re-export goods used for hydrocarbon activities from Azerbaijan without any import duties or restrictions.
Free import by persons of 16 years and older:
Click here to see : Airport tax regulations details
Prohibited: Photographs and printed matter directed against Azerbaijan, live animals (subject to special permit), military arms and ammunition, narcotics (opium, hashish, etc.), fruit and vegetables.
Customs declaration must be handed over on departure.
The Government of Azerbaijan must approve, certify, or license exports or imports of weapons, military equipment, explosives, special types of scientific and technical information for production of weapons, nuclear and radioactive materials and technologies, narcotic and psychotropic substances, blood and blood components, and unprocessed diamonds. In addition, the government regulates the export of strategic commodities produced in Azerbaijan.
Export or import of the following goods also require government approval: wild animals and plants, animal- or plant-derived raw materials, information on the location of natural resources and thermal energy, works of art and antiques, results of scientific and other research, inventions, controlled psychotropic substances, medical equipment, insecticides, and veterinary drugs and substances. Prohibited and restricted imports and exports are subject to change. Please consult with industry professionals for the most up-to-date information on restrictions and regulations.
Click here to see : Prohibited and Restricted Imports
Cats, dogs, and birds (except pigeons) must be accompanied by a veterinarian health certificate with seal of local board of health and not be issued over ten days prior to arrival. Pigeons are prohibited entry. Pets may enter as passenger’s checked baggage, in the cabin or as cargo. Generally, pets are not permitted in hotels.
The determination of the customs value by declarant for the vehicles imported into the customs territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is adjusted in accordance with the international principles such as Art.VII of GATT, Customs Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as other normative legal acts.
The information declared by the declarant in respect to the customs value and its determination must be precise, quantified and referred to the justified documents.
Customs authority reserves rights to inspect the preciseness of declaration or any information, document submitted with a view to define the customs value.
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zoological collections, their parts or separate objects, as well as objects of animal world, taking out or sending, bringing or receiving of which is not allowed by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
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Passengers having a connection flight within the European Union member states or USA, are not permitted to carry any previously purchased duty-free products (over 100ml) as hand luggage even in sealed bags. Duty-free liquids bought on the plane or purchased after the security checkpoint at last point of departure are allowed.
The FCDO advise against all travel to:
Crime levels in Baku are generally low, but muggings do occur from time to time after dark in the centre of town around the western bars and clubs and near dimly lit entrances of private apartments. Take sensible precautions: be vigilant, avoid carrying large sums of money and don’t walk alone at night. Try to arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible by a private/company driver, or a known taxi firm.
You can report a crime at any local police station or by telephoning the police on 102. English speaking staff are available on the telephone, but when reporting a crime at a police station take someone with you who can interpret. Don’t sign any documents you don’t understand.
We are aware of ad hoc reports of foreign national residents being asked to make undocumented payments while making car journeys or seeking medical treatment. If you think you have been mistreated by an official then you should report your case to the relevant government department.
The FCDO advise against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh as well as a number of surrounding rayons. See Safety and security page for full details. Consular support is not available in the areas of Nagorno-Karabakh region not under Azerbaijani control. The Nagorno-Karabakh area is the subject of a continuing dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and although the latest cease-fire was signed on 10 November 2020, tensions remain and you should monitor local developments and announcements closely. Some areas may be heavily land mined or littered with unexploded ordnances (UXOs). If you come across an UXO do not approach it, or touch it. Make a note of where it was spotted, and notify the authorities on 102 or 112. Be aware that there may be more UXOs nearby.
According to Azerbaijani legislation, entering Nagorno-Karabakh without the permission of the Azerbaijani authorities constitutes a criminal offence. There have been some recent reports that the government of Azerbaijan has started criminal proceedings against foreign citizens, including British nationals, for visiting and working in Nagorno-Karabakh without official permission. It’s possible that these proceedings could include requests for individuals who are outside Azerbaijan to be extradited to Azerbaijan to stand trial.
The borders between Iran and Azerbaijan, and Georgia and Azerbaijan are temporarily closed.
The land border between Azerbaijan and Russia (Dagestan) is also closed. The FCDO continues to advises against all travel to Dagestan (for further details, see our travel advice page for Russia.
You need to have a 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Azerbaijan. 1949 IDPs previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted for use in Azerbaijan. You can only get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.
If you’re temporarily or permanently resident in Azerbaijan, after one month of your residence permit being issued you will only be able to drive with an Azerbaijan-issued driving licence. Driving licences are issued through ASAN Service Offices.
If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel
Right hand drive cars are not permitted in Azerbaijan.
Many cars are poorly maintained, and the standard of driving is erratic. Accidents are common, mainly due to poor or reckless driving and inconsistent enforcement of traffic rules. One-way only signs are often ignored and road closures and diversions are not marked. Traffic lights are often switched to flashing amber at night, which means both directions can proceed with caution.
There are a variety of taxi options available in Baku including private hire, app-based, and London-style metered cabs. Some visitors have reported being severely over-charged by local taxis. When using taxis you should agree a fare up front, or make sure the taxi meter is switched on. You should also check that the taxi has working seatbelts.
Take care when driving particularly at night. Many roads are of poor quality and badly lit.
Drink driving laws are strict and there is a zero limit on drinking alcohol and driving. Observe the speed limit and make sure you have adequate insurance.
If you’re in a vehicle that’s travelling at an unsafe speed you should instruct the driver to slow down.
In the winter months snowfall often causes problems. Keep a blanket, shovel, torch, snacks and old carpet (to help if you get stuck in snow) if you intend to travel out of Baku in the winter months, or if heavy snowfall is forecast in Baku.
See the RAC guide on driving in Azerbaijan.
The Baku Metro is reasonably maintained and has basic safety equipment and procedures. Signs are in Azerbaijani and English. There are police at each station and security checks of bags and belongings.
If you travel by overland train, secure your valuables, don’t leave the compartment unattended, and lock the door from the inside.
A list of incidents and accidents in Azerbaijan can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.
In 2020, an International Civil Aviation Organisation audit of aviation safety oversight found that the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Azerbaijan was generally above the global average.
The European Commission publishes a list of airlines banned from operating within the EU. The list is based on random inspections on aircraft of airlines that operate flights to and from EU airports. The fact that an airline is not included in the list does not automatically mean that it meets the applicable safety standards.
The FCDO is unable to offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.
The political situation in Azerbaijan is generally calm, but demonstrations and opposition rallies can occur.
You should avoid large gatherings and any demonstrations. These could escalate without warning. Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks and be alert to local and regional developments, which may trigger public disturbances. British media representatives should make sure they are clearly identifiable.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
The UK does not have a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Azerbaijan.
Medical facilities outside Baku are very limited. You should carry a comprehensive first aid kit for any trips out of Baku. Even in Baku serious illness or injury may require evacuation to Turkey or Western Europe. Make sure your insurance covers this.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 103 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
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