Used Household Goods and Personal Effects
- Copy of passport (picture and signature page)
- Packing list
- Delivery order from shipping line (sea freight)
- Civil ID copy for consignee
- Temporary import license
- ‘Itimad towkia’ copy from local sponsor company
- Work permit copy/ “Izanamal” (in Arabic)
- Valid Kuwaiti residence copy (stamped in passport)
- Company authorization letter from employer confirming employment (2 copies)
- Original bill of lading/ express release / seaway bill / air waybill (AWB)
- Temporary work entry visa / NOC copy (duly stamped by Kuwait Immigration upon arrival to Kuwait) (air freight)
- Consignee’s presence is mandatory during inbound shipments.
- The Kuwaiti residence copy must be a minimum of 12 months validity.
- Temporary import license may only be obtained after the following documents from above are available at destination at least 5 days prior to arrival of the shipment in Kuwait:
- Delivery order from shipping line
- Packing list
- Company authorization letter (2 copies)
- ‘Itimad towkia’ copy from local sponsor company
- Passport copy
- Work permit copy
- Valid Kuwaiti residence copy
- Civil ID copy
- Diplomats are permitted duty-free entry.
- There is a 5% Customs duty applicable on all non-diplomatic sea imports.
- Kuwaiti Customs will determine further charges depending on weight, volume, and type of HHG shipment.
IAM Note: Contact destination agent for further details.
Kuwait is a Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. See Travelling during Ramadan
Carry your passport or a Kuwait civil identification card at all times.
Entry to and photography near government, military and industrial and other restricted areas (e.g. near borders and oil fields) is forbidden.
In public, you should dress and behave modestly. Women wearing shorts or tight-fitting clothes, in particular in downtown or conservative areas, are likely to attract unwelcome attention.
The importation or possession of narcotics, alcohol, pork products or obscene material is a crime and can lead to imprisonment.
Possession and abuse of drugs can lead to a prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years, and a heavy fine. Bail is not usually given and even if found not guilty you can expect to spend several months in detention while the case progresses through the judicial system. Penalties for drug trafficking include the death sentence.
Drunken behaviour in public or driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, and/or deportation and the withdrawal of your driving licence.
Sexual intercourse between men and imitating the appearance of the opposite sex are punishable by law. See our information and advice page for LGBT travellers before you travel.
Intimate displays of affection between men and women are also frowned upon.
Co-habiting of unmarried partners in Kuwait is illegal. If you wish to live with your partner in the same house, you need to be married.
Bouncing cheques is illegal and the law does not provide for offenders to be released from custody on bail. Post-dated cheques can be banked immediately.
If you’re involved in a commercial dispute with a Kuwaiti company or individual, you may be prevented from leaving the country pending resolution of the dispute.
The British Embassy can’t intervene with labour disputes.
Valuation Kuwait implemented the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement (Article VII of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade) on 1 January 2001. In compliance with Article VII, Kuwait has agreed to five methods for determining customs valuation. The first criterion is based on transaction value (the price actually paid or payable plus costs and expenses). For transaction value to be applied, the parties must be unrelated. If Kuwait Customs rejects this valuation method, other valuation means can be employed such as transaction value of identical or similar goods, valuation on FOB, or CIF values.
Customs Union Kuwait allows entry of other GCC goods meeting the rule of origin criteria duty free. To receive preferential duty status, 40% or more of the value added of each product must originate in a GCC member country, with 51% of the producing firm’s capital owned by citizens of a GCC country.
In April 2018 Kuwait ratified the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement which will simplify customs and border procedures, improve transparency and access to information, and lower trade costs.
Key Regulatory Areas
- High Performance Computers
- Deemed Exports FAQ’s
- Process Improvements and Guidance
- Anti-boycott Regulations
- Regional Considerations
Multilateral Export Regimes Technical Advisory Committees Wassenaar Arrangement
Export Administration Regulations The Government Printing Office (GPO) Export Administration Regulation website http://www.export.gov/regulation/index.asp, contains an up-to-date database of the entire Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including the Commerce Control List, the Commerce Country Chart, and a link to the Denied Persons List. EAR revisions are incorporated into this site within 48-72 hours and the EAR can be viewed, downloaded, and searched. This website also includes a table with all the Federal Register notices that revise the text of the EAR since its complete revision on March 25, 1996. In addition, users can subscribe to GPO’s paper version of the EAR from this website. Users can also e-mail the Regulatory Policy Division directly from this website, to get answers to general questions abo ut the EAR. Users can also attach a properly formatted advisory opinion (See Section 748.3c for the proper format) and forward it to BIS by e-mail. Customs Contact Information General Administration of Customs
Importers apply for import licenses from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and must be registered with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). Licenses are valid for one year, are renewable, and allow for multiple shipments.
Import licenses for industrial machinery and spare parts are also required, which are issued by the Public Authority for Industry. Various ministries and agencies also issue licenses for products, including firearms, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and wild or exotic animals.
Only the local agent is authorized to clear items at Kuwait Customs by showing an official letter of representation as well as a letter by the end-user.
Kuwait documentation procedures require a commercial invoice, certificate of origin, packing list, and a bill of lading or airway bill to accompany all commercial shipments. Certain products may require additional licenses or certificates.
One original and two copies are required, plus the certificate of origin. The invoice must contain an accurate description of the goods, marks and numbers, net and gross weights in metric measure, quantity, units, total value, and country of origin, and port and shipping information (name of vessel and transportation means). The invoice should be legalized by a local chamber of commerce or the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Certificate of Origin
One original and two copies are required. If products are of U.S. origin, the invoice must also include a statement that the products being shipped are of U.S. origin and have been manufactured in the United States. This rule would also apply to U.S. commonwealths or territories. If the products are of U.S. origin but contain foreign content, the document must include country of origin of the non-U.S goods and percentage of content. The certificate of origin should be legalized by a local chamber of Commerce or the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
The packing list must provide detailed information on each item contained in any package and must be stamped with the company seal or stamp of the exporter or freight forwarder.
Bill of Lading
Three copies of the bill of lading are required. The bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of final destination, description of the goods, listing of freight and other charges, number of bills of lading in the complete set, and the acknowledgement signature that the carrier has confirmed receipt on board of the goods to be shipped.
The import license holder’s name must appear on the bill of lading, and he/she must be a Kuwaiti national.
For questions pertaining to document authentication, please consult with your importer and freight forwarder or customs broker.