Customs regulations and required documents
Personal effects import regulations
Free import of:
The Bayan system is an online single window/one-stop service offering from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) – Directorate General of Customs that facilitates seamless, convenient and fast clearance of goods for trading communities and various stakeholders. The Bayan system provides a coordinated view of the government to trade community customers and eases their administrative and logistical processes. For more details, visit the ROP Customs website at here.
ROP Customs requires the following for clearance of imported goods:
The government requires all imports into Oman above OMR 1,000 to have an accredited copy of commercial registration; a copy of the affiliation certificate to OCCI; a commercial invoice; a bill of lading; or airway bill; the relevant certificate or permit for restricted imports (section 3.2.6); and a certificate of origin for preferential imports.
In order to accelerate the flow of goods and promote its ports and airports, Oman has simplified customs clearance documentation with the implementation of the Bayan system. In line with the digital transformation initiatives of the national logistics strategy, the Directorate General of Customs is moving towards a paperless supply chain, introducing e-delivery and e-cargo release orders. Oman implemented the Customs Valuation Agreement and is working to further enhance its customs valuation systems.
Certain classes of goods require a special license (e.g., alcohol, firearms, pharmaceuticals, and explosives). Authorities may examine media imports for censorship. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture may reject or expunge morally or politically sensitive material from imported videos. The Ministry of Information delays or bars the entry of magazines and newspaper editions if it takes exception to a story on Oman or deems the content morally inappropriate. In practice, the effect of this censorship on non-pornographic materials is usually mild. Authorities restrict imports of pork products and alcoholic beverages. Oman generally does not comply with the Arab League boycott of Israel-origin imports, although there are reports of tenders featuring outdated language enforcing the boycott.
Oman has been applying the GCC Laws on Veterinary Quarantine and Plant Quarantine since 2004. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth’s (MAFW) quarantine section inspects imports, exports, and domestic production of plants and animals. The MAFW also examines and issues Sanitary-Phytosanitary (SPS) certificates for all agricultural products prior to their export. The MAFW requires SPS certificates and prior permission from the Directorate General of Agricultural Development for imports of agricultural seeds, plants, plant parts, and plant products.
Customs authorities require a health certificate and prior permission from the Directorate General of Animal Wealth (DGAW) to import live animals from all countries. DGAW inspects imports of foodstuffs of animal origin, including milk and milk products, to ensure that they are free from contaminants, and must have a certificate declaring them free of radiation and dioxin.
Municipal officials are responsible for the inspection of domestic products. These officials analyze all imports of consignments before release. Authorities assess the results against GCC and Codex Alimentarius standards to ensure that imported food items are safe for human consumption. Customs officials reject unfit foodstuffs at the port of entry, either destroying them or returning them to the country of origin per the preference of the importer.
To settle customs valuation and classification disputes, an operator may appeal to the Directorate General of Customs under the ROP, then to the Inspector General of Police and Customs, then to the Minister of Finance, and lastly, to the Omani Court of Arbitration.
Oman laws and customs are very different to those in the UK, and reflect the fact that Oman is an Islamic country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Eating, drinking, smoking, playing loud music and dancing in public places during daylight hours of Ramadan is strictly forbidden and punishable by law, including for non-Muslims. See Travelling during Ramadan
You should dress modestly in public areas including shopping malls. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs (below the knee), and underwear should not be visible.
Wearing tight-fitting clothes is likely to attract attention. You should not wear swimming attire in public areas, except on tourist beaches or at swimming pools.
Cross-dressing is illegal.
Alcohol and E-cigarettes
Non-Muslim residents can get a licence to drink alcohol at home from the Royal Oman Police. Liquor licenses are not available to non-residents, but it is possible for tourists and visitors to buy and drink alcohol in licensed venues, such as hotels, restaurants and clubs. The legal age for drinking alcohol is 21.
It is a punishable offence under Omani law to drink alcohol in public, be drunk in a public area or to drink drive. British nationals have been arrested and charged, including in cases where they have come to the attention of the police for a related offence or matter, such as disorderly or offensive behaviour. Passengers in transit through Omani ports whilst under the influence of alcohol may also be arrested.
Importing and use of E-cigarettes are illegal in Oman.
Swearing and making rude gestures (including while driving or on social media) are considered obscene acts. Excessive public displays of affection are frowned upon and may bring you to the attention of the police.
Photography of certain government buildings and military sites isn’t allowed. Don’t photograph people without their permission. Hobbies like bird watching and plane spotting may be misunderstood – particularly near military sites, government buildings and airports.
Carry a copy of your passport, or your Omani ID if you are a resident, at all times for identification and keep the original document in a safe place.
Financial crimes, including fraud, bouncing cheques, unpaid debt and the non-payment of bills (including hotel bills) can result in imprisonment and/or a fine. You may be prevented from leaving the country. The same goes if you are subject to a travel ban, involved in legal proceedings or are a child subject to a custody dispute. Foreign nationals must pay all outstanding debts and traffic fines before leaving the country. You can pay fines at the airport. If you haven’t paid fines before you leave you may experience delays or be prevented from leaving the country.
You could be fined and/or detained if you overstay or fail to extend your legal residency. You can be fined up to OMR10 per day up to a maximum of OMR500 for overstaying. The Royal Oman Police have advised that this policy will not be in effect if foreign nationals are unable to leave the country or renew their visas as a result of restrictions in place to manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
There is zero tolerance for drugs-related offences. The penalties for trafficking, smuggling and possession, of even residual amounts, of drugs are severe. In some cases, the death penalty could apply. There is no distinction in Omani law between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ drugs; both are treated with equal severity.
Importing drugs and pornography into Oman is illegal and can lead to imprisonment. Flying drones or remote-controlled flying devices either without a valid licence or in restricted airspace is against the law.
It’s against the law to live together or share the same hotel room with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related.
Homosexuality is illegal in Oman. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
DVDs, videos and CDs are subject to release after censorship clearance from the Ministry of Heritage and Culture; it takes approximately 3-4 weeks for the release and additional charges may apply.
You must declare all firearms, weapons and ammunition including real and replica firearms and BB air guns that discharge a pellet by means of compressed gas, commonly purchased as “toy” guns. Other weapons such as paintball markers, blowpipes, all knives, nunchukas, slingshots, crossbows, electric shock devices and knuckle dusters must also be declared. Some of these items may require a permit, police authorisation and safety testing before importation.
All performance and image enhancing drugs must be declared on arrival. These include human growth hormone, DHEA and all anabolic and androgenic steroids. These items cannot be imported into Australia without a permit.
There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring in or out of Australia. However, you must declare amounts of A$10,000 or more in Australian currency or foreign equivalent. If asked by Customs you must also fill in a Bearer Negotiable Instruments (BNI) form if you’re carrying promissory notes, travellers cheques, personal cheques, money orders or postal orders.
Declare all food, plant and animal goods, equipment used with animals, biological materials, soils and sand to Quarantine on arrival. If you don’t, you could be given an on-the-spot fine or face prosecution.
You need to declare all drugs and medicines including prescription medications, alternative, herbal and traditional medicines, vitamin and mineral preparation formulas to Customs. Some products require a permit or quarantine clearance and/or a letter or prescription from your doctor describing your medication and medical condition. Prescription medicines are financially subsidised by the Australian Government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). You can only take out of Australia the amount of medication you need. Carry a medical or dental practitioner’s letter or complete a PBS Medicine Export Declaration available from Medicare Australia.
Australia’s strict laws control the import and export of protected wildlife and associated products. This includes traditional medicinal products and regulated products such as coral, orchids, caviar, ivory products and many hunting trophies.
You need to apply for a permit to import or export heritage-listed goods including works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects, minerals and specimens.
Veterinary productsDeclare all veterinary drugs and medicines. This includes products that contain substances prohibited without a permit.
Permits are required to import or export defence and strategic goods. For more information on which goods fit into this category, refer to Customs.
Residents may obtain personal liquor licences to consume alcohol in private homes and alcohol is also served in licensed hotels and restaurants, but it is a punishable offence to drink, or be drunk, in public. The legal age for consumption of alcohol is 21.
Import is not allowed.
Must be accompanied by:
– import license from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; and
– Government health certificate attested to by the country of origin (valid during the import period); and
– immunization certificate against rabies stating that immunization is more than 1 month old but less than 6 months old.
Birds (parrots) require, in addition to the above mentioned certificates, an environmental export certificate of approval from the authorities of the country of origin. Pets may enter as checked baggage (in hold), in the cabin or as cargo. However, issue is subject to individual airline procedures (check with transporting airline). Quarantine:
1. Dogs and cats arriving from rabies infected areas will be quarantined for 6 months. Apply to Quarantine Veterinarian at Seeb International Airport (Muscat) in case of doubt regarding rabies infected areas;
2. any imported living animals/birds not complying with above mentioned conditions are subject to quarantine or other suitable actions.
Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Oman.
Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Oman.
Currency Import regulations:
Same regulations as per Export apply.
Currency Export regulations:
Local currency (Rial Omani-OMR), foreign currencies, precious metals/stones or Bearer Negotiable Instruments (BNI), no restrictions up to OMR 6,000.- (or equivalent). Goods must be declared when its value is is equivalent or higher to OMR 6,000.-. Prohibited: Israeli currency.
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Airport Tax: OMR 5.- has to be paid upon departure if not collected at ticket issuance.
Exempt: children up to 2 years of age.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus
You must have a valid visa before you travel. Visas cannot currently be issued on arrival. You should check with your airline what documentation they require you to present.
If you are over the age of 16, you must take a PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Oman and complete an online pre-registration form.
You will also need to have downloaded the Tarassud+ and HMushrif track and trace applications (available on iOS and Android phones). While you can do this on arrival in Oman, you should aim to download it before you leave the UK.
You must have proof of hotel accommodation and travel/health insurance which covers at least 30 days of COVID-19 treatment. It is no longer permitted to self-isolate at home unless you are under 18 (and travelled unaccompanied), over 60 years old or have a document from your health provider stating that for medical reasons you cannot self-isolate in a hotel.
British nationals with valid residence, tourist, business ‘express’ or family visit visas can enter Oman. Any other travellers should seek approval via their airline. Alternatively, their sponsors can email the Omani MFA at [email protected].
From 25 February, British nationals (excluding healthcare workers) who have visited Lebanon, Sudan, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia in the last 14 days (including transit) will not be permitted to enter Oman.
Land borders were closed on Monday 18 January until further notice.
All arrivals (over the age of 16) are required to have a PCR test at Muscat International Airport. There is a charge of 25 Omani Riyals for this test. You can pay for this through the Tarassud+ or eMushrif App before you arrive in Oman. You will receive a QR code that you can show at the screening point to confirm payment.
You will also be required (if you are over the age of 16) to wear a tracking bracelet for the period of your self-isolation. There is a charge (also payable through the Tarassud+ application) of 6 Omani Riyals for the bracelet. Bracelets must be returned once you have completed your self-isolation. Some health clinics have established drop off points for this purpose.
The results of the PCR test undertaken at the airport will be sent to your registered phone (usually within 24 hours). You should self-isolate until you receive the result.
Regardless of the result of the PCR test taken at the airport, you must self-isolate for 7 days. On day 8 you must take another PCR test. These can be taken at some hospitals, private health clinics or at a drive through testing facility at Muscat International Airport. If the result is negative you can have your tracking bracelet removed and end your self-isolation. You may be charged a small additional fee to have the bracelet removed.
All arrivals (including residents) must self-isolate at a hotel at their own expense unless they are under 18 years of age (travelling unaccompanied), over 60 years of age or have a document from their health provider stating that for medical reasons they cannot self-isolate in a hotel. In these circumstances you must self-isolate at home for 7 days.
Prior to travelling, you should download the Tarassud+ track and trace application. Through that app, or on arrival, you will need to pay 25 Omani Riyals for a PCR test (testing on arrival) and, if you are staying more than 7 days, an additional 6 Omani Riyals for a tracking bracelet.
On departure you will have your temperature checked. If you show symptoms of coronavirus, you may be prevented from travelling. You must also comply with whatever the entry and testing requirements are at the country you intend to travel to.
See ‘entry rules in response to coronavirus’ section.
Your passport should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of entry to Oman.
Oman doesn’t recognise dual nationality. If you hold both British and Oman nationalities and this becomes known to the Omani authorities, they may confiscate your Omani or British passport.
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry, exit and transit in Oman however they must have at least 6 months’ remaining validity. Residents and tourists will need to get an exit stamp before leaving. This can cause delays and may prevent you from leaving on your booked flight. Check your passport carefully to make sure it’s legal and valid so that you don’t need an ETD.
Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in the UK are banned substances in Oman. If you’re travelling to Oman with prescription drugs, carry a copy of the prescription. For further information, check with Oman’s Ministry of Health well in advance of travel.
You can drive a rental car with a valid UK driving licence for up to 6 weeks. If you’re staying longer or living in country, you will need to get a local licence. If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel.
Driving is on the right. If you are involved in a major road traffic accident you must stay with your vehicle and call the Royal Oman Police (ROP) on 9999. If you are involved in a minor accident, it may not be necessary to call the police, but you must follow the procedures set out on the ROP website. You must keep a Minor Road Traffic Accident form in your car. You can get one from your insurance company. Car rental companies are responsible for keeping forms in their cars.
Driving can be dangerous outside Muscat; there is a risk of hitting wandering camels and goats on the road. Rainfall can cause sudden and severe flooding in dry riverbeds and on roads that cross them.
The standard of Omani roads is generally good. Driving standards in Oman are not always as disciplined as those in the UK, and the rate of traffic accidents in Oman is significantly higher.
The Omani authorities strictly enforce traffic laws, and there are strong punishments for traffic offences, including fines of up to OMR3000 or jail sentences of up to three years. Seatbelts must be worn by all passengers in a vehicle, and child car seats are mandatory for all children under 4 years of age. It’s illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving. There’s zero tolerance towards drink-driving. Speed limits are clearly posted on major roads.
Excursions to the desert and mountains can be dangerous unless you are in an adequately equipped 4×4 vehicle. Always travel in convoy, take a supply of water and a mobile telephone (or satellite phone) and leave a copy of your travel plans with friends or relatives. You should also make sure you’re insured.
Many areas of the Gulf of Aden are restricted. Vessels entering these areas have been detained and inspected, sometimes resulting in arrests. You should make careful enquiries before entering these waters or visiting ports. You should also consider how regional tensions may affect your route. Vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Bab El Mandeb regions may be at increased risk of maritime attack.
Recent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, highlight that the threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains significant. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue. The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom. For more information and advice, see our Piracy and armed robbery at sea page.
The safety of tourist boats may not be up to UK standards. Make sure life jackets are available for all passengers.
There’s a possibility of unannounced demonstrations throughout the country. You should avoid all demonstrations.
Developments in the Middle East continue to have an impact on local public opinion. You should be aware of local sensitivities on these issues. Follow news reports and be alert to local and regional developments, which might trigger public disturbances.
Reported cases of sexual assault against foreign nationals are low. Personal attacks, including sexual assault and rape, are relatively rare, but do happen. Take care when walking or travelling alone, particularly at night. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK. See advice for women travelling abroad