Regulations and customs in Bahrain
Under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA, bilateral trade in industrial and consumer products, with the exception of some agricultural items, may be conducted duty free. Goods manufactured outside the FTA region may be imported according to Bahrain’s tariff schedule listed below. Bahrain is party to the GCC Unified Customs Union agreement. The agreement eliminated tariffs for GCC member states on 426 items (primarily food and medical products), and lowered import duties to five percent on all other commodities except alcohol and tobacco which are assessed duties at 125 and 100 percent, respectively. The Customs authorities of the GCC countries finalized the Unified GCC Customs Tariff of 2017, which entered into force on January 1, 2017. In February 2017, the GCC states, including Bahrain, ratified the Unified Selective Tax Agreement for the GCC States. It imposes a tax on goods harmful to human health and the environment, as well as luxury goods. Tax rates are determined by the Committee for Financial and Economic Cooperation of the GCC States.
Free import by passengers of 18 years and over:
- 1. 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250 grams of tobacco, in opened packets, if packaging contains a pictoral health warning;
- 2. 8oz. of perfume;
- 3. 1 liter bottle of alcoholic liquor and 6 cans of beer;
- 4. gifts up to a maximum of BHD 250.- (approx. USD 600.-) on items not subject to customs duty.
Customs rates for trade under the FTA and within the GCC customs union are as follows:
Duty Exempt Includes most goods traded under the FTA, as well as 426 listed commodities (mostly food and medical products) for intra-GCC trade.
- 5 percent import duty All other commodities, except tobacco and alcoholic beverages
- 100 percent import duty Tobacco products (not exempt under the FTA)
- 125 percent import duty Alcoholic beverages (not exempt under the FTA)
To incentivize FDI, the Bahrain government does not levy duties on imports of raw materials or of semi-manufactured goods, provided that the final products assembled using these inputs will be exported out of Bahrain. The Bahrain government also allows items imported for development projects (excluding spare parts), and transshipments to be imported duty free.
Foreign products entering or already in the GCC are treated as follows:
- Goods imported to the GCC region are granted duty-free entry if the importer presents certificates issued by the first single-entry point as a proof that customs duties have been paid after the establishment of the customs union.
- Goods imported to the GCC for which the importer fails to prove payment of customs duties shall have their customs duty collected by the customs authority of the country that is the final destination.
- The customs declaration for statistical purposes shall be prepared manually by the owner of the goods or the person who acts on his behalf, or by computer, and shall be approved at the customs entry point and have the local invoices attached to it. Invoices are required to detail the correct value and origin of the goods.
- The importer must ensure that the customs authority has made the necessary endorsements that justify the entry and exit of the goods on the basis of the statistical declaration.
Prohibited Items in Bahrain
- all types of narcotic drugs;
- Indian paan and derivatives;
- used and reconditioned tires;
- cultured pearls;
- advertisement material for cigarettes;
- radio/remote controlled model aircraft;
- children’s toy guns capable of firing projectiles;
- goods of Israeli origin and goods with Israeli trademarks or logos;
- printed publications, photographs, pictures, books, magazines sculptures and mannequins which contradict Islamic teachings, decency, or which may be considered immoral;
- seditious or treasonable material;
- asbestos or items containing asbestos;
- raw ivory, ivory articles and rhinoceros horn;
- live swine.
Arms and Ammunition regulations:
Import Permit required for arms and ammunition. The transportation of arms, ammunition and all classes of explosives requires prior Permission from the Ministry of the Interior and Civil Aviation Affairs of Bahrain.
Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)
Entering and transiting Bahrain:
Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals (ESAN/SVAN) can be carried in the cabin. Other pets must be transported as cargo.
- a Health Certificate, and
- an Import Permit obtained from the Ministry of Municipality Affairs and Agriculture / Veterinary Quarantine.
Currency Import regulations:
Local currency (Bahrain Dinar-BHD) and foreign currencies: no restrictions .
Passengers arriving/departing Bahrain can be requested by the Customs or Security Authorities to disclose the value of any local or foreign currencies, gold or other negotiable instruments that are in their possession.