Customs regulations for your trip to Oman

Last modified: July 25, 2023
You are here:
Estimated reading time: 10 min

Customs regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / telex release / air waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed inventory
  • Oman residence visa stamp (on the passport)

Specific Information

  • Do not include alcohol in the shipment.
  • Used household goods are duty-free if owned for a minimum of 6 months; Customs allows multiple entries regardless of air, sea road shipments.
    • New items are subject to a 5% customs duty.
  • The approximate time frames for Customs clearance are as follows:
    • Sea; full container loads (FCL)              5 – 7 business days
    • Sea; less-than-container loads (LCL)     7 – 9 business days
    • Air shipments                                       2 – 3 business days
  • The approximate time frames for customs clearance during Ramadan are as follows:
    • Sea; full container loads  (FCL)             8 – 9 business days
    • Sea; less than container loads  (LCL)    9 – 10 business days
    • Air shipments                                       3 – 4 working days
  • All wood crates must be heat treated with clear visible ISPM marking.
  • Oman has now introduced an e-service called Bayan.
    • All owners of the goods need to register their names in Customs and get a unique ID that will be used by the clearance company to college DO and clear the effects.
    • Destination agents can provide elaborate details.

Free import of:

  • 400 cigarettes;
  • max. 2 liters or 2 bottles of liquor per passenger of 21 years or older (non-Muslim);
  • 100 milliliters of perfume;
  • 10 DVD’s for personal use;
  • Meat and meat products: same regulations as for pets. In addition an Islamic slaughter certificate is required;

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:

  • An accredited copy of commercial registration and an activity form or permission for importing if such a form does not exist;
  • A valid copy of the affiliation certificate to the Oman Chamber of Industry and Commerce (OCCI);
  • A valid certificate from the manufacturer;
  • A valid quotation list;
  • Packing lists;
  • Bill of lading at sea and air custom offices only;
  • A manifest of the shipment (a document that contains a detailed description of the cargo);
  • A permission of deliverance from the shipping agent;
  • A comprehensive valid written authorization from the person in charge for custom clearance;
  • Filling in the import statement and the form of clearing and classifying the goods according to the operating system along with other required documents, which should be submitted “To Whom It May Concern”;
  • In case there is an absence of a valid purchase invoice or a valid certificate from the manufacturer, the clearance will cost OMR 20 paid in cash.  The ROP Customs reimburses this fee if the required documents are submitted within 90 days from the date of payment;
  • Providing an approval from the authority in charge for the restricted goods only;
  • Paying the required taxes and custom fees for the total value of the shipment including cargo and insurance (CIF).

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.

Local laws and customs

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

Dress code

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.

Offensive behaviour

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

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.

Criminal investigations

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.

Visa overstay

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.

Drugs

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 goods

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.

Hotels

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.

Same-sex relationships

Homosexuality is illegal in Oman. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

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.

Firearms, weapons and ammunition

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.

Performance and image enhancing drugs

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.

Currency

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.

Food, plants, animals and biological goods

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.

Medicines

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.

Protected wildlife

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.

Heritage-listed goods

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.

Defence and strategic goods

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.

Prohibited Items

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Firearms and ammunitions
  • Swords or spears
  • Animal hides, skins, and ivory products
  • Drugs (medicine or prescription drugs are allowed in reasonable quantities and are subject to inspection / analysis)
  • Political or religious literature or statues that might be deemed offensive to the Omani government or the Islamic faith
  • Pornographic books, magazines, and films
  • Products of Israeli origin or items on the Israeli blacklist
  • Nude pictures or paintings
  • Walkie-talkie systems / remote or cordless telephones
  • Airplanes and helicopters

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original bill of lading
  • Statistical report, if applicable
  • Proof of Insurance

Specific Information

  • While importing a new or used motor vehicle, motorcycle, trailer, the owner of the goods must ensure the vehicle meets local standards, be left-hand driveand not older than 7 years of date from manufacture.
  • All vehicles are subject to a minimum 5% customs duty.
  • The owner of the goods must obtain insurance at least 24 hours prior to vehicle arrival in Muscat.
    • These documents will be filed with Customs by the destination agent.
  • Once clearance is complete, Customs will issue a green form the owner of the goods will need to submit it with the Royal Oman Police for the registration of the vehicle.
  • Destination agents generally will not be involved with the vehicle’s registration process but can assist if needed at a fee.
  • For imports from a GCC country, vehicles are allowed duty-free entry if the vehicle is registered in the country of origin and is not older than 2 years prior to import and was noit improted there under any duty free scheme.
    • A statistical report from Customs from the country of origin must show that duty has been paid at this country of export.
    • The original statistical report must be filed with Customs in Oman.
  • Permission is not required by the Ministry of Commerce for vehicle imports from GCC countries.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Department of Animal Health

Specific Information

  • The import permit is online and must be submitted with a copy of the pet’s rabies vaccination record and health certificate.
  • Vaccination against rabies is required no less than one month and no more than six months before the travel date.

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Import is not allowed.

Pets:

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 Clearance regulations:

Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Oman.

Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Oman.

Currency

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.

Was this article helpful?
Dislike 0
Views: 326
Previous: Traveller’s info card for Oman
Next: Oman Travel Information
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright - World Baggage Network