Shipping to Dubai from Canada

If you are planning to move from Canada to a distant destination  like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), choosing a qualified and experienced international moving company is the best thing you can do to make sure your move goes as planned.  

Choosing the right company can provide incredible peace of mind, especially when moving to a country with a foreign language and culture. Shipping personal effects and household items from Canada to the United Arab Emirates can be complex, so for the best help navigating everything from transit times to shipping costs to customs clearance concerns, Orbit International Moving Logistics is the best choice. 

Orbit will provide you with information about your shipping options that take every aspect of an international move into account. We have extensive experience with international relocations to the Middle East from Canada, which means our international moving consultants can answer all your questions about shipping to Dubai with ease.

Call 416-661-4228 or click here for complete contact information

Shipping to Dubai? Click Here for a Free Estimate

The Customs Clearance Process for International Shipping to the UAE

Upon arrival in the UAE, your cargo shipment will be inspected by customs officers at its airport (or seaport) of arrival before being released. 

Whether destined for Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, it normally takes two days for air freight shipments to clear customs and be delivered to the final destination. For sea freight shipments, this process can require three to four days. 

If you have large or containerized packages for shipping to Dubai, the consignee can request to have the goods inspected at the final delivery destination, however, customs officials will charge a fee of at least $55 (USD) for this service.

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of residence permit / residency visa on passport
  • Employment visa with entry stamp of UAE if residence visa not ready / Emirates ID copy / Emirates ID application form / Visa applicable form etc.
  • Bill of lading (express release) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Complete packing list in English detailing the contents of each package, including their value and the correct number of packages in the shipment.
  • Letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs for exemption from the payment of Customs duties (diplomats)
  • Copy of diplomatic card (diplomats)
  • Letter of authorization / undertaking

Specific Information

All documents must be in place prior to shipment arrival on port

  • Without a residence visa or passport, shipments will not be cleared, nor will the shipping line release the delivery order or release order for the shipment.
  • Import shipments may be intensively inspected by Customs authorities with charges incurred.
  • The importation of household goods and personal effects into the UAE is exempted from Customs duties. 
  • If any prohibited items are found during the Customs inspection, severe punishment will be imposed including fines, imprisonment, or both. All import duties are charged based on the costs, insurance, and freight (CIF) value of the shipment.
  • Import Duties on new items are changed at 5%
  • Shipments not cleared within 5 days from the arrival date at the port will not have a free port storage period granted and the shipment will attract port charges from the first day of arrival.
  • Shipments that arrive before the weekend i.e. Friday and Saturday will automatically lose two days of Customs clearance and the shipment can become more susceptible to incurring port storage charges.
  • There is no customs duty on used household items however customs may levy duty at their discretion. Both new and used motor vehicles/ boats incur customs duty of 5% on value assessed by customs. (in addition to the 5% on personal effects)
  • Imported Used household goods are exempted from custom duties as long as the importer holds a UAE residency visa.
  • UAE Customs is closed on Weekends (Friday and Saturday). All shipments arriving on Thursday, Friday or Saturday may attract some Port Storage/ Liner Demurrage Charges.

When shipping to Dubai, in order for our shipping services agent to be able to clear customs on behalf of the individual to whom the shipment is addressed (i.e. the consignee), certain supporting shipping information documentation is required. The consignee must provide a copy of their passport, as well as an authorisation letter that endorses the shipping services agent to act on their behalf.

Prohibited goods: Prohibited under the provisions of the Common Customs Law or any other regulation or law applicable in the State. More information available at

  • Drugs and Narcotics of all kinds, including poppy seeds, flowers and leaves (Some prohibited goods may be imported subject to a pre approval by the relevant governing Authority – See below).
  • Alcohol, spirits, Pornographic Material, Pirated Goods, Fireworks, Ivory,
  • Weapons & Ammunition, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Laser Pens, Radar Jammers, wireless radio, Sculptures, Endangered Animal Species or any articles made from them such as but not limited to  items from ivory or rhinoceros horn.
  • Military uniforms
  • Toxic and radioactive materials
  • Gambling games, tools, machinery & devices of any kind.
  • Nylon fishing nets and live swine/pigs.
  • Paintings, Video tapes or Books, Political / Religious Literature or any Item that contradict Islamic faith and public morals.
  • Carvings and statues of humans (especially nude), Statues and figures of animals with religious undertones
  • Gambling games, tools, machinery & devices of any kind.
  • Large quantities of Cigarettes, cigars and tobacco are restricted
Governing Authority Goods
Ministry Of Climate Change & Environment Live animals, plants, fertilizers and insecticides
Ministry Of Defence / Armed Forces / Ministry of Interior Arms, ammunitions, explosives, and fireworks
Ministry Of Health & Prevention Pharmaceutical products & Medical/ Surgical instruments & machines
National Media Council Print materials, publications, and media products
Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation Nuclear energy-related products
Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology New tires /E-cigarettes and electronic hookah
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Transmitters and radio equipment
Dubai Police Alcoholic beverages
Dubai Municipality Foodstuffs, personal care and cosmetic products
UAE Kimberley Process office Rough diamonds

Pets Documents Required

  • Owner’s passport
  • Owner’s UAE residence visa
  • Certificate of vaccination
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Import permit
  • Permission from the embassy is required for importation


Some vehicles may be imported to the UAE for personal use (Not for Resale). Keep in mind that Dubai has some very hot days. This may affect the performance & maintenance of your vehicle.

Documents Required (Documents are required prior to the arrival of the shipment to the UAE)

  • Copy of Residency Visa on passport
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of diplomatic card (diplomats)
  • Residence permit
  • BOL
  • Authorization letter
  • Title
  • Proof of purchase
  • Proof of ownership
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Driver’s license (not required if you have a valid license in some countries, including the U.S. & much of western Europe)

General  Information

  • Ownership duration is not a factor for duties.
  • Duties on new items @ 5% and VAT on total shipment value + 5% motor vehicles.
  • Customs will usually clear a vehicle within 1 -2 weeks of arrival. However, this may change from time to time. They will issue a “clearance certificate”, which will be required for registration with the traffic department.
  • Owners of the goods that are bringing cars must be able to provide a copy of their UAE residence visa or no clearance and release will take place.
  • Olde vehicles more then 10 years of age will require a pre approval to import
  • Windows of vehicles can NOT be with tinted glass.
  • Only left handed cars are allowed.

Details needed for Customs clearance:

  • Model of the vehicles with the model number
  • Color of the vehicle
  • Year of manufacture
  • Current market value
  • Engine an& cassis number
  • Total weight of the vehicle

United Arab Emirates Embassy Contact Information 

If you are planning to move from Canada to Dubai, and you have specific questions or concerns about the customs process or shipping laws in the UAE, here is the contact information for the UAE embassy in Ottawa. 

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates

125 Boteler St.

Ottawa , ON K1N 0A4 Canada

Phone: (+1-613) 565-7272

Fax: (+1-613) 565-8007/ 565-8000

Orbit International Moving Logistics 

Moving from Canada to a new country can be an exciting event. But moving is also often very stressful. If your move does not go according to plan, it can compound these difficulties and turn the whole experience into an unpleasant ordeal. That’s where Orbit’s seamless and reliable international shipping services come into play.

Free Shipping Estimates & Relocation Consultations 

What sets Orbit apart from other shipping companies is the level of service we offer our customers. We provide free estimates with no obligation and always listen to your concerns so we can find the best shipping solutions for your relocation needs. When shipping to Dubai with Orbit, you’ll also never be subject to surprise costs, because our rates are always all-inclusive. 

As a leading international moving company in the Toronto area, we have established an extensive worldwide network of agents who share our passion for customer satisfaction. It is through this network of exceptional partners that we provide our customers with the highest level of service when shipping from Canada to Dubai from departure to arrival.

Thanks to our solid reputation for providing outstanding service to our customers, we’ve built our business on steady referrals and repeat customers. 

Shipping to Dubai? Click Here for a Free Estimate

Please note: All shipping and customs information contained herein is meant for general guidance. Orbit International Logistics does not take responsibility for any errors or omissions that may result from its use. For complete and current information regarding customs policies in the United Arab Emirates, contact a UAE customs office.  –