Importing Kosher Food into the Dubai: An Ultimate Guide
Food import is one of the top imports of UAE. Dubai is considered as the doorway to the African and Arab markets, is considered to be the ‘shopping capital’ of the Middle East, is also one of the busiest hubs in trading food items.
Moreover, food consumption is likely to increase in the coming years. As with the UAE-Israel groundbreaking trade deal in action, Dubai is going to see an increase in the number of visitors from Israel. The major food chains are going to experience a rising demand to import kosher food.
There are three primary kosher food groups:
- Meat (Fleishig):
This category includes mammals or fowl, including bones or stock and items derived from them.
- Dairy (Milchig):
This category includes milk, cheddar, margarine, and yogurt.
This group includes any food that isn’t meat or dairy, including fish, eggs, and plant-based nourishments
Caterers and restaurants in Dubai are preparing to serve kosher food to their Jew customers from Israel and around the world. As UAE prepares to offer kosher food, one of the main challenges is to import kosher ingredients into Dubai.
Do you want to import kosher food and don’t know the procedures? Don’t worry as we have got your back. We have discussed all the important details below
You Must Register the Company:
One thing to note is that to import kosher food items into Dubai, you must register your company with Dubai Municipality E-Government and with the Food Import and Re-Import System (FIRS). Moreover, you must submit an electronic importation document through FIRS online before the arrival of the shipment.
The document can be of two types:
- For importing food
- For importing to re-export
What to Do to Register the Company?
If you haven’t registered then, you can do it online or manually.
You can easily register your company online by submitting an online application by logging on to the website: www.dm.gov. ae.
For manual registration, the representative of the organization can go to the customer service of the e-government in Dubai Municipality’s Karama office and provide the following details:
- A copy of your company’s trade license along with its contacting details including email, post office box number, telephone, and fax numbers of your company.
- Names and contact details of the higher authorities of the company.
- The location and contact details of the warehouses located in Dubai.
For your convenience, we have discussed all the important things regarding the import procedures, food labeling, and standards to bring in the kosher food items in Dubai without any hurdle.
The government of Dubai has enforced certain laws and rules to import such a high volume of exchange of food items. You must follow these rules to ensure the safety and the quality of the food products.
First things first There are several documents that you need to submit at the time of import. These documents are:
1. The Bill of Entry
Airway Bill for air transportation or Bill of Lading for ocean shipments can have several forms including
- Traditional negotiable bill
- Straight bill of lading
- Express bill of lading
- Electronic bill of lading
- Delivery order in case of containers
The bill of entry specifies all the necessary details regarding the components of the shipment, and about the buyer and the shipper.
One thing to keep in mind is that the marks and numbers on the bill of entry must not be different from those on the bundles. Dubai Customs does not compromise on this matter and won’t deliver shipment except if the figures match.
2. Health Certificates:
To ensure the safety and quality of food, you must produce a health certificate, approved and verified, by the Health Authority in the country of origin, before the customs. Other certificates can include:
- Avian Flu free certificate
- GMO-Free certificate
- Dioxin Free certificate
Failure to produce these certificates can lead you to unwelcome consequences.
3. Packing list:
You need also to present a packaging list specifying the list of the products in the shipment. One thing to note you must assemble a list must be assembled carefully and everything regarding the products such as their weight and HS code must be there accurately.
4. Certificate of Origin:
This certificate must mention the country of origin of the product and you should make sure that Chambers of Commerce has verified it.
5. Import Permit
To import food items that are exempted from duty, you must obtain an import permit. There are some banned items in Dubai and you need to make sure that none of those products is present in the importing ingredients. These include drug products like poppy seeds, alcohol, etc.
It is better to get done with the registration process before the arrival of shipment so there is time to tackle any problem efficiently and avoid delays.
In case of any undertaking, the organization should follow the application of FIRS and check the status of the product.
As the shipment is received at the port, it should be inspected by the Food Trade Section.
In case you want to register for more products that haven’t been approved before, you can send an email to the FIRS. You can get it approved by clicking the option ‘approving food label’ under the main menu.
What is FIRS?
The Food Import and re-export System (FIRS) is an electronic service provider by the Dubai Municipality to help the trading companies working in the import or re-export business of the food item. Its fundamental services are:
- Importing and re-exporting food items
- Issuing all kinds of certificates and providing food labels and circulars about food traders and clients.
- The option of online submission of applications from any corner of the world and registration of all kinds of food items and food product information
- Food inspection and food sampling
Food Classification and Barcode:
The importers must register their food items in the Registration and the Classification System which is recognized based on a barcode. You can do it by:
- Submitting an e-application
- Cautious filling of the necessary data
- If the label is missing you can submit the food sample to the concerned official.
The food label for the packaged food yet to be approved must give the following details:
- You must provide all the following information in the Arabic language: The name of the producer, packer, and distributor. along with the brand name and the name and description of the product.
- Make sure you provide The list in descending order mentioning ingredients according to their volume and weight. And don’t forget to mention The total weight or volume of the packaged good.
- The expiry date of the product in dd/mm/yyyy format. It is necessary to give the storage condition and if the product has a shelf-life of more than 3 months, then you can mention only the month and year.
- Country of origin along with product’s barcode and its Lot number.
- It is important to mention the laboratory testing and the newly registered products that can be tested in Dubai Municipality.
Any discrepancy in mentioning the listed items might result in the rejection of the products.
Also Read : How to Import Food into Dubai?
Expiration and Manufacturing Date Standards:
You should mention the manufacturing and the expiry date on all the packages with the following conditions
- don’t mention double dates
- don’t mention the date on any sticker It is better to print them
- The validity of the date should be three months at least.
As per a report, 65% of the imported food items face huge losses for not following the laws. You need to have prior knowledge related to importing and re-exporting food products and to ensure smooth trade above it is better to follow the rules. You can do it all by yourself or you can avoid the hassle and have a freight forwarding company to assist you to handle all the import procedures.