Understanding Importer of Record Services in the UAE: Compliance and Processes for IT and Telecom Equipment

Navigating the import regulations of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be a complex process, particularly in sectors such as Information Technology (IT) and telecommunications. Businesses looking to bring IT and telecom equipment into the UAE must comply with specific legal and procedural requirements.

An Importer of Record (IOR) service simplifies this process, acting as the authorized importer on behalf of a foreign entity that does not have a legal presence in the UAE. Here, we delve into the essentials of utilizing IOR services in the UAE, focusing on compliance requirements and the import process for IT and telecom equipment.

What is an Importer of Record?

An Importer of Record is legally recognized by customs as the owner or purchaser of goods being imported into a country. The IOR is responsible for ensuring that the imported products comply with local laws and regulations, filing legally required documents, and paying the assessed import duties and taxes. This role is critical, especially in regions with stringent regulatory frameworks like the UAE.

Compliance Requirements in the UAE

For IT and telecom equipment, the UAE mandates several compliance requirements that must be met before goods can be successfully imported:

Product Approvals and Certifications:

TRA Approval: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE requires that all telecom equipment be approved before importation. This includes any device that can connect to a telecommunications network, like mobile phones, modems, and routers.

ECAS Certification: For IT equipment, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) requires ECAS (Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme) certification, ensuring that products meet the UAE’s safety and quality standards.


  • Detailed invoice and packing list.
  • Certificate of Origin.
  • Bill of Lading or Air Waybill.
  • TRA approval certificate or ECAS certificate, as applicable.
  • Commercial license of the importer.

Customs Duties and VAT:

Generally, customs duty is levied at a rate of 5% on the CIF value (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) of the imported goods. A 5% VAT is also applied, calculated on the total of the CIF value plus customs duty.

Labeling Requirements:

Products must be labeled in Arabic or have Arabic labels alongside the original language. Labels should include information like origin, ingredients, and expiration date if applicable.

The Import Process for IT and Telecom Equipment


Obtain necessary certifications such as TRA or ECAS, depending on the type of equipment. Appoint an IOR if the foreign company does not have a presence in the UAE.

Customs Clearance:

The IOR submits all required documentation to UAE Customs for verification. Customs inspects the shipment to ensure compliance with UAE regulations. Payment of customs duties and VAT is completed.


Once cleared, the goods are delivered to the consignee or the local address as per the delivery terms.
It is essential to maintain records of all transactions and official approvals for future reference or audits.

Why Use an IOR Service?

Compliance Assurance: IOR services are well-versed in local regulations, ensuring that all imports are compliant, reducing the risk of delays or rejections at customs.

Cost-Effectiveness: By managing the entire import process, IOR services can mitigate unforeseen costs associated with non-compliance or entry errors.

Time Efficiency: Leveraging the expertise of an IOR provider can significantly speed up the import process, from documentation to delivery.

Why ASL`s IOR Service is a hustle free import experience?

Utilizing an ASL`s Importer of Record service in the UAE offers a streamlined pathway for international businesses to introduce IT and telecom equipment into the local market. Understanding and adhering to the compliance requirements is crucial for smooth business operations and market expansion. Whether you’re a startup looking to introduce innovative tech products or an established corporation aiming to expand your reach, mastering these import nuances can play a pivotal role in your business strategy in the UAE. ASL`s top notch IOR experts are ready to help you all the way from compliance adherence up to the import clearance and last mile delivery.

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