Import requirements and documentation – Kuwaiti edition

If you are looking to import anything to Kuwait, you need to know what the rules and regulations are. If you fail to comply with import requirements and documentation, your shipment might be held up or even confiscated. Whether it is vehicle shipping or goods shipping, you need to know what documentation will be required. We are going to go through what you need before you can safely import it to Kuwait.

Requirements and documentation for import in Kuwait

Here is the paperwork that you will need:

  • License
  • Import documentation
  • Import requirements and documentation – Certificate of origin
  • Bill of lading
License – one of the most important things for import/export!


First of all, you will need to apply for the import license. You do this at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. You will also need to register with the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well. These licenses last for one year. They can be renewed and will allow multiple shipments.

If you are importing industrial machinery or spare parts, you will need a special license from the Public Authority for Industry. For items such as firearms, pharmaceuticals, or exotic animals, you will need to go to the corresponding ministry.

Import documentation

You will need to have a certificate of origin, packing list, bill of lading, and a commercial invoice if you want to import anything commercial. Make sure to also check if you need any additional licenses, depending on the product.

When it comes to the commercial invoice, you will need two copies of it, alongside the original. This invoice needs to contain both net and gross weight of your shipment, the dimensions in metric, as well as an accurate description of goods, marks and numbers, country of origin, and the shipping and port information. If you are shipping from the U.S., you will need to legalize this invoice by either the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce or a local chamber of commerce.

All in all, there is a lot to prepare. Make sure to always triple-check the documentation.

The most important import documents – Bill of lading, packing list, and certificate of origin.

Import requirements and documentation – Certificate of origin

Certificate of origin is something that most truck transport companies Kuwait will ask from you. You will need to have two copies alongside the original. If you are shipping U.S. products, the statement needs to say that the products themselves have originated from the U.S., as well as being made there. The same goes for U.S commonwealth and similar territories. If you have products that originated in the U.S. but contain something of a foreign origin, you will also need to include the country of origin for everything that is not made in the U.S. and the percentage of it. Still with us? Good.

You will need to legalize this certificate in the same manner as the commercial invoice, either with the local chamber of commerce or the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Bill of lading

Finally, you will need three copies of this document. It needs to contain the name and address of the consignee, port of final destination, name of the shipper, description of the goods, and so on.

The important thing to note is that the holder of the import license needs to be a Kuwaiti national and that its name needs to be on the bill of lading.