Kuwait customs clearance tips

So you decided to relocate to Kuwait and start your new life! Congratulations on your brave decision. Whether it was for educational purposes, business career or any other reason there are certain legislation and laws you will be required to fulfill. In this particular article, we will give you information about Kuwait customs clearance tips, what papers you will have to gather, and how Kuwait import works. We know this text will provide you with enough basic knowledge in order to make your new life much easier.

Kuwait customs clearance regarding import 

Over the years, Kuwaiti economy progressed and became more liberal towards imported goods. Kuwaiti market expanded rapidly and the need for new goods grew every day. The only way to satisfy the need of everyday consumerism people require is to import various items. But, at the same time, there are laws that are protecting the domestic economy as well. Just in case that Kuwait doesn’t get completely dependant on foreign products. Sometimes shipping companies in Kuwait can help you avoid unnecessary risks and problems.  As for Kuwait customs clearance papers, you must acquire, there are several. And they are all issued by The Public Authority for Industry of the State of Kuwait (PAI). They are created for purpose of conformity of all „regulated products“, as well as forming The Kuwait Conformity Assurance Scheme. The Scheme consists of:

  • Taking random sample items from imported goods just to verify the compliance
  • The Technical Inspection Report, or TIR, acknowledges that all items comply with those regulations that are relevant, and are approved by national/regional/international standards.
  • The TIR is obliged to provide no troubles for shipments in Kuwait. Which means customs clearance should not be a problem
  • Before all, all imported items, and by that we mean regulated products, must be accompanied by TIR.
Fruits on the table
More liberal economy and trading provide Kuwait with foreign merchandizes

Required papers for import 

Kuwait customs clearance can only be possible if you gather all the necessary papers. There are certain transportation guidelines you should follow.. We already mention what you basically need for that, but now we will get into details. Following papers are a must have if you tend to conclude your business easily:

  • Bill of landing – you will need 3 copies of this one. It must come with the shipper’s name, address, and the name of the consignee, final destination port, goods description, freight and other charges, number of bills of landing in the complete set. In the end, the carrier must provide with the acknowledgment signature that he has confirmed receipt of the goods that will be shipped.
  • Packing list – In order for Kuwait customs clearance to go easy you need to provide a full and precise packing list of all the items in your shipment. And they have to be stamped with the seal or stamp by the exporting company or air freight Kuwait
  • Certificate of origins – Original followed with 2 copies. You also must provide customs with the invoice that the products are entirely made in the US if you are importing from the US. If some part is made in any other country you must provide invoice about that also, and in what percentage. The local chamber of Commerce or the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce should legalize your certificate of origin.
  • Commercial Invoice – Almost the same as Certificate of origins. One original and two copies. Accurate description of imported goods, numbers, gross and net in metric measure, units, quantity, marks, overall value, shipping information (of port, vessel and what way of transport will you use).
Bunch of filled out papers
Kuwait customs clearance requires a lot of papers

Transporting your cargo by sea 

Since the last couple of decades, Kuwait expanded both economically and liberally. Opening itself to the world and becoming one of the top wealthiest countries. But, that wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t open their trade routes towards other countries. One of those routes includes transport by the sea. There are a lot of pros and cons of sea transport to Kuwait you should be aware of, but certainly, it is one of the safest and most used ones. A lot of countries chose this way for it is more financially available and faster. There is also a bit lesser has a procedure in Kuwait customs clearance procedure.

Transport ship at sunset
Sea transport is a good choice for importing

When transporting your cargo by sea, you have two options:

  • Groupage – a shared container load.
  • Full container load

It all depends on what type of transport ship and containers you will be using. Forty feet transport containers can load 22 pallets, while containers half that size can carry 10. If your shipment bares a minimum of half of 20 feet container, you will have to use full container load. Sometimes Kuwait custom clearance will require from you to separate your products from other exporters. In that case, you will use full container load again.

Kuwait ports 

There are two major ports used for cargo transport in Kuwait:

  • Shuaiba Port – Located about 28 miles southeast of Kuwait City. It is Kuwait City’s second most important port. It is used for heavy industry and seafood packing storage. The port contains dry cargo berths, small craft and barge harbor, and a chemical tanker berth.
  • Port of Shuwaikh – It is the main Kuwait commercial port that can receive large vessels. Port itself is made of 21 berths. Overal berth length is over 13,000 feet.

Air transportation in Kuwait 

Sometimes sea transport won’t be your first choice of commercial transport at all. Then you should consider air freight. But you should watch out because depending on circumstances and the cargos size and mass costs of air freight may vary. Kuwaiti airport provides a large number of landing spaces and hangars for incoming planes. Making it very busy airport throughout the year.

Plane in the sky
Use air transport if you are too far away

Sometimes it can be really hard to start your business. Especially if you are a foreigner and want to trade with Kuwait. Following this guide should help you with Kuwait customs clearance procedures. Make sure to contact Kuwaiti government facilities and local Kuwait moving services for any additional information you could use for your future business. If you have any more tips based on your previous experience with Kuwait, please share with us! We look forward to hearing from you!