Country Guide: Kuwait

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Updated: August 29, 2016

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport (picture and signature page)
  • Detailed inventory
  • Commercial Invoice, if applicable
  • Original bill of lading/ express release / seaway bill / air waybill (AWB)
  • Original statistical Bayan / export declaration
  • Visa with entry stamp from Kuwait immigration upon arrival (non - citizens)
  • Kuwait civil ID (returning citizens)
  • Employment letter (expatriates - ocean freight)
  • Company authorization letter from employer confirming employment
  • Copy of identification card issued by Embassy (diplomats)
  • Copy of temporary import license issued from Ministry of Commerce (expatriates and Kuwaiti nationals)
  • Exemption certificate from Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)
  • Certificate of origin showing complete name and address of manufacturer (applies to new items)


Specific Information

  • Consignee’s presence is mandatory during inbound shipments
  • The certificate of origin and the commercial invoice must be stamped by the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce.
  • The owner of the goods must apply / procure temporary import license from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    • The owner of the goods must submit his with the BL copy to show it as proof that the owner of the goods has a sea import arriving into Kuwait.
  • On items deemed “commercial” by Kuwaiti Customs, a Customs duty of 5% will be charged on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value of all items.
  • Diplomats are permitted duty-free entry.
  • Shipments of GCC origin require original statistical Bayan / export declaration.
  • Ocean freight shipments for expatriates require an employment letter.
  • The owner of the goods must apply / obtain a temporary import license copy from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry which has to be submitted along with the documents required for import approval.
    • The owner of the goods must visit the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with the copy of the BL and their valid civil ID to show it as proof that they have a sea import coming into Kuwait. 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Certificate of title / manufacturer certificate (issued from vehicle manufacturer office)
  • Original commercial invoice
  • Certificate of origin (new vehicles)
  • NOC certificate issued from origin traffic department
  • Vehicle GSO certificate (should provide from vehicle manufactures office - new vehicles)
  • Certificate of import
  • Proof of ownership
  • Original bill of lading
  • Mechanical certificate from origin stamped by the Public Port Authority in Kuwait


Specific Information

  • Customs duties are charged at a rate of 5% on the value of the vehicle as estimated by Kuwait Customs in addition to bank charges.
  • Motor vehicles older than 5 years cannot be imported.
  • Only Kuwait nationals are allowed to import vehicles for personal use in their name.
    • A resident / expatriate is not allowed to import vehicles in their name.
  • If a temporary import license is required by customs for auto import than a consignee must obtain it directly from the Ministry of Commerce in Kuwait.  


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate


Specific Information

  • Only certain animal species may be imported (cats, dogs, birds, etc.); contact the destination agent for specific information.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Books, audio/video tapes, and music may be imported but are subject to censorship.
  • Items manufactured by companies on the Israeli Boycott list will be confiscated.
  • The inclusion of medicine and drugs for medicinal purposes will invariably cause delays in clearance.
    • A special release order from the Ministry of Health is required.
  • Computer modems are subject to registration and an initial fee levied by the Ministry of Communication of approximately $400 USD and a renewable fee of $400 USD per year; this is not a Customs requirement but a requirement of the Ministry of Communication and is administered by the Department of Customs.
  • Do not include new electronic items in shipments.

Prohibited Items

  • Alcohol (including but not restricted to liquors, wine and beer) as well as alcohol producing kits/machinery
  • Pork products
  • “Walkie-Talkie” type radios
  • Narcotics, drugs, stimulants
  • Pornographic books, magazines and other media
  • Weapons, including antique weapons, firearms and ammunition
  • All materials and products connected with or manufactured by Israel
  • Statues, art work and literature defined as offensive to Islamic teachings and principles

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.


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IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.