Country Guide: Qatar

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

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Updated: June 19, 2018

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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport / visa / residence permit visa with page of entry stamp
  • Packing list (in English)
  • Copy of bill of lading (OBL) / express release or telex release / air waybill (AWB)
  • Letter of employment (NOC)
  • Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)
  • Personal authorization letter
  • Original authorization letter in Arabic


Specific Information

  • The owner of the goods must be in Qatar during Customs clearance.
  • The residence visa must be obtained prior to arrival of the shipment.
  • Documents must be received by agent at least 5 days prior to arrival of the shipment.
  • Customs will inspect all packages.
  • Customs clearance takes approximately 3 - 4 business days from the date of receipt of the original documents required for clearance. 
    • Storage or demurrage charges will be billed back to the owner of the goods or agent per the receipt.
  • All sea shipments that arrive at the Doha port after 6 months from the first entry date of the consignee will have a 5% customs duty levied.
  • The Customs duty is 5% of the estimated value of goods determined by the Customs Valuation Committee plus the legalization charges of approximately USD $175.00. Legalization charges will not apply for personal effects import
  • All prohibited articles detained by Customs may be destroyed without consignee's consent.
  • All printed matter, records, films, books, pictures, tapes, slides, movies, videos, compact discs, computer software, etc. are subject to censorship and confiscation (must be packed separately for easy access) if caught with any of these items, customer will be subject to severe penalties and a possible jail term.
  • Travel bags and packages must remain unlocked.
  • All items have to be declared as per the packing list for all FCL/LCL imports. This means that for LCL at least 10 to 15 columns/entries will have to be entered into the customs declaration/bayan.

    • For 20’ at least 20 to 30 columns/entries will have to be entered into the customs declaration/bayan.
    • For 40’ at least 30 to 50 columns/entries will have to be entered into the customs declaration/bayan. 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Proof of ownership at origin
  • Original import manifest
  • Registration certificate
  • Insurance policy
  • Purchase / sales invoice
  • Original bill of lading / air waybill


Specific Information

  • Vehicles must be Gulf standard and left-hand drive.
  • Automobiles should not be more than 5 years old.
  • The owner of the vehicle must be a resident in Qatar prior to registration of the vehicle.
  •  A 5% Customs duty is charged on the value of the vehicle identified on the price on the purchase / sales invoice or its depreciated value and is determined at the discretion of the Customs Officer in charge.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate


Specific Information

  • The veterinary health certificate must be issued by a government approved veterinarian clinic in the origin country and must confirm that the animal is in good health with current vaccinations.
  • The certificate must be dated within 2 weeks prior to the animal’s arrival in Qatar.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Cigarettes (free import up to 400)
  • Personal items and gifts (free import up to QAR 3,000.-.)
  • Firearms (special permission from the Ministry of Defense in Qatar is required)

Prohibited Items

  • Alcohol
  • Ivory
  • Idols
  • Narcotic drugs
  • Pork products
  • Pornographic materials
  • Politically subversive materials
  • Explosives and explosive items, including fireworks and other flammable items

Consignment Instructions

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



Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook

Wikipedia Entry for Qatar

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.