Consulate Services [ Customs Regulations ]

Commercial Information in Qatar

Establishing a business

In most instances, you will need a Qatari sponsor holding a 51% interest in order to open a business in the State of Qatar. There are provisions for 100% foreign investment in certain sectors, subject to approval by the Ministry of Economy and Trade.

Customs Regulations

Points of entry :

  • Doha International Airport
  • Salwa Overland Customs
  • Mesaieed Port
  • Doha Port
  • Ras Laffan

General cargo entering Qatar normally transits either the overland terminal, Doha International Airport or Doha Port terminal.

Customs duty charges

  • General Cargo 5%
  • Steel 20%
  • Urea & ammonia 30%
  • Cigarettes, tobacco and its derivatives 100% or QR1,000 per 10,000 cigarettes, whichever is higher
  • The GCC countries apply a unified customs tariff of 5% on general cargo, payable on initial importation to the GCC.

Temporary Import

Temporary importation requires prior permission from the Director General of Customs for each individual shipment. In addition, a cheque or bank guarantee must be placed with the Customs Department covering the dutiable amount on a deposit basis for the duration of the utilisation of the material in Qatar. This deposit will be returned after proof of export from Qatar has been provided.

The normal duration for temporary import is six months, with a normal option to extend for a further six months.

GCC Importation

On cargo of which at least 50% is manufactured within the GCC States, no customs duty is applied. If less than 50%, duty relief is applied only on the percentage of the cargo which is GCC manufactured.

To qualify for duty exemption, goods should be accompanied by a GCC Certificate of Manufacture as approved by the Chamber of Commerce, Riyadh, KSA.

Documentation Requirements

All documentation should be original copies and goods should be accompanied by commercial invoice, packing list and certificate of origin. Depending on the terms of the shipment, legalisation can be attended to in Doha and the documents need only be notarised by the origin Chamber of Commerce.

All invoices should have a non-Israeli clause clearly mentioned.

Normal Customs Clearance

By air - one to two days. By sea - two to four days. There are no container size restrictions at Doha Port.


There is no income tax in Qatar. The government levies a tax on profits of foreign-owned stakes in Qatari companies. This is applied on a sliding scale, peaking at 35 per cent on profits of more than QR5 million. However, tax is levied inconsistently. Exemptions are available for companies operating in 'strategic infrastructure' sectors and each project is judged on a case-by-case basis.

Business Hours

Government offices are open from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm daily from Sunday to Thursday. Banks are open from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm Sunday to Thursday. Commercial offices normally open from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Public Holidays

Friday is the Muslim day of rest and all offices are generally closed. The major holidays observed in Qatar are as follows:

  • Eid Al Fitr            4 days holiday
  • Eid Al Adha         5 days holiday
  • National Day      December 18th
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