Corporate governance, transparency, and anti-corruption remain at the top of the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) agenda. Because of this, investor confidence remains high as businesses continue to choose the Emirates as their regional headquarters and a place they can do business honestly. The UAE's seaports are international and regional hubs, accounting for 61% of cargo destined for Gulf Cooperation Council states. Thus, it exercises extraordinary diligence in ensuring not only its own national security but of other nations as well.
It is paramount for all companies involved in the export and import of goods and services in the UAE to ensure they know the end-use and the end-user. The country has a stringent export control law in place to prevent the movement of illicit goods and materials across its borders and to prohibited parties, like those on the UN terror or sanctions list. Non-compliance authorizes government bodies to restrict or ban the import, export, or re-export of goods deemed as a threat to the UAE’s national security, natural resources, public health and safety, or the environment.
The UAE has already shut down several international and local companies involved in money laundering and proliferation of dual-use and dangerous materials banned under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and multiple UN resolutions. UAE security forces have interdicted scores of ships suspected of carrying illicit and sensitive cargo, including specialized aluminum sheets, titanium, high-speed computers, and sophisticated machine tools.
Thus, a company needs to review the list of "red flags" from authorities to know that the shipment is not being sent to prohibited end-users or for restricted end-use. As the majority of checks are post-shipment, exporters must also ensure all relevant documentation and information like the address of end-users and delivery point related to a particular shipment are complete. Any anomaly found by the export control officer during a random check may result in the monitoring of future consignments and a loss of export privileges.
Before shipping the export, it is always best for a company to visit the foreign consignee’s facility and figure out whether the operations are for fair end-use. It is advisable to get help from freight forwarders for the export documentation, which should always be in order. Documents required for the official scrutiny involve commercial invoice, purchase order, international bill, copy of the EEI (Electronic Export Information) filing, Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI), and other supporting papers.
The UAE is a signatory to various conventions and resolutions requiring it to interdict shipments of weapons of mass destruction, strategic goods, chemical and biological materials, and dual-use items without a special license. By complying with the rules as an exporter or importer, you are helping the authorities to fulfill their commitments towards national and global security.
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