How to certify products in Dubai

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In the UAE, all business procedures are systematic and understandable, but many entrepreneurs still find it difficult to understand how to certify products in Dubai. The reason is that the process of obtaining the necessary certificates and conformity marks varies depending on the type of goods and companies (based on their activities: export/import, production/storage/sales).

Types of certification in the UAE

To sell products in the United Arab Emirates, it is not enough to plan logistics, find reliable suppliers, and identify promising markets. Mandatory certification is required for certain types of products. Special bodies assess the product, the quality system used in production, and the management system. The following are subject to certification:

  • Medicines;
  • Tobacco products;
  • Precious stones;
  • Paint and coatings;
  • Equipment and electronics;
  • Oil refining products;
  • Building and finishing materials;
  • Cosmetics, perfumes, and personal care products;
  • Organic products (everything labeled "eco", organic);
  • Children's toys, tableware, hygiene products;
  • Imported food products.

In Dubai, almost all food products are imported. They are subject to mandatory registration, which involves publishing information about the product on the Dubai Municipality portal.

Special attention is paid to food product ingredients. The municipality carefully examines the composition and may even require laboratory tests to confirm the safety of the product for consumers. Usually, this procedure takes place before the products appear on the shelves - during inspection at the port.

Food product labels must contain information in Arabic. It may also be duplicated in English. The label should provide the following information:

  • Trademark;
  • Product name;
  • Manufacturer information;
  • Ingredient list;
  • Nutritional value;
  • Storage conditions;
  • Batch number;
  • Allergy warning (if there is a risk);
  • Manufacturing date and expiration date;
  • Product barcode;
  • Preparation instructions (if necessary).

In addition, to import goods into the UAE, a company must be registered and have a valid trade license, which needs to be renewed every year.

Types of certification:

  • Halal. The conformity mark is issued by Islamic associations. The Halal marking is applied to animal products, including those contained in other products (for example, if you plan to export confectionery products, you need to obtain a conformity certificate as they may contain gelatin);
  • CoC (Certificate of Conformity). The document is issued to food producers and companies importing food products. It confirms compliance with quality standards developed and adopted in the UAE;
  • Marking. Household appliances, children's toys, and tobacco are subject to special requirements. Regulatory bodies determine rules for cosmetics, fertilizers, and food products;
  • Phytosanitary control. Certification must be carried out at the place where the goods are produced (grown). Phytosanitary control applies to seeds for plant cultivation, seedlings and saplings, animals and animal feed, fertilizers, and other agricultural products. In the UAE, certificates are issued by the Ministry of Agriculture;
  • RoHS. Confirms the quality of electrical equipment (machines and mechanisms for mechanical engineering, mining, metallurgy, chemistry, automotive, and other industries). To undergo the certification process, the goods must also be sent for G-Mark and IEC tests;
  • Gulf Mark. A locally significant certificate that confirms the quality of low-voltage electrical equipment and products intended for children.

In most cases, product certification in Dubai is valid for five years. After the expiration of the registration period, the product will undergo re-inspection.

Additional certificates are issued by specialized bodies. For example, the import of medicinal products and medical equipment is regulated by the Ministry of Health, cosmetics and perfumery by the Municipality, flammable goods and those posing a danger to others by the Department of Civil Defense.

To obtain certificates for imported, exported, and customs-cleared products, you need to:

  1. Collect all available documents and analyze them for compliance with UAE legislation, local norms, and standards.
  2. Find out all the requirements for a specific type of goods, the features of the quality mark and certificate issuance process, determine the need for laboratory tests.
  3. Legalize existing documents. They need to be translated and certified.
  4. Send product samples to laboratories. Obtain reports from research centers, laboratory test results (if needed). Prepare documents for application formation.
  5. Prepare for the commission's visit to the production line or warehouse. Undergo the inspection procedure.
  6. Obtain permits for the import (export, sale) of products, necessary certificates of compliance with standards, and quality marks.

To obtain certificates, you need to know the peculiarities of the country's legislation. Contact The Level Consulting agency to save resources and time to enter the UAE market. We will offer an individual solution for your business.

Emirates Authority For Standardization & Metrology (ESMA)

The Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology is an organization that oversees the quality of manufactured products and ensures compliance with international standards by manufacturing companies. Its board includes representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Economy, and Ministry of Agriculture. ESMA certifies electrical equipment, certain building materials, food products, cosmetics, perfumes, and electronic cigarettes.

Firms holding a trade license allowing them to freely export, import, and store certain goods are obliged to obtain an ESMA certificate. To apply for certification, companies need to register with ESMA, submit documents, and pay a fee. All of this can be done through the website. If the product meets the requirements, the corresponding document will be issued.

Emirates Quality Mark (EQM)

EQM is a mark that confirms compliance with national, regional, and/or international standards. An additional requirement for obtaining EQM is the implementation of a set of tools for effective personnel management. EQM is voluntary certification for all products except for the following:

  • Drinking water;
  • Juices and other beverages;
  • Milk and dairy products.

Requirements for products to comply with EQM:

  • Valid license (the manufacturer or distributor must have a trade or industrial license);
  • Report from an accredited laboratory;
  • Results of chemical and microbiological analyses confirming the absence of pollutants, hazardous microelements, organic compounds in water, or other products.

A government fee must be paid for document verification and issuance of the conformity mark (1,000 dirhams for application submission, 2,500 dirhams for review). If necessary, an on-site audit at the enterprise may be conducted. This inspection is paid for additionally. The decision on the application is made within 30 days.

Certificates for Operations in the UAE

The required document package depends on the type of activity. For example, to export food products to the UAE, you will need a certificate, invoice, and invoice, and for meat and meat products supplies - a Halal certificate. Manufacturers and service providers for animal slaughter must also obtain a certificate confirming the most humane treatment of animals.

Consultants from The Level Consulting agency will answer questions regarding the issuance of licenses and certificates for activities in the UAE, taking into account the specifics of your business. We also offer business support services, including assistance in opening bank accounts and renting premises.

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