QATARLogistic and forwarding services in Qatar
Arabic, English widely used
Gross national product (GNP)
USD 202.5 Mia.
GNP per person
Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 560.16 Mio.
Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 149.85 Mio.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Qatar
Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Qatar, which are excellent, were first established in 1973.
Dimensions and weights
National currency 1 Qatari Riyal (QR) = 100 Dirham.
ISO code: QAR
The import of goods is broadly liberalised. However, there are still restrictions on the import of groups of goods in the form of registrations, approvals and bans. Goods such as electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, medications, chemicals, species of animals and plants and measuring tools are subject to approval and registration. There is a ban on the import of pigs, used tyres, narcotics and goods from Israel.
Maximum radioactivity levels apply to the import of food and feed. Test results from the University of Doha are key to the goods being released (ask the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the maximum values).
Terms of payment and tenders
An irrevocable, confirmed letter of credit is highly recommended. Tenders in USD, EUR, GBP or another convertible currency.
Designations of origin
No special regulations. When sending shipments do not use “Persian Gulf”, at most use “Arabian Gulf”. Where possible avoid referring to the gulf. Where applicable ask the recipient. Textiles must have the country of origin on their labels.
Standard markings with the addition of “Made in …” recommended. There are special labelling regulations for foods, radio and telecommunications devices and textile Sacks.
Stable packaging. Consult the recipient on the use of hay and straw. The goods/packaging must be marked with the name of the manufacturer and the country of origin in line with the documents in an ineradicable manner. Many figures may not appear on the goods/the packaging. References to careful treatment of the packages should ideally be in Arabic/English and in symbol form. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce can provide examples of Arabic translations. All goods which are not loaded into containers for shipment to Qatar must be packed on pallets. In the event of failure to comply with this, the containers will be rejected by customs in Qatar and sent back to the port of departure.
Commercial samples which cannot be sold as commercial goods are duty free. Certificates of origin must accompany the goods. Advertising printing and advertising materials are subject to customs duties. A customs security must be paid for temporary import. The shipment of samples which are subject to duty as “product samples” is not permissible.
According to the International Chamber of Commerce ICC, the Gulf State will introduce the ATA Carnet system as of August 1, 2018. Companies wishing to bring exhibition items to Qatar may now use this customs procedure.
Shipping and accompanying documents
There is still a ban on boycott declarations. This means that CICs (chambers of industry and commerce) are no longer permitted to certify commercial papers if discriminatory formulations are selected. Escaping the provisions through notaries, regional courts or others administration offices is also excluded. Positive formulations therefore have to be selected.
Use the country name “Qatar” when corresponding with the authorities.
a) Commercial invoices, 2 copies in English with all standard information including the gross and net weight, sales value, precise description of the goods and country of origin, name of the ship and its date of departure. The invoice must include the following confirmation: “We hereby declare that the mentioned merchandise is being manufactured in Swiss by … (name of the manufacturer) and no foreign parts have been used in these products. We hereby certify that the value and origin of the goods are authentic”. Legally binding signature of the exporter (in the case of goods from other or several countries, the manufacturers and countries must all be listed). Certification by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (submit 4 copies). The consular department requires 2 copies for their records.
b) Certificates of origin, 1 copy; as the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE. The following declaration must be made on the reverse of the certificate of origin: “We hereby declare that the mentioned merchandise is being manufactured in … (country) by … (name of the manufacturer) and no foreign parts have been used in these products”. Certificates of origin must be legalised by the consulate. Legalisation is only carried out if the reverse of the certificate of origin is certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. For declarations see the formulation under a).
c) Manufacturer’s declaration: indicating who manufactured the goods must be submitted on headed company paper and make reference to the commercial invoices or certificates of origin. Certification by CICs (1 copy remains with the CICs), or a notary can certify the signature. If the importer also requests consular legalisation, when choosing the notary certification of the signature there must be an authentication by the District Court President and obtain a final certification. If certification is carried out by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce no higher certification is required. The original of the manufacturer’s declaration must be submitted to the consular department with 2 photocopies. Both copies remain there.
For the text formulation see a).
d) Bills of lading uncertified; order bills of lading are possible on indication of a notify address. In accordance with a regulation by the Ministry of Economics and Trade of Qatar, no ship more than 15 years old can be unloaded in a port in Qatar.
e) Transport declarations: the following transport declarations are compatible with Section 4° AWV:
“The undersigned does hereby declare on behalf of the owner, agent or master of the above named vessel/airplane that said vessel/airplane is not registered in Israel of owned by nationals or residents of Israel and will not call at or pass through any Israeli port en route to … (e.g. Qatar)”. We also make reference to the fact that transport declarations of this type may only be made for insurance reasons or to prevent the goods being seized en route via air or sea.
f) Submission of papers: the documents are to be submitted to the right office. Consular fees (and exemptions from this) can be requested from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
g) Packing list, 2 copies in English with extensive information including dimensions, weights, content.
Freight and sea shipment: see a) to e).
h) Postal packages up to 20 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in English/Arabic.