Tariff & Non-Tariff Barriers
The State of Kuwait is a member of the Gulf
Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) established a customs
union when it promulgated and implemented the Unified Customs Law and Single
Customs Tariff. In accordance with GCC guidelines, the Council established a
common external tariff of five percent for most imported goods. The Government
of Kuwait and other GCC states reserve the right to assess certain exceptions
until such time as a uniform list of goods exempt from tariff is adopted by all
GCC member states. Kuwait officially approved the Single Customs Tariff on 1
April 2003, thereby setting a five percent import duty (CIF) on most goods.
Exempt from the Single Customs Tariff are certain basic food and
medicinal/medical items, which are duty free and tobacco products, which are
assessed duty at 100 percent. Duties are to be paid in Kuwaiti Dinar.
The State of Kuwait implemented the WTO Customs
Valuation Agreement (Article VII of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade)
on 1 January 2001. In compliance with Article VII, Kuwait has agreed to five
methods for determining customs valuation. The first criterion is based on
transaction value (the price actually paid or payable plus costs and expenses).
For transaction value to be applied, the parties must be unrelated. If Kuwait
Customs rejects this valuation method, other valuation means can be employed
such as transaction value of identical or similar goods, valuation on FOB or CIF
Kuwait as a member of the Gulf Cooperation
Council allows duty free entry of goods meeting the rule of origin criteria of
the GCC. To receive preferential duty status, at least forty percent of the
value added in each product in effected in a GCC member country and the capital
of the producing firm is at least 51 percent owned by citizens of a GCC state.
Importers must obtain an annual import license
form the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and must be registered with the
Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and
Industry. Licenses are valid for one year and allow for multiple shipments.
Import licenses for industrial machinery and
spares are also required. Licenses are issued by the Industrial Development
Commission of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Specific licenses are also
issued from various ministries and agencies for products including firearms,
explosives, drugs/pharmaceuticals, and wild/exotic animals.