UAE to Further Boost Status as Trade Hub by Accepting ‘Merchandise Passports’

Dubai’s modern skyline.  The city plays host to some 200 trade shows each year.
Dubai’s modern skyline. The city plays host to some 200 trade shows each year.

New York, N.Y., April 11, 2011 – The U. S. Council for International Business (USCIB) begins issuing ATA Carnets
to UAE on April 12, making the federation the 69th country to join the worldwide system for duty-free, tax-free temporary imports. The USCIB administers, guarantees and issues Carnets in the United States.

The UAE will begin by accepting goods for trade shows and fairs, according to Cynthia Duncan, USCIB’s senior vice president for Carnet operations.  “It is an important step in linking UAE businesses to the wider global marketplace,” she said.  “With some 200 trade shows annually in Dubai, the UAE’s acceptance of Carnets should be a boon for U.S. companies from all industries.”

ATA Carnets are merchandise passports that permit the duty-free, tax-free export of goods.  In 2009, the most recent year for which worldwide figures are available, over 150,000 Carnets were issued, covering goods worth more than $17 billion (U.S.).  Prior to the UAE’s decision, Moldova and Macao were the latest territories to join the worldwide system, which is overseen by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Customs Organization.

USCIB said the announcement was made last month by the director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Hamad Buamim, and his counterpart from the UAE’s foreign trade ministry, Abdullah Al-Saleh.  The Dubai Chamber will assume responsibility for issuing and guaranteeing Carnets throughout the UAE.

The UAE was the largest U.S. export market in the entire Middle East and North Africa region in 2009, and the 19th largest globally, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Transportation equipment, machinery, computers and electronics, and chemicals are the top U.S. exports to the country.  Ms. Duncan said she expected overall two-way trade to grow and diversify further in view of the decision to accept merchandise passports.

Exporters and business travelers interested in learning more about UAE’s acceptance of Carnets can visit our UAE page on our website.


Cynthia Duncan, SVP Carnet Operations, USCIB

(212) 703-5079 or

More on USCIB’s ATA Carnet Export Service

Staff Contact:   Glendy Sung

Vice President, Carnet Operations
Tel: 212.703.5073

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