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20 May 2008

Brits moving to the sunnier climes and economic rewards of Dubai risk prison if they fail to pack carefully, warns specialist international moving company Cadogan Tate.Simple vitamin supplements, Paracetemol-based products and even poppy seeds could see unsuspecting travellers put behind bars for 4 years if found in luggage.

Booze cannot be brought home, while even simple holiday snaps could be interpreted as being pornographic, warns Cadogan Tate.More than 100,000 Brits currently live in Dubai, but the thousands expected to follow them must be wise to the perils of packing for the United Arab Emirates.

Cadogan Tate Worldwide’s General Manager, Alan Hughes, said: “There is no escaping these stringent regulations as most shipments of household goods are inspected at the country’s initial point of entry.”
We’ve heard of people being imprisoned for possessing something as innocent as poppy seeds. One rumour I’ve heard was about a gentleman who found himself in jail after he’d eaten a bread roll at Heathrow Airport before boarding a flight to the UAE.”

The UAE change their customs procedures on a regular basis so it is vitally important anybody relocating to the region has thoroughly checked the most up to date rules and regulations.
“Wines and spirits are banned from being brought into the UAE and unless it’s the Koran, best to leave your family bible at home,” said Hughes.

Other items on the forbidden list include importing any products that go against the preservation of endangered animals such as ivory or tiger skin and absolutely anything that could be classed as pornographic or even slightly pornographic.

“Something as simple as beach holiday snaps may be interpreted as pornographic material, so leave these photos on your family’s mantelpiece in the UK,” Hughes says.There are also strict rules on bringing in books, DVD’s, CD’s and video tapes into the region. “These items must be packed by the movers in a well marked box and it’s beneficial to produce a full list of all the titles to speed up the Customs approval process. It is also important to realise you will need to be present in the UAE at the time your shipment is clearing Customs and your consignment may take approximately three to four days to clear. UAE Customs inspect almost 100 per cent of household good shipments arriving into the region and ideally, your shipment should arrive within one month of your arrival.”

Depending on the examiner, shipments of personal effects may also attract a five per cent duty on the assessed value of the goods.The moving company will also need a copy of your passport with your residence visa or a letter from your company stating the visa has been applied for.

“Make sure you use a professional packing company with a proven track record and an established trading partner in the country that can help you through the myriad of paperwork and facilitate Customs clearance and delivery. Do not leave it to chance as the consequences of getting it wrong can be very costly,” Hughes says.“Cadogan Tate is a member of FIDI (Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux) which grants us access to a vast database of up-to-date information for almost every country around the world.”

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