Like most other countries, the State of Qatar has a list of items which are restricted, prohibited or banned for import to the country. Travellers must have all the information they need before attempting to import items into Qatar to avoid penalties, including fines, seizure, or prosecution.
This article will explain the goods and items you should not carry while travelling to Qatar. We have also compiled a list of Qatar Customs Prohibited Items and Restricted Goods.
Broadly speaking, these goods are divided into two types: prohibited goods and restricted goods.
What Are Prohibited and Restricted Goods?
These are the goods whose import or export is prohibited (banned) under Qatar Customs Law and provisions of the Common Customs Law for the GCC States.
These are the goods whose import or export is restricted under Qatar Customs Law and the provisions of the Common Customs Law for the GCC States. Importing these types of goods requires permission from the appropriate authorities. The importer must obtain the necessary permits from these government agencies before importing the goods.
Qatar Customs Prohibited Items
The following items are not allowed to be imported in person or as baggage:
- Weapons, firearms, ammunition and explosives of all kinds are banned. For import under special circumstances, permission from the Ministry of Defense is required and should be obtained in advance.
- Narcotic drugs of all kinds and types are banned. All narcotics and recreational drugs, including cocaine, heroin, cannabis, opiates, and their derivatives, are banned.
- Alcoholic Beverages are not to be imported under any condition. Qatar has a licensing system for alcoholic beverages through which authorised entities can sell them.
- Pork meat and related products are also not allowed to be imported. However, non-Muslims can buy them through licensed distributors.
Other Prohibited Items
In addition to the above, other items are banned based on the provisions of the Common Customs Law for the GCC States and other laws. A broad list of banned items includes (not limited to):
- Immoral items in all their forms – print, video, audio, hard disk etc.
- Devices and materials that are considered to be radioactive sources
- Radar jammers/other unauthorised communication devices
- Forged and duplicate currency
- Publications and artwork that contradict or challenge Islamic teachings and values
It is also prohibited to bring goods infringing the laws relating to commercial and industrial property rights and copyright protection concerning which resolutions have been issued by the competent authorities.
Qatar Customs Restricted Items
The following items may be imported subject to restrictions:
Personal items and gifts up to a maximum value of QAR 3,000 are allowed. Luggage and gifts must be of a personal nature and in non-commercial quantities.
Electronic items: Used video cameras, photo cameras, mobile phones and laptops for personal use are allowed.
Cigarettes: A maximum of 400 cigarettes can be imported by an adult passenger. It can be replaced by (20) cigars, or (300) grams of chopped tobacco for pipes, or (500) grams of raw tobacco, or (2) kilos of hookah tobacco, provided that its value does not exceed QAR 3,000.
Alcoholic beverages are not to be imported under any condition.
Essential medicines for personal use in limited quantities can be carried. However, you must ensure they do not contain any banned ingredients. It is a good idea to keep a doctor’s prescription. Here you can read more about carrying medicines to Qatar.
Currency and precious metals: Anyone possessing any currency, bearer negotiable instruments, precious metals (gold, silver etc.) or stones equivalent or higher than QAR 50,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies must fill out the declaration form and submit it to Customs. Here you can read more about carrying currency and metals to Qatar.
Importing pets requires an import license. Certain breeds of pets are not allowed. Here you can read more about bringing pets to Qatar. Endangered animal species and related products are also restricted.
Personal luggage and used household appliances brought by citizens residing abroad and foreigners coming to reside in the country for the first time are normally exempted from customs duties.
Prohibited Items on Flights
Some more items are not allowed to be carried on a flight. Please refer to your airline’s website for such information.
If you are carrying an unusual item or think it may be restricted, be sure to contact your airline ahead of time or a representative at the airport.
Restriction and Customs Duty on Parcels
An individual who imports an item personally or through a purchase of a product via the Internet must verify the type of commodity to ensure that it is not restricted or prohibited. According to the Unified Customs Procedures guide, incoming parcels and personal mailings whose value does not exceed QAR 1,000 are exempted from customs duties.
DohaGuides.com has compiled this information from the official websites and publications (last verified on 8 October 2022). However, there may be more items that are restricted or banned. Please be advised to take all precautions to ensure that you do not carry any item you are unsure of, either in person or in your luggage.
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