Importing a Vehicle

Find out about the customs and registration requirements for vehicles imported into Qatar...

In comparison to the cost of buying a car in the west, prices for vehicles are cheap in Qatar, so the first step when considering importing a vehicle is to investigate whether doing so is good value. Other factors to consider are whether the vehicle is designed to cope with the hot conditions in Qatar, whether parts and repairs for the model are easily available, and the fact that in Qatar vehicles are left-hand drive.

Residence permit requirements

Foreigners wanting to import their vehicle must have obtained their Residence Permit before they can bring the car into the country. Probably the most common reason for expatriates to bring a car into Qatar is that they are relocating from one of the neighbouring GCC states (UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait), where the vehicles have a similar retail value and can be driven overland or shipped the short distance. In this instance, the export and border policies of the country from which the car is being exported from should be investigated.

Most GCC countries require the vehicle to have an export plate and official paperwork. Because a Residence Permit is required in Qatar, which can take up to six weeks to process, another party may be required to bring the vehicle in on behalf of the importer if the permit has not yet been secured.

Removals companies

Regardless of which country the vehicle is coming from, assistance from an experienced removals company or importer is a good practical help, at least in terms of ensuring correct current procedures are followed. Alternatively, the employing company may be able to assist. The regulations are changeable and can be complex, depending on the model and age of car.

Customs duty

The standard customs duty for importing a car is five percent of the value of the vehicle, but officially if it can be proved the car is over three years old and will be solely for private use (specifically, not intended for resale), that charge should not, in theory, be applied. Cars imported from outside the GCC must also be no older than five years.

Insurance

If the vehicle enters the country overland, temporary insurance is issued at the border for a fee of QR100, after which the vehicle must be registered in Qatar within 14 days. If the car is imported by a specialist company, the border formalities are probably taken care of as part of the service.

Documents

Documents that must be presented at the border, point of import and for registration are:

  • Proof of ownership at origin
  • Original, authenticated invoice/receipt of purchase, detailing the value of the car
  • Original import manifest
  • Registration certificate (from home country)
  • The current insurance policy