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Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands

Import regulations and customs duties

Kuwait's economy is liberal. As per the regulation of imports, it is to be known that alcohol drinks, pork meat, subversive and pornographic periodicals and movies as well as goods relating to the Arab boycott towards Israel are prohibited.
The residents of non Kuwaiti origin and companies having 100% foreign capital participation do not have authorisation to import for purposes of marketing / selling in that country.
Non Kuwaiti inhabitants and 100% foreign capital companies are not allowed to import for commercial purposes.


Customs duties
Customs duties are applied at a standard rate of 4%. Most of the imported products can be exempted from customs duties such as food products, staple commodities.




A foreign inhabitant must call for a Kuwaiti agent in order to carry on a commercial activity. There are three types of agents:
- the commercial agent
- the business agent in charge of the State markets
- the distributor agent, in charge of dispatching for large scale distribution.


Industrial protection is little controlled, in Kuwait. The country is a member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation).
All products must comply with the Kuwaiti standards (Kuwaiti standard specification, KSS). If there are not specific standards to be applied, then, the Gulf countries' standards must be established.

Patents and brands

In Kuwait, patents and trademarks must be applied for through the Trademark Control and Patents Office in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MCI / MTI) .

Texts currently applying to patents/brands

  Text Date entered into law Period of validity Comment
Patent Law No. 4 Relating to Patents, Designs and Industrial Models 1962 15 years, renewable for a period not exceeding 5 years
10 years for chemical discoveries, medicinal drugs and pharmaceutical compositions
Design and Model Law No. 4 Relating to Patents, Designs and Industrial Models 1962 5 years, renewable for two further 5-year periods :


Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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