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flag Kuwait Kuwait: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Main International Economic Cooperation
Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Co-operation Council alongside Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The country is also part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), a pact of the Arab League entered into force in January 2005 which aims to form an Arabic free trade area.
Non Tariff Barriers
It is impossible to import products from Israel and alcohol.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
5% « ad valorem » most products.
First need product and are not taxed.
Some products have a tax rate of 10% to 12% to protect the national industry.
There is a 100% tax rate on tobacco.
For further information, visit Kuwait Customs website.

Customs Classification
Tariffs are based on the Harmonized International System (HIS) Code for classification of imports and exports.
For further information, visit Kuwait Customs website.
Import Procedures
These documents are needed to import products to Kuwait :
- Certificate of origin
- An invoice
- A packing list
- A Bill of lading

For further information, visit Kuwait Customs website.
Importing Samples
Samples are exempt from customs taxes as long as their packaging identifies their sender and their advertising purpose.
For Further Information
Kuwait customs office

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Kuwait on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Kuwait, which has a population growth of 7% annually and a 10% increase in incoming expatriates, has seen rising demand supported by increasing purchasing power. Kuwaitis love buying international brands and high couture products.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Kuwait's rapidly increasing population is undergoing a transition in lifestyle and demographics as well, with consumers now preferring massive, one-stop shopping malls in residential areas to the tradition of high street, downtown shopping.
Main Advertising Agencies
List of advertising agencies on

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Distributing a Product

Market Shares
The Sultan Center is the largest retailer in Kuwait. It is owned by the Sultan family.
Organizations in the Retail Sector
Industrial employees of Kuwait

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Roads are modern and well-maintained in Kuwait.
There is no rail transport in the country, which creates traffic problems around the big cities.
There are seven airports in the country however only one respects the standards of international business.
Kuwait has modern ports: Shuwaikh and Shuaiba are the most important. This is the best way to transport goods to the country.
Kuwait Port Information
Information on Ports and Free zones
The international airport of Koweit
Sea Transport Organizations
Kuwait port authority
Air Transport Organizations
Directorate of General Civil Aviation on the airport website
Road Transport Organizations
Ministry of Communications

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Oil (Petroleum and petrochemicals) is Kuwait's main production : oil accounts for 95% of all export revenues.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Business Directory of the KCCI - Business directory of the KCCI (Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry).
Commercial Directory - Kuwait's business directory, 2011.
Eyoon - Business directory for several countries in Africa and in the Middle East.
Kuwait Top List - Find a business in Kuwait.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
2 professional associations listed for Kuwait.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Enterprises Federation
The Kuwaiti Industries union

Learn more about Service Providers in Kuwait on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Learn more about Sales in Kuwait on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: January 2015