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Your One Stop Source: TRADE GUIDELINE Click on the flag to search
Muslimtrade Network members
about Qatar.

Q  A  T  A  R 

1-1 General characteristics:
1-2. General Information:
1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships:

2-1. Main exported products (1995):
2-2. Main imported products (1995):
2-3. Main trading partners (1996):

3-1. Imports regulations:
3-2 Exports regulations:
3-3. Other formalities and documents:

4-1 Banking system:
4-2. Exchange system:
4-3. Methods and means for international settlement:

5-1 Applicable duties and taxes:
5-2.Special provisions:

6-1. International transport:
6-2 .Telecommunications:
6-3 Distribution system:



1-1 General characteristics: 

Official Name: State of Qatar
Area: 11,000 square kilometers
Population: 590000 inhabitants (1996)
Density: 53 inhabitants per square kilometer
Capital: Doha
Climate: There are two climatic zones. Qatar’s climate is dry and hot in summer during which temperature may reach 49°C. in coastal areas humidity is considerable. The hottest months are July-September. Rains are very light. In winter, the climate is relatively mild. The coldest months are December-March during which temperatures vary between 10 and 25°C.
Main holidays: February 22nd , June 27th, September 3rd (Independence), Eid-ul Fitr*, Eid-ul Adha*, Mouharram 1st* and Eid-ul Mouloud*. 

(*) Variable Dates
Weekly holidays: Thursday afternoon- Friday


1-2. General Information:  

Languages: Arabic is the official language. English is spoken in business circles
Currency: Qatari Riyal (QR). 1US$= 3.64 QR end (1996).
Local time: GMT + 3.
Working hours:
Administration: Saturday-Thursday: from 8.00 A.m. to 1.00 P.m. 

- Banks: Saturday-Wednesday: From 7.30 A.m. to 11.30 A.m. / Thursday from 7.30 a.m. to 11.a.m. 

- Business: Saturday-Thursday: 7.30.A.m. to 12.00.A.m And from: 2.30. P.m. to 6.00 P.m. 

- Banks (Ramadan): Saturday-Wednesday: from 8.00 A.m. to 12.00 A.m. / Thursday: from 8.00 A.m. to 11.30 A.m.


1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships: 

Qatar is member of the following international organizations: 
World Trade Organization (WTO); 
United Nations Organization (UNO) and its specialized organs; 
Organization of African Unity (OAU) and other Arab Organizations 
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC); 
The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC); 
non-aligned Movement; 
Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC); 
The Group of 77; 

Economic and commercial agreements were signed between Qatar and the Gulf Co-operation Council Countries but also with the Countries of the League of Arab States.


2-1. Main exported products (1995): 

Oil products; 

2-2. Main imported products (1995): 

Machinery and transport equipment; 

2-3. Main trading partners (1996): 

Main suppliers

Main customers



United Kingdom







United States of America

United States of America

United Arab Emirates


3-1. Imports regulations: 

Pork and derived products are prohibited, while the imports of alcoholic beverages, firearms, ammunition and certain drugs are subject to licensing. Import licenses may be obtained from the Ministry of Finance, Economy and trade. 

Import documentary requirements are as follows: 

Commercial invoice: Two original commercial invoices and at least one copy must be submitted, The exporter should check with the customer for the specific number of copies required. The invoice should contain full description of the packing along with the name of the supplier and the consignee, quantity, marks and numbers of goods, origin of goods, accurate description of the merchandise, value of the goods, CIF or otherwise itemizing all expenses and the name of the vessel and the date of departure. The commercial invoice should be signed by the exporter or an authorized representative and certified by the appropriate chamber of commerce. 
Certificate of origin: The original and one copy of the certificate of origin. The latter should indicate the name and address of the manufacturer or the producer of goods and the name of the vessel are required for shipment to Qatar. Shippers also must include a notarized statement certifying the document is true and correct. Exporters should contact their importers to ascertain the number of copies of this document that are required. The appropriate chamber of commerce must certify this certificate of origin, which must also be legalized by a consular service. 
Bill of lading: There are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for shipments. Bills of lading should show the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of the goods, the listing of freight and other charges, the number of the bills of lading in the full set, the date and signature of the carrier’s official acknowledging receipt on board of the goods for shipment. The information should correspond with that shown on the invoices and the packages. Expenses are generally paid in advance. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipment. 
Pro forma invoice:If required, a pro forma invoice stamped and signed by the supplying company or the exporter must be submitted. The delivery period and validity of the quotations must be indicated. The serial numbers of the goods mentioned in the invoice must conform to the numbering system of the Qatari government order sheet.  

3-2 Exports regulations: 

Exports documentary requirements are as follows:

Insurance certificate:The insurance companies supply the insurance certificate. When the exporter carries out the shipment, the insurance certificate must state that the insurance company is not included on the so-called black list. This insurance must be certified by the appropriate chamber of commerce and presented to the consular section of the embassy for legalization. Qatari offices require the original and one copy, then the original will be returned to the shipper. 
Steamship company certificate:The Steamship Company supplies the steamship certificate. It must state that the ship is not an Israeli vessel and will not call at any Israeli port. The appropriate chamber of commerce must certify this certificate, which must be presented to the embassy for legalization. Qatari offices require the original and one copy, then the original will be returned to the shipper. 
Health certificate:Shipments of frozen foods must be covered by an inspection certificate in duplicate issued by the health authorities of the country of the origin. Imports of plants and plant materials must be coupled with an official health certificate stating that they are free from diseases. The legalization of the certificate is compulsory, the original is returned to the shipper. 
Phytosnitary certificate: Two phytosanitary certificates are required for the shipments of flour, rice, wheat seeds and other agricultural seeds. The legalization of the phytosanitary certificate is compulsory and the original will be returned to the shipper. 

3-3. Other formalities and documents: 

The legalization of the certificate of origin costs $ 42. As concerns values exceeding $274,725, the legalization is 0.4% of the merchandise value while the legalization of the commercial contract costs $28.

Labeling: Labeling in Arabic and English is recommended for products entering Qatar. Food containers must show the country of origin, the name and address of the exporter, the name and kind of commodity, the net weight of contents, date of packing (day, month and year), and the name and address of the consignee. 
MarkingAll identifying marks including the consignee’s marks and port’s marks must be clearly inscribed on the packages to facilitate arrival of the shipment. Packages should be marked legibly. 
Packing:Goods should be packed securely to withstand rough handling and pilferage. 


4-1 Banking system:  

As to December 31st, 1995, the Qatari banking system was composed of 14 branches: Qatari National Bank (QNB), 8 branches of Doha Bank LTD, 6 branches of Qatar Islamic Bank, 7 branches of the Commercial Bank of Qatar LTD, 3 branches of Al Ahli Bank of Qatar, 2 branches of the Qatar International Islamic Bank, 2 branches of the Arab Bank LTD, 1 Branch of Bank Al Mashreq, 1 branch of Grindley Bank LTD, I branch of the Standard Chartered Bank, 2 branches of the British Bank of the Middle East, I branch of Banque Paribas, I branch of Bank Saderat Iran, and branch of the United Bank Ltd.

4-2. Exchange system: 

The Qatar Monetary Agency (QMA) is the exchange authority. The value of Qatari Ryial is linked to the American dollar at a fixed rate of US$1= 3.6415 QR control since mid-1980.

4-3. Methods and means for international settlement:  

There are no payments restrictions for authorized imports, and foreign exchange may be obtained freely from authorized banks. There are no maximum or minimum credit terms on import payments. 


5-1 Applicable duties and taxes: 

Customs duties: the government maintains lists of goods subject to higher taxes to protect local industries and of goods exempted from duties. Steel imports are dutiable at 20 percent, those of alcohol and tobacco vary between 30 and 50%. 

Fifteen products are exempted from customs duties: live animals, poultry and birds, fresh fruit and vegetables, trees and roots, sowing seeds, food for cattle, natural fertilizers, Portland cement, raw sand, stones and clay, basic food products (rice, wheat, sugar, milk, flour, oil), printed matters, school books, propaganda and advertising articles, unworked gold and silver, natural pearls not originating in the Persian Gulf. 
Ad valorem dutiesQatar applies an ad valorem of about 4% on most imported products. 
Preferential dutiesQatar is member of the Arab League Trade and Payments Agreement, which apply preferential tariffs among Member States. Preferential tariffs are also applied between Qatar and the GCC countries and the Commonwealth. 

5-2.Special provisions: 

Samples of no commercial value are imported duty-free. Customs inspectors are not required to accept the value of merchandise as declared on documents presented by the importer for assessing customs duties. 


6-1. International transport: 

Maritime transport: The main ports of Qatar are the following: Doha port (General Cargo), Umm Said port (industrial and oil products) and Ras Laffan port. Most of them are deepwater ports and are provided with berths. Besides most of containers enter from Dubai. 
Air transport: The international airport is located in Doha 6km from the city. The national Airline Company is Gulf Air in co-ownership with Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Other lines serve Doha international Airport such as Air France, Air India, Alyemda, Balkan, Binan, Bangladesh, British Airways, Egyptian Airlines, Iran Air, KLM, Kuwait Airways, MEA, PIA, Royal Jordanian, Saudi, Sudan Airways, Syrian Arab, TWA and Yemenia. 
Land transport: The road network links Doha to Saudi Arabia at Abu Samra and to the United Arab Emirates at Sauda Nathil. There is a continuous land connection with Europe. 

6-2 .Telecommunications:  

Qatar is member of Intelsat for international communications. Telephone, telex, fax and telegrams services are available in Qatar. Direct lines link Qatar to more than 170 countries.

6-3 Distribution system:  

The Qatari government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the country.

The distribution network includes importers which supply national market, wholesalers which carry out the distribution of imported products either to retailers or directly to consumers through their own points of sale, middlemen who receive a commission and finally retailers.

Such a distribution is gradually being oriented towards the creation of supermarkets and commercial centres.


Organizations and public establishments



Ministry of Finance, Economy and commerce. Economic Affairs Department.  P. O. Box . 1968 Doha Tel : (974) 413571 

Telex: 4488 ecom dh 

Fax : (974) 415731
Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Trade Information Section. Airport Road P. O. Box. 402 Doha Tel : (974) 621131 

Telex: 4078 tijara dh 

Fax : (974) 622538 
Qatar Monetary Agency P. O. Box. 1234 Doha Tel : (974) 413456  

Telex: 4335 

Fax : (974) 413650