Moving to Bahrain

Country Guide

Country Guide: Bahrain

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

Updated: August 18, 2016

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / express release / air waybill (AWB) / surrender message
  • Packing list properly marked and corresponding to the OBL
  • Authorization letter from the owner of the goods to port authorities
  • Duty exemption certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)
  • Commercial invoice indicating currency (commodity shipment)
  • Amount of packages (commodity shipment)
  • Insurance certificate (if applicable) (commodity shipment)
  • Legalized certificate of origin (commodity shipment)

Specific Information

  • Do not include flammable items inside the moving boxes.
  • Items contained in the shipment must be for personal use and cannot be used for commercial purposes.
  • All shipments are subject to inspection
  • New items have a 5% duty
  • Owner of the goods’ presence/authorization letter from the owner of the goods is required
  • Diplomats are free from duties and physical inspection, but not scanning
Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Proof of insurance
  • OBL
  • Commercial invoice on new vehicles
  • Certificate of ownership
  • Export certificate from country of origin
  • Car condition report
  • No objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)
  • Residence permit
  • Owner of the goods’ contact details (telephone number, fax number, address, and email) (non-citizens)

Specific Information

  • Only vehicles less than 5 years are allowed to be imported, unless a classic/vintage, which requires prior permission before the shipment arrives in Bahrain.
  • Valid insurance is required for the registration of the car.
  • The owner of the goods must arrange to obtain the Central Population Registration (CPR) card through the employer’s Human Resources department; once the CPR is obtained, the owner of the goods may obtain a temporary license plate.
  • Customs duties are approximately 5%.
  • Vehicles should not be shipped with a full gasoline tank.
  • The owner of the goods should obtain vehicle insurance directly from an insurance company.
  • Left-hand drive vehicles only & GCC specification.

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Import permit
  • Copy of air waybill (AWB)

Specific Information

  • Pets may only be transported as cargo; however, assistive animals may be able to travel in the aircraft cabin:
    • Contact agent for specific information.
  • The import permit must be obtained prior to travel from the Veterinary Quarantine Department in Bahrain.
  • The veterinary health certificate must state that the animal is free from disease and is fully vaccinated.
  • Import license to be obtained prior to booking pets.
  • Quarantine for a month (owner of the goods must provide feeding arrangements).
Restricted/Dutiable Items
  • Firearms (an import permit and permission from the Ministry of the Interior and Civil Aviation Affairs of Bahrain is required).
  • Videotapes (subject to inspection and hold by Ministry officials and released approximately 2-3 weeks after inspection) (non-citizens)
  • CDs, VCDs, books (only large quantities)
  • Personal computers (subject to inspection and hold by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications prior to shipment arrival) (non-citizens)
  • Pianos / musical instruments
  • Foodstuffs
  • Wines, spirits, and alcohol are subject to duty at Customs discretion (diplomats)
  • Medicines are subject to prescription by a doctor (in English or Arabic) (diplomats)
  • Commodity shipments are subject to 5% Customs duty
  • Alcoholic beverages
Prohibited Items
  • Narcotics and drugs
  • Ivory
  • Pornographic materials
  • Swords
  • Knives, daggers (ornamental, etc.)
  • Wireless equipment
  • Satellite, receivers, cordless telephones, walkie-talkies
  • Guns, arrows, darts
  • Military clothes
  • Gambling games
Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook Entry for Bahrain

Wikipedia Entry for Bahrain