How to import fine art in Bahrain?

brushes artists use

Bahrain is a country with strict laws when it comes to importing. When if you want to import fine art in Bahrain, you definitely need to follow all the rules and all the steps. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to import it. This process is not very complicated but it isn’t simple either. So, if you were looking for a detailed guide on how to import fine art in Bahrain, you came to the right place.

Prohibited items

We’re talking about fine art but we have to mention the things that you can’t import to Bahrein for plenty of reasons. One of the things you can’t import is anything offensive to the Muslim culture or sensitive to the Middle East security situation. That might be one of the things you didn’t know about life in the Middle East. This means that pork products, religious publications or figures, imitation firearms, and military uniforms can’t be imported to Bahrain. You can’t import antiques either. Here are some more things that you can’t import to Bahrain:

  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Ivory
  • Pornography
  • Precious metals & stones
  • Tobacco
  • Live animals.

So if you were thinking about transporting your items legally to another country, make sure you first get all the information about what is allowed and what isn’t.

Tobacco can’t be imported to Bahrain.

Who can import fine art in Bahrain?

Any organization or individual can deal with importing to Bahrain. There are not many restrictions on that who can do that. But everyone needs a concerned license. There’s a special license for each product so if you want to import fine art, make sure you have a proper license. And if you want to import goods for commercial purposes in Bahrain you must obtain a license from the Directorate of Customs and Ports of the Ministry of Finance and National Economy. If you don’t have all the right documents with the right information you might face some difficulties.

Goods can be imported by the courier such as but you can also import them by yourself. There are regulations on how much you can actually import, of course. And if you have more than it’s allowed, you will have to go through certain procedures. But it is always best to stick to the rules. This will save you time because these procedures can last a long time.

The import process

There are three phases of the process for import. Here is where you need to start paying close attention because any missing information in the documents you need to provide can cause a lot of unnecessary trouble for you.

Portable containers.
You can’t just ship your goods, you have to go through necessary procedures.

1. Acquire an import permit

No matter what you want to import to Bahrain as long as it’s legal you need proper permits and documentation. If you want to import any good to Bahrain you need to go through three categories of procedures. The first one would be a one-time registration procedure to act as an importer. You are also going to need a specific import license to import goods if applicable. Since art comes in all forms, this is definitely something you have to check whether you need it or not. There are separate Importing country government agencies to issue such import permits or import licenses. You are also going to need certain certification from concerned government agencies of importing countries related to each import. A separate government agency handles and regulates specific products that issue import license or import permit.

2. Get the required documents

Now that you have your permits, you need to get all the other documents ready so that you can import fine art in Bahrain. The import documents required depend on which type of goods you are importing – general goods, personal effects, dangerous goods, livestock, etc. Here are some basic documents that are needed no matter what you want to import:

  • Customs entry document
  • Customs declarations
  • Insurance certificate
  • Purchase order or letter of credit
  • Commercial invoice
  • Certificate of origin.

alt - paperwork
Paperwork is a very important step when you import fine art in Bahrain.

Specific documents that you might need:

  • Customs bond
  • Legal undertaking
  • Import license
  • Certificates of inspection
  • Temporary shipment certificate
  • Certificate of analysis
  • Certificate of free sale
  • Weight certificate
  • Consular invoice.

By being properly prepared, you are indirectly saving money when moving internationally.

3. Go through import customs procedures

When you have all your documents and permits ready, you can finally start the import process. You have three options when it comes to importing to Bahrain: air transport, land transport, and sea transport. Permission from Importing country’s Customs authorities, Permission from Carrier of goods and permission from a custodian of cargo handling are needed to take import clearance cargo delivery from Importing country’s customs bonded area.

When your shipment arrives, the carrier of goods files Imports General Manifest (IGM) with the customs department. Each shipment has one IGM number. You need to enter that IGM number in the specified column of an import entry form so they confirm that it’s you who’s shipment this is. You can directly take the delivery of cargo if your goods are under green channel clearance. If it is necessary, they do an inspection  This is the procedure if you have all the necessary documents. If you don’t, you will have to go through a few extra steps until they decide that it is okay for you to import fine art in Bahrain.

End of the process

When you come to pick up your shipment, you are going to have to sign a few more papers and that’s when you’re officially done with the whole process of importing fine art to Bahrain. As you can see, it’s a lot of work but it’s something you need to do if you want to import fine art in Bahrain. By getting all the neccessary info you might overcome the fear of moving to a new city or a country.

Written by Lisa Roberts