Together the UAE Customs Departments and Federal Tax Authority (FTA) are working to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported goods. Every business that is registered with VAT must provide their Tax Registration Number (TRN) to the customs department during the process to clear the goods imported. Further, the customs department will after verifying Tax Registration Number (TRN) on their system, permit the business to clear goods imported without having to pay any VAT in case of the TRN being updated and found valid.

So if the TRN is registered linked with the Customs Registration Number (CRN) it permits the business to clear goods without paying VAT at the customs and during filing VAT returns for that period, they can pay it then.

What is VAT?

VAT is the abbreviation for Value Added Tax that is levied on goods and services at every stage of production, from raw materials to final product. In UAE, VAT is levied at the rate of 5% on the taxable supply of goods and services for businesses that are tax-registered. The tourists in the UAE are also required to pay VAT during the sale.

What is Customs Registration Number (CRN)

Customs Registration Number (CRN) is an identification number for all customs procedures that are needed to exchange the information with the administration of the customs department.

What is the Tax Registration Number (TRN)?

Tax Registration Number is a unique number that is issued to businesses that have been registered with VAT by Federal Tax Authority. It is a 15-digit number that is unique and by which Federal Tax Authority differentiates one business from another.

In case you have registered under VAT but your TRN is not updated with the customs then there are 3 ways to do it.

  1. Update the Customs Registration Number (CRN) in the FTA Portal.


  1. Update via the import declaration form.


  1. Update through Customs Department

How to update Customs Registration Number (CRN) in FTA Portal?

For updating Customs Registration Number (CRN) through FTA portal you have to log in to the e-services portal of FTA by using your login credentials and update your CRN here-

How to update through the Import Declaration Form

After the submission of Import Declaration Form VAT301, the CRN will be updated on the system of the customs department.

To complete the Import Declaration Form follow the following steps:

  • Using the username and password that is linked with your TRN, log into the e-services portal of FTA.
  • On the e-services portal of FTA go to the VAT tab and select “VAT301- Import Declaration Form for VAT payment”
  • Input the port of entry, the customs declaration number and click on “Fetch Associated Registration Number” to auto-generate TRN.
  • Finally, complete the procedure and submit the form.

After this, FTA will update the customs declaration automatically at the Customs Department notifying that the payment for VAT has been completed.

How to update through the Customs Department?

If you opt for this way of updating TRN through the Customs Department then you can directly provide the TRN to the office of customs department. By logging into the e-services portal, the customs officer will verify the Tax Registration Number (TRN). After the verification by the customs officer, your TRN will be updated on the system of customs department.

You can follow any one of the above-mentioned ways of updating your Tax Registration Number (TRN) with the customs department. For the businesses that deal with frequent importing of goods, it is more important because it helps in the fast movement and clearance of goods from the port of customs. This also directly helps in better cash flow management.

GCC Filings can help you with all tax-related solutions for your business in UAE. It takes care of accounting, auditing, VAT and company incorporation among other aspects.

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