Those who travel internationally are familiar with the fact that they must abide by the immigration and customs policies of the country they are entering.
Oman is no exception: both those needing an Oman visa and nationals of the Arab state need to respect the local laws when it comes to travel documents and importing or exporting goods. They are also expected to cooperate with border control officials who may ask them questions or permission to inspect their luggage.
Although some regulations (for example those regarding firearms) are fairly common across nations, Oman has its own unique rules that passengers must know before departing.
This article is intended to help holidaymakers and others entering Oman for the first time to become familiar with the Omani border and customs regulations.
Document Check in Oman
It is possible to enter Oman through multiple air, land, and sea crossing points. Travelers should check whether there are specific rules applying to the entry point of their choice.
Upon reaching the Omani territory, passengers will first have to go through document checks. Immigration officers at the passport control desk will verify their identity, permission to travel, and the purpose(s) of their trip.
In the case of foreign nationals, they will also make the final decision regarding their entry by confirming that the foreigner does not represent a risk for the health and safety of Omani citizens.
The following documents may be required by the Omani authorities:
- A valid permit
- A visa that meets the relevant Omani requirements or a residence permit. Those who have applied for a visa online should bring a hard copy of the document with them
- Flight tickets or other evidence of the intention to leave the country
- Financial statements
- Proof of required vaccinations (if applicable)
- Further supporting documentation to verify the purpose of travel
Officers may also ask questions to confirm the information in the documents provided. It is important that passengers remain calm and answer all the questions truthfully.
Omani Customs Policies: Forbidden and Restricted Items
Like anywhere else in the world, the Omani government has created a list of goods that cannot be imported and/ or exported (prohibited or forbidden items) and one for those goods that can be taken across the border but only upon obtaining permission to do so from the relevant authorities (restricted goods.)
Regulated items must be declared in the Customs Declaration form. Failure to do so may result in fines and more serious consequences as it means breaking the Omani law.
Prohibited items that you cannot import into Oman
Certain goods are considered illegal in Oman and cannot be carried into the country. These are:
- Drugs such as marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines
- Counterfeit items
- Offensive material such as pornography
- Arms and ammunition unless accompanied by a permit
Can you take food into Oman?
Most foodstuffs can be brought into Oman. There are some exceptions:
- Fresh, unprocessed food from cholera-affected areas
- Meat products must be accompanied by an Islamic slaughter certificate
In these cases, the importer must first get clearance from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Personal allowance for passengers entering Oman
Some goods can be freely imported into Oman as long as they are carried in limited amounts.
Should a traveler wish to take these items across the border in greater quantities, they must first check whether that is allowed and if so, declare them or obtain the necessary permits.
These goods include:
- Cigarettes (max. 400 units)
- Liquor (max. 2 liters or 2 bottles per traveler.) The importer must be older than 21 years of age and not a Muslim
- Perfume (max. 100 milliliters)
- DVD’s (max. 10 units)
How much money can I carry to Oman?
Passengers can cross the border with up to 6,000 OMR (Rial Omani) in local or foreign currency and precious metals or stones. Higher amounts must be declared at customs. Israeli currency is not admitted into Oman.
The same Omani and foreign currency regulations apply to export.
Traveling to Oman with Pets
Foreign visitors and Omani nationals are permitted to enter the country with their pets, however, rules apply. Animals can travel in the cabin, as checked luggage, or as cargo.
The owner must travel with the following necessary documents:
- An import license issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
- A government health certificate issued by the country of origin
- A recent immunization certificate (older than 1 month but no older than 6 months)
- An environmental export certificate of approval issued by the country of origin (only in the case of birds)
Please note that cats and dogs coming from rabies-affected areas will be subject to mandatory quarantine for 6 months.
Crossing the Border to Exit the Country
Passengers should be aware that their documents and luggage will also be checked when exiting the country. That is one of the reasons why, for example, foreign nationals should keep the visa with them at all times until they have left Oman.
Most import regulations apply to export too. It is paramount to check these rules before leaving.