Oman - Labeling/Marking RequirementsOman - Labeling/Marking Requirements
GCC labeling standards of imported goods is a key issue facing U.S. exporters. Food labels must include product and brand names, production and expiration dates, country of origin, name and address of the manufacturer, net weight in metric units, and a list of ingredients in descending order of importance. All fats and oils (including gelatins) used as ingredients must be specifically identified on the label. Labels must be in Arabic only or Arabic/English, although some English-only labels may be approved for exceptional marketing purposes. Arabic stickers are accepted and are commonly used by U.S. exporters to Oman.
Oman enforces GCC Shelf Standards GS 150/1993, Part I, which affects 44 food products. The manufacturer-established shelf life is accepted for other food products. The manufacturer must print production and expiry dates on the original label or container; dates cannot be added to the package via a sticker. Many U.S. firms consider Omani shelf-life limits more restrictive than scientifically necessary. The U.S. supplier should work closely with the importer to ensure compliance with local shelf-life requirements.
Omani Customs agents sometimes require that for U.S. made goods to qualify for duty-free treatment under the FTA, each good and packaging must be individually engraved “Made in USA,” a practice in contravention of the FTA. For meat and poultry products, Oman requires slaughtering according to Islamic halal procedures. Packaged fresh or frozen meat and poultry must also carry the following information in Arabic: country of origin; production (slaughtering or freezing) and expiry dates; shelf life of the product; metric net weight; and product identification. Pre-packaged processed meat and poultry must be accompanied by production and expiry dates, as well as the net weight of the product.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued labelling guidelines for telecommunication equipment in June 2010. Dealers of such equipment must register with the TRA. The label must contain the approval number and the dealer number. Imported goods may be labelled after customs clearance, but before entering the Omani market.
All precious metals, jewelry, and gemstones, whether imported or locally produced, must be hallmarked under Royal Decree 109/2000. The gold hallmarking scheme is operated by the Directorate General for Specifications and Measurements’ (DGSM) precious metal assaying laboratory.
Oman prohibits exports of antiques, ancient manuscripts, and Maria Theresa Thalers (historic Omani currency tender). Export restrictions apply to date seedlings and to three species of fish (lobster, abalone, and shark) during the breeding and reproduction seasons when fishing of these sea creatures is prohibited. In addition, export permits are needed for locally mined or quarried products. Oman periodically bans or restricts the export of various species of fresh or frozen fish. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth cites the need to control price inflation due to strong demand in neighboring countries, as well as to protect certain species’ breeding seasons. Furthermore, during these periods the export of other fish species, including mullet and emperor fish, was limited to 50 percent of the quantity available; export licenses were required. The authorities indicate that the limits on fishery exports were imposed due to a decrease in the volume of catch and to help maintain stocks and affordable pricing for the local market.
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