Kuwait and Qatar are clearly not making any concessions whatsoever. If a Swiss company exports its goods from a third country (such as its own factory or a supplier in Italy) to an Arabian Gulf State, the import will only be accepted if the certificate of origin was issued in the third country from which the goods were exported to the Middle east.
However, it is often the case that the certificate of origin as well as the invoice are issued in Switzerland, and not the country of production, which inevitably and also increasingly leads to problems when importing the goods to Gulf States.
Deliveries of goods from third countries
With exports (from third countries) to Kuwait, a letter of credence must be provided for each individual case, which confirms that the Swiss company has a production site or supplier in the country in which the goods being exported to Kuwait were manufactured. This letter of credence must be provided by the importer to the customs authority in Kuwait in Arabic. A commercial invoice from Switzerland for the goods produced in the third country will then be accepted in combination with this letter and the certificate of origin from the third country.
For exports to Qatar from a third country, such a letter of credence (also in Arabic) together with the certificate of origin from the third country is now also sufficient. However, unlike in Kuwait, the responsible customs authority in Qatar only requires the letter of credence once for each third country supplier, and not for each individual import.
Nota bene: preferential treatment (such as exemption from customs) under the EFTA-GCC free trade agreement is not possible (for exports from a third country). Unless the third country is a member of the EFTA or GCC (Gulf Cooperation Countries).