Exporting to Oman
President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI), with the goal of doubling exports by the year 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or increasing their products to Oman. In this section, you will find a brief description of Oman as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.
The United States and the Sultanate of Oman share a strong bilateral relationship based on a joint commitment to the security and stability of the region. This was further enhanced when the two countries signed aFree Trade Agreement which came into effect in January, 2009. Our mission is to foster cooperation between U.S. and Omani firms through the promotion of U.S. exports. For U.S. firms interested in exporting to Oman, we offer business counseling, export promotion services, and a wealth of information on opportunities and companies in the Omani market.
Investing in Oman
This section provides information for current and potential investors in Oman.
Potential investors: Getting Started
If you are considering investment in Oman, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy in Oman and MABC. If you are planning a visit to consider investing, let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit Omani resources, such as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development.
Current investors: Staying Connected
If you are a current U.S. investor in Oman, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy and MABC. If you are active in Oman, let us know by sending an e-mail to the contact addresses on this page.
- Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise.
Working in Oman
In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.
Omani tourist and business visas are relatively easy to obtain at the airport or a land border. A single-entry tourist or business visa costs US$52.00 (20 Omani riyals) and is valid for one month; the visa may be renewed for an additional US$52.00 (20 Omani riyals) fee. As of February 2012, a ten-day visa can be purchased at land and sea entry ports for US$13.00 (5 Omani riyals). A multiple-entry tourist or business visa, which is valid for one year, costs US$130.00 (50 Omani riyals). Both may be obtained upon arrival at the airport. Visas can also be obtained in advance through application to an Omani embassy, consulate, or trade representative abroad.
There are also expedited procedures for citizens of other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, as well as an agreement allowing Omani visa holders to visit Dubai via air. In 2011, a new Employee Contract Visa was introduced, which allows for up to six months of visits for pre-award negotiations, interviews, etc.
Self-sponsorship through an Investors Visa is available for a minimum RO 250,000 (US$650,000) capital investment, and provides for two years of residency.
Doing any kind of business — even visiting a field site — on a tourist visitor’s visa is not recommended as this can result in heavy fines.
The U.S. Embassy in Muscat does not arrange visas for visiting businesspersons. A multiple-entry visa is strongly recommended; however, not all Omani diplomatic missions inform U.S. citizens of that option. For further information on obtaining a visa to visit Oman, visit the Royal Oman Police website.
Be sure to check the current State Department travel advisory for Oman.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving, or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official when the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. citizens, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls. More information on the FCPA can be found at http://www.fcpa.us/.
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statute. Within thirty days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the U.S. Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but the U.S. Department of Justice publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.
More information on the U.S. Department of Justice opinion procedure can be found at http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pd