Exporting guide to Brunei

Overview

Brunei is a politically stable country located on the island of Borneo. Oil and natural account for a large part of the countries GDP and it is one of the largest producers of oil in South-East Asia.

Trade statistics

£82.0 million total UK exports to Brunei for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

132nd largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

less than 0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022)

Economic diversification

Activity is strong in the oil and gas industry, and the country is encouraging economic diversification through major foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in other sectors. This supports Vision 2035 - Brunei’s long-term sustainable development plan.

A strategic partner

Brunei is recognised for its political stability, and is located in the heart of South East Asia. It has good access to regional and global markets, and strong trade ties with the Middle East.

Close links with the UK

As a Commonwealth country, Brunei has close links with the UK. Many Bruneians have studied in the UK and have a taste for British goods, and there are many British expats in the country. UK companies operating in Brunei include Shell, Standard Chartered and KPMG.

Top five UK goods exported to Brunei, in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022

Goods Value (£million)
Cars 16.9
Mechanical power generators (intermediate) 3.0
Miscellaneous electrical goods (intermediate) 2.8
General industrial machinery (intermediate) 2.8
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 1.9

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: November 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Brunei.

Brunei: at a glance

Economic growth

-1.6%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita

$32,573

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $47,329 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Currency

Brunei dollar

Business languages

Malay, English

Time zone

GMT +8

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Brunei have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Brunei

Preparing to Export

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Brunei, provided certain conditions are met.

There’s no VAT or any other consumption-based taxes in Brunei.

Regulations

Brunei is an Islamic country and prohibits the sale of alcohol and tobacco. All businesses including shops and restaurants shut between 12 pm and 2pm every Friday. The working week for the Brunei government is Monday to Thursday and Saturday, while in the private sector it’s Monday to Friday.

Withholding tax

Technical services, and scientific, technical, industrial or commercial knowledge or information, are subject to a 10% withholding tax.

Brunei does not levy withholding tax on dividends that have been assessed to tax, regardless of whether they’re paid to a resident or a non-resident.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Brunei.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Brunei

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.