Our case studies cover some of the products our Asia Import Platform customers have developed in recent years.
An all-in-one platform to help you take your go from idea to product manufacturing in China, Vietnam, or India. The platform is used by more than 2000 importers worldwide.
Sourcing ReportFrom $179
Looking for a manufacturer in China, Vietnam, India or Thailand? We can help you identify relevant manufacturers in China and Vietnam based on product scope, test reports, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, BSCI and other factors.Learn more
Supplier ScreeningFrom $279
Found a supplier online but not sure if they are legit? Our team can verify their business license, test reports, and company certificates to assess their status and risk level.Learn more
Free Case Study (PDF)
If you are thinking about importing and selling your products to the Saudi market, read this guide to learn more import taxes, product regulations, labeling requirements, licenses and permits, and shipping to Saudi Arabia.
There are only two kinds of tariffs levied on goods imported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will be referred to as the KSA in the following context. These are customs duty and value-added tax, which are charged on every import.
Please see the chart below for an overview of the tax rate:
|Type||Customs Duty||Value-added Tax|
|Tax Rate Range||0% to 100%||5%|
|Average Tax Rate||4.85%||5%|
|Tax Payer||Importers||Every member of the supply chain|
|Tax Collector||KSA Customs Authority||KSA Customs Authority|
*Learn more about customs value calculations in this article
**From which tariffs are required
The import duty rates in Saudi Arabia range from 0% to 100% and the average customs duty of products is 4.85%.
Different duty rates apply based on the product, as you can see in this table:
|Tobacco products, energy drinks||100%|
|Steel, furniture, liquid detergents, and some electrical items||20%|
|Sugar, tea, rice, wheat, unroasted coffee, and meat||0%|
|Books, some electronic products like laptops||0%|
Saudi Arabia has signed a number of trade agreements within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that gives member countries total exemption from customs duties (e.g. a zero percentage rate is applied). In addition to the member countries of GCC, Saudi Arabia also has a preferential policy that reduces customs duty to 10% on products imported from several Islamic countries, including Morocco, Libya, Kuwait, Jordan, and Tunisia.
A 5% VAT is chargeable on the import of goods shipped to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Importers will only need to pay VAT once they make formal import clearance to the KSA customs.
We can help you manufacture products in China, Vietnam & India?
The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) is responsible for formulating national standards for all daily necessities and products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SASO also regulates measurement systems and labeling of the products.
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Industry and Commerce and SASO require that products imported to Saudi Arabia must attain a SASO Certificate of Conformity when entering Saudi Customs.
Products without a SASO certificate will be refused entry by Saudi Port Customs or sent to the SASO to conduct a compliance test. If the test fails, the products will be refused entry, and all costs will be charged to the importing enterprise.
Well known third-party lab-testing companies such as Intertek, QIMA, and SGS can help importers and exporters with SASO certification.
SASO introduced the new Saudi Product Safety Program named “SALEEM”, which started to implement in January 2019. The SALEEM program ensures the safety of products imported to the Saudi market.
The SALEEM program is implemented via an online system called “SABER”, a platform that enables manufacturers and importers to obtain the required Certificate of Conformity and Certificate of Shipment for consumer goods imported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, upon registration in the system.
Currently, a number of technical regulations (TR) are being implemented for many categories of products. Products that are covered by a specific TR, that is products that are are usually considered medium or high risk for consumers’ safety, require specific conformity documents, such as test reports, risk assessment reports, and other documents, in order to obtain the Certificate of Conformity.
Conversely, for products not regulated by any TR, which are generally considered low risk, a self-declaration that complies with the SASO guidelines is sufficient.
Once either the Certification of Conformity or the self-declaration is approved by SABER, the importer can obtain the last document, i.e. the Certificate, of Shipment, which allows the goods to enter the country.
Here a non-comprehensive list of products for which a TR is required (keep in mind that the system is new and, at the moment, the list of TR is updated often):
Click here for a list of technical regulations.
The SASO has established different rules for labeling and markings of imported products. Importers should strictly adhere to the requirements of SASO when importing products to the country to avoid the risk of rejection of products by the customs.
Warning labels and safety instructions on the products should be written in Arabic (it also possible to write them in both Arabic and English languages).
For any other marking or labeling, one of the following methods shall be used:
1. The product follows under an applicable SASO standard
In this case, marking requirements shall follow the SASO standards. For Example, SASO ISO 13006/2016 Clause 8.1- Tiles and/or their packaging should bear the marking in Arabic or in both Arabic and English in an unremovable way (for instance carved or printed).
2. The product doesn’t follow under any applicable SASO standard but follows under an applicable Regional/International Standard
In this case, the guidelines of the applicable standard, for instance, IEC/ISO/GSO/EN/ASTM standards, shall be followed
3. The product has no applicable SASO standard
When the product has no applicable specific standard or no specific language requirements for marking, then the only guideline is that the marking language can be either in Arabic or English.
The Country of origin marking shall be in the format “Made in xxx” or “Manufactured in xxx”, in both Arabic and English languages.
If the product is too small to contain the Country of origin marking, then the marking shall be included in the packaging.
The following information should be contained in the product packaging:
a. Producer’s name and address;
b. Production and expiration dates in Arabic and English languages (samples imported must be labeled at least in English).
Also, these are additional matters importers should pay attention to when drafting label contents:
a. Products should not bear any immodest or nude pictures;
b. Products should not bear a cross or pictures not consistent with Islamic morals;
c. The package should not bear Koranic or Islamic sayings;
d. Products and the packages should not bear photographs or illustrations of pigs;
e. If human figures are shown on packages, they should be in good taste;
g. Permission must be obtained for goods to bear the Saudi Arabian emblem, which consists of crossed swords and a palm;
h. Product information should be written in Arabic, or Arabic and English;
i. When writing production or expiry date, insert the day of the month first, followed by month and year.
The instruction manual shall be in Arabic. Instructions in English can also be added, but it’s optional.
Here is a list of documents importers ought to prepare for the purpose of customs clearance:
a. Certificate of origin, which must be authenticated by a local chamber of commerce and translated into the Arabic language;
b. Customs invoice, required for most imports into Saudi Arabia;
c. Commercial invoice, indicating the country of origin, name of the carrier, brand, and quantity of goods, and description of the goods including weight and value;
d. Bill of lading or airway bill;
e. Insurance documents (if shipments are sent CIF); also, the original documents must be accompanied by a translation in Arabic language;
f. SASO (Saudi Arabian Standards Organisation) Certificate of Conformity, issued by an authorized certification body in the country of origin;
g. Food and medical product importers should also attain additional documentation such as ingredients and consumer protection certificates;
h. Meat products should also specify that slaughtering procedures comply with Saudi regulations.
Check the official website of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the latest information.
Some items are restricted/prohibited by Saudi Arabia customs, here are some examples:
The Saudi ports network consists of 9 ports; 6 of them are commercial and the other 3 are industrial ports equipped with the latest necessary technologies and operational methods to welcome all types of maritime shipping modes.
Saudi ports have been internationally recognized for their development and growth in all economic sectors, which is reflected in receiving the largest share of exports and imports around the world.
Here a list of the main shipping ports in Saudi Arabia:
The shipping costs from China to Saudi Arabia mainly depend on the following factors:
There are a lot of online tools that offer freight estimation services. The following information is powered by Freightos or World Freight Rates.
We take textile products as an example. This textile product’s commodity value is USD10,000, and the estimated freight cost of such product shipped from Hong Kong to Jedda is:
Likewise, the average shipping time taken from China to Saudi Arabia depends on the transportation services and the departure and destination ports. It often takes 3-5 days by air freight service and 4-5 weeks by sea freight.
In this section you can find a list of freight forwarder companies that are based in Saudi Arabia:
Crown International is a freight forwarding and logistics company based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia with its branches in Jeddah and Riyadh. The company has affiliate offices in Hyderabad, Delhi India, Dubai, and the upcoming offices in the US, Singapore, and China.
Crown International accepts freight such as textiles, toys, machinery, handicrafts, food and beverages, cosmetics, furniture, and electronics.
Natco Middle East
Natco Middle East was established in 2017 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Currently, the company has branch offices in Riyadh, Dammam, and Dubai.
Natco’s services include ocean and air freight, land transportation, customs clearance, warehousing, and distribution.
Established in 2003 Uniworld Freight Services is one of the leading international freight forwarding companies delivering cost-effective solutions in Saudi Arabia. The company offers a comprehensive range of shipping and add-value services, including ocean, air, inland transportation, warehousing, and customs clearance.
GFS is an International Freight Forwarding company in Saudi Arabia specialized in the Sea and Air Freight forwarding.
Their services include customs service, international freight forwarding, door to door express service, domestic transportation, warehousing, and distribution.
Speed Trans Logistics
Speed Trans Logistics is one of the leading logistics companies in Saudi Arabia, providing end-to-end design, implementation and operational capabilities in freight forwarding, contract logistics, transportation, and distribution management.
The company optimizes clients’ overall supply chain by providing integrating multiple logistics functions starting from material and product collection, warehousing, value-added services, distribution, cross-docking.
We can help you manufacture products in China, Vietnam & India?
Mo Chuiyan has an MA in Islamic Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has previously worked as a marketing developer for Middle Eastern countries in an E-commerce company. She has also worked as a merchandiser in the garment industry, where she gained expertise in material sourcing and production management. She currently works as a content editor for Chinaimportal.com
2 Responses to “Importing Products to Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide”
Import textiles from India what documents required
A shipment import clearance from China to Riyadh.
Comments are closed.