Everything you need to know about customs regulations in Saudi Arabia – 2022 edition
All countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have the import and export information online for all types of customers. Such information shows the government rules on labeling, marketing requirements, different prohibitions, and restrictions on goods. If you’re beginning trading and shipping items to Asia or planning to move to the Middle East, you will need to learn everything there is about active laws. Still, everyone could use help navigating the technical language the custom rules are written. To make your relocation process easier, here’s everything you need to know about customs regulations in Saudi Arabia – 2022 edition.
Saudi Arabia customs regulations points of entry
Saudi Arabia has many up-and-coming cities and commercial import ports. The main ones are Jizan, Jeddah, Yanbu
and Dammam. However, when it comes to industrial ports, Jubail and Yanbu are the most active points of entry. Saudi Arabia is an oil juggernaut, thus Ras Tanura is the main port for the export of liquid gold.
In addition, the country has major international airports near Jeddah (King Abd as-Aziz International Airport), Riyadh (King Khalid International Airport), and Dammam (King Fahd International Airport). The Kingdom also has a few smaller airports spread across the country. However, Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam are the main ones for travel, import, and export of goods. Even though there are no free trade zones in Saudi Arabia, there are two entrepots for neighboring countries in Jeddah and Dammam.
Freight shipping to Saudi Arabia
Freight shipping requires extensive paperwork and preparation. That’s why it’s crucial to know the governing laws, rules, and regulations in Saudi Arabia. In many cases, you can rely on experienced freight shipping experts like Four Winds KSA to help you with the process and give you the necessary information for a hustle-free relocation. The rest of the work is up to you. To start preparing your shipment, pack your items, weight, and measure the parcel, so you’d know the approximate cost.
The National Rules of Origin
In the attempt to increase local content and secure custom duty revenues of goods imported into the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia has implemented custom rules of origin in July 2021. These rules are affecting manufacturing industries and export. To import goods importers need to provide a bank guarantee. This guarantee should cover the customs duties that apply to the entering goods. If you’re an importer, you can ask for a refund of the bank guarantee. To do so, you’ll need to provide a certificate of origin, invoices, the attested localization percentage certificate, and an accountant record with attested the percentage of value added by these rules of origin.
The new rule also requires that 25% of the manufacturing workforce of the imported good is local. However, it’s not clear if the above-mentioned documentation applies per shipment or for bulk. In case it refers to individual shipments, advising accounting firms and opening stamping offices is recommendable. If you’re planning to relocate your company to Jeddah, Riyadh, or any other business hubs of the Kingdom, make sure to stay up to date with the current customs regulation in Saudi Arabia.
Changes made to VAT on import goods
In September 2021, customs regulations in Saudi Arabia implemented changes to the value-added tax (VAT) on imports. If you have personal shipments under $267 total value, the shipping charges don’t succumb to custom duties. A standard rate of 15% VAT is applicable on all goods of greater value. Thus, when shipping a parcel, a customer, you need to communicate with the transport carrier to complete the clearance procedure. Your carrier’s broker should prepare the customer declaration with the required paperwork. As a customer, you’ll get a copy of the document with taxes and duties imposed.
Prohibited items for import
When sending a package to Saudi Arabia, you can’t ship any weapons, radioactive substances, or war material that applies to any country’s customs regulation.
At the same time, coins, paper money, checks, precious stones and metals (even the manufactured items), and jewelry are not allowed to enter the country through parcels. As for the books and other paper material, it is possible to ship literature only if it’s not contrary to the Islamic religion.
Medical products and any medicines are only admissible if you provide prescription issues by a verified authority. When planning to ship the parcel to Saudi Arabia, research the permitted goods you’re planning to include in the package. Since the Kingdom has specific laws influenced by cultural and religious factors, thoroughly prepare if you want to make your every shipment a success.
Moving with pets
If you’re taking your pet with you when moving to Saudi Arabia vaccination and good health certificates are required. These documents need to be approved by the nearest Saudi Arabian Consulate or Embassy. Moreover, your pet will pass the inspection of a quarantine officer after arrival. In case of any issues regarding these procedures, you should contact your nearest embassy.
As a country with a specific culture and rising cities, Saudi Arabia is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Middle East. Cities like Riyadh, Al Jubail, Jeddah are major business hubs, attracting foreign investors to invest and expand their business to the Middle East. Since 2005, Saudi Arabia is a member of the World Trade Organization. This step significantly helped in modernizing the country’s trade policy. With favorable taxes, a financial system, and a booming industry, it’s easy to succeed in the Kingdom. However, every company depends on imports and export. Therefore, if you’re considering relocating your business, research customs regulations in Saudi Arabia