Importing into Saudi
The following is an indication of the documents required for importing goods into Saudi Arabia. This list is subject to change so please consult the Ministry of Commerce website for up-to-date details - www.mci.gov.sa
Exporting from the UK
SITPRO is the UK's trade facilitation body dedicated to encouraging and helping business trade more effectively and to simplifying the international trading process. Its focus is procedures and documentation associated with international trade.
SITPRO manages the UK Aligned Series of Export Documents consisting of standard commercial, transport, banking, insurance and official forms. SITPRO has a network of printers - (please see www.sitpro.org.uk) and software providers - (please see www.sitpro.org.uk) who are licensed to offer 32 of the most commonly used documents in international trade.
SITPRO offers advice on the documents and procedures for the movement of goods through its briefings, completion guides and checklists at www.sitpro.org.uk/trade/index You can also call their helpdesk - Tel: +44 (0)20 7215 8150 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting your Goods to the Market
If you are exporting goods to any country you need to know the legal and regulatory requirement that your consignments have to comply with. There are several useful websites on which you should be able to find all the relevant information.
British International Freight Association (BIFA) - provide assistance to companies who are new to exporting. There is a directory on the BIFA web site: www.bifa.org. Under the 'Members A-Z' section, you can search to find members of BIFA in a specific country. Members will be able to advise companies on matters such as the best modes of transport, distribution methods, costing, documentation and payment terms.
BIFA can be contacted on +44 (0)20 8844 2266 or by email: email@example.com
Labelling and Packaging Regulations
Although English is widely spoken in Saudi Arabia, all consumer products have to have Arabic labelling. If a products is not correctly labelled it may well be rejected at the port of entry.
Importers also need to be aware of product expiry dates. Products arriving in Saudi Arabia with short periods before expiration will generally be rejected and prohibited from being sold on the market. UK companies are strongly advised to obtain copies of the Saudi Arabian Standards relevant to their products and to discuss labelling requirements with their representative or distributor.
Copies of Saudi Standards are available from The British Standards Institute (BSI) - www.bsigroup.co.uk
Standards and Technical Regulation
Over 10 years ago, a Conformity Assessment Programme (CAP) covering goods destined for Saudi Arabia was implemented by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organisation (SASO), originally for 76 groups of products. CAP called for quality checks and inspections to be carried out on companies looking to export to Saudi Arabia and stipulated that proof should be provided in the form of a Certificate of Conformity. This document can then be checked by Saudi Customs Authorities at the port of arrival.
Further details can be obtained from:
SGS Saudi Office: Tel: +966 (0) 13 817 20 80 - Website: www.me.sgs.com
Intertek Testing Services: Tel: (01277) 233304 - Fax: (01277) 220127 - Website: www.intertek.com
Intertek test, inspect and certify products, as well as help improve performance and efficiency in manufacturing, and overcome market constraints. Certification can be undertaken by any UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) approved organisation.
UKAS is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the UK government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services. Details can be found on www.ukas.com
Customs and Regulations
The Customs Tariff on most imported goods is 5%. There is also a protective tariff of 12 or 20% on some imports to support some national industries. Saudi Arabia has been implementing the Brussels Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (H.S.) since 1991. For more information on Saudi customs, please check the web site of the Saudi Customs Office at www.customs.gov.sa
There are many goods which you are not allowed to bring into the country. These include weapons, alcohol, pork, pornographic materials and many others. There are also some products which require approval and/or registration, for example; pharmaceuticals, wireless equipment, veterinary medicines, pesticides, and military uniforms. To ensure you don't bring anything into the country which is restricted or prohibited, please get further details from the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
Source - UKTI
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