As we have a lot of experience in moving and shipping to Saudi Arabia, we feel like there is a lot of things to know about this kingdom. But most importantly, if you are moving, that means your possesions come with you. And not everything that is allowed or normal in the back home is acceptable in Saudi Arabia. So what should you have in mind? What are the do’s and don’ts before shipping to Saudi Arabia?
First, to understand Saudi Arabia
Before we talk about how the Saudi Arabia customs clearance works we should talk a little bit about what kind of country the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is.
Saudia Arabia has a lot of strange, unique laws that are only found here. This is because the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is founded on the strict following of the Qur’an. This means that religious laws and actual laws are the same things. The Islamic religion has an immeasurable and absolute influence on daily life in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is quite rich and modern, but that doesn’t mean its westernized. Far from it.
Saudi Arabia holds true to its traditions and is very dedicated to its laws. These include but are not limited to laws that regulate the dress and behavior of people (especially women) limitations on public gatherings and cinemas, an absolute ban on weapons and ammunition, the prohibition of explicit or otherwise immoral pictures and literature, etc.
What does this mean to you? Well, if you are going to be shipping to ports of this Middle Eastern monarchy you must be aware of what will and what will not be allowed. It doesn’t matter if something is legal in the county of origin. If it is not permitted on Saudi Arabian soil, it will be destroyed and the importer (that being you in this case) can suffer legal consequences because of this.
It is for this reason that being aware of do’s and don’ts before shipping to Saudi Arabia is so very important. You don’t want to use sea cargo Jeddah service just to get in trouble for no good reason.
The do’s and don’ts before shipping to Saudi Arabia
So, now that we covered a little instruction on why the rules are the way they are, let’s cover some details about the shipping in Saudi Arabia.
What is important to know that even though your professional movers will take your things from where you are now to warehouse Riyadh or any other location, you are the one responsible if something on that shipment was not legal. You have to be in the country when the shipment arrives. The law requires you to be there. Now let’s cover what you need to get the shipping in.
So to avoid having your items being turned back or stopped at some of the ports, you should have all documents in order. First and foremost, when talking about cargo transportation Saudi Arabia, all the documents must be on the same person, the customer. Passports are used to confirm identity, so you should have a copy of it paired up with an entry visa. There are also permits for work and residence. The former requires proof of employment as well. Additionally, every person entering the country needs to have a certificate of health. Due to concerns of Saudi Arabia, a person must confirm that it is not sick with AIDS.
As for the rules of customs, we already covered some but let’s go through it again just in case.
- So, the owner of the items must be in the country when they go for custom clearance.
- The items will, naturally, be inspected. Do’s and Don’ts before shipping to Saudi Arabia are made to accommodate this fact.
- They all must display “made in” signs.
Other than that, there is not much to it. But, it is very, very important that nothing shipped is illegal.
We have mentioned the importance of prohibited items many times. Therefore, it is now time to list what is actually a prohibited item in Saudi Arabia.
Due to its high morality laws, anything concerning the adult industry is banned. This means no adult toys, explicit literature, cartoons or images. Pornography is very much illegal, and so is anything “sex-related” No alcohol or alcohol-related items. Furthermore, do take great care not to be under the influence of alcohol when you reach the Saudi border.
You will also find that jewelry above the value of 5$ is not permitted in Saudi Arabia. It doesn’t matter if the materials are diamonds, gold, silver, platinum, etc. It is forbidden either way.
With Islam being only legal religion in Saudi Arabia, it is forbidden to import anything portraying the cross. Religious books are also best avoided, though private worship is tolerated. But be careful, anything that can be seen as propagating or converting is punishable by law.
All kinds of chemicals are forbidden. Any pictures of people are also not welcome, and even kids toys portraying humans are banned.
Any items that can be considered tools of spycraft. This means films for the cameras, any cameras, binoculars, etc, but also discs, computer parts, computers themselves (laptop, pc, etc), as well as software. Also, be prepared for the possibility of your phone being screened at the border in search of illegal software.
Any kind of weapon, including knives and shockers for personal use. Nothing that conceals a face is allowed as well. Somewhat odd ban on herbal teas and cigarettes, laser pointers and tv sets.
To sum it up
So what are the do’s and don’ts before shipping to Saudi Arabia? Don’t go unprepared and do your research. Find out what can and cannot be done and act accordingly and all will be just fine!