Facts to know about customs in Saudi Arabia

When moving to Saudi Arabia, or in the case of shipping items in and out of the country, there are certain facts to know about customs in Saudi Arabia. Don’t let the title be misleading, this is not about tradition and culture, this is about the customs clearance procedures as well as the dos and don’ts. The list is not substantial, but it contains all the relevant information you should have when attempting to move items in and out of the country.

This is going to be useful both for those who are looking at relocating, as well as businesses that are looking into importing and exporting items in Saudi Arabia. The purpose is to be well prepared with all the necessary information in order to avoid any difficulties. The last thing you wish to have to go through are the problems at the customs, for they can be tedious, stressful and long. You will be losing a lot of time as well as resources if you are a business.

airport customs terminal
Customs are quite complicated, even more so in Saudi Arabia. You need to prepare yourself!

These are the losses you really do not want to have to go through. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that specialize in import and export services. These companies have the knowledge and experience you can capitalize on in order to be safe with all your ventures. Consider this article to be a band-aid, but if you really wish to learn more, and rely on someone, you should look into logistics companies in Jubail, for instance.

Things to know about customs in Saudi Arabia

The biggest red light you should have on your radar is the fact that, if anything goes wrong you will be fully responsible. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has very transparent and strict regulations that allow you to follow procedures. It is your fault if these procedures and rules are not followed, and you will be the only party in a loss. This is why it is essential for you to get acquainted with all the rules and regulations that apply.

Think of it this way: you don’t really want your entire relocation to be destroyed because all of your belongings are stuck in a port somewhere in the country. It can be stressful and it can ruin the entire experience. This can all be mitigated with a little research beforehand. This is why this article will attempt to shed some light on Saudi Arabia customs clearance procedures, dos and dont’s.

Customs in Saudi Arabia – documentation

The most important element of every customs clearance is the documentation. This can bring the most risk, as well as the most reward. You have no idea how rewarding it is when you show up and all the papers are fine. Unfortunately, this is a rare occasion. Usually, there is something missing. And the missing bits can ruin the entire experience. It could, sometimes, take months to get it all sorted out. Imagine not having access to your belongings for months at a time.

So, before we proceed to analyze customs in Saudi Arabia, let’s talk about the documentation. This is a comprehensive list of documents you will need. If you follow the list – you are going to have a smooth customs experience!

stack of paperwork
You will need quite a bit of paperwork for the customs clearance!

Documentation list

  • Each and every document must contain the first and last name of the customer as it is written in the passport. Any initials and abbreviations will not be accepted at the customs in Saudi Arabia. This rule has absolutely no exception.
  • You must have a copy of the passport with an entry visa.
  • One very important element is proof, in written form, of employment that is legalized by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce. If this body has not legalized your employment, alternatively you could seek the same document issued by the Saudi Government Agency.
  • You need to have a document that represents your work permit. Also, in addition to this, you will need a residence permit.
  • You need a list of your inventory with original values made for customs purposes, addressed to the customs office.
  • You need a certified proof that you, as a customer, are not suffering from AIDS.
  • A certificate of insurance.
  • If there are any locked items aboard your cargo, you must provide the customs in Saudi Arabia with all the keys.

This is the list of the most important documentation that is not negotiable. If you are missing any of these documents you are in for a rough ride at the customs.

man stacking stones
You need everything to fall into place. You can’t miss a single item on the list!

The regulations at the customs

Aside from the necessary documentation, there are different regulations you need to be prepared for. If you are hoping to achieve complete clarity in the customs, you will need to follow all of these by the letter. We are going to name the ones most relevant. Make sure to contact us if you are uncertain about some. It is safer and cheaper to ask than to be confronted with the customs unready.

The regulations are:

  • The owner of all the items being shipped must be, physically, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the time of the customs clearance taking place
  • All shipments (no exception) must be inspected and fall under the duty
  • All the items getting into the country must have the stamp showing the country of origin (for instance Made in China).
  • Any items that do not have proper, comprehensive packaging will be unboxed and completely tally within the port of discharges.

These are the fundamentals. However, make sure to ask and investigate everything beforehand. If you don’t know where to look, our logistics services KSA are at your entire disposition. Feel free to reach out!

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