A number of Saudi businessmen
have criticized the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) for
introducing a fee for issuing “Country of Origin” certificates,
saying they were not informed about the SASO move in advance.
surprised when exporters informed us that there will now be a fee
payable to the organization’s overseas office,” one of the
businessmen told Al-Hayat Arabic newspaper.
that the new fee is yet another expense on top of charges already
levied by foreign companies and agents in order to complete routine
SASO introduced the
new fee on Aug. 1 on unlisted products, but its
enforcement was later postponed until Nov. 1. They charge $300
(SR1,125) for goods valued up to $60,000 and $1,000 ($3,750) for goods
between $60,000 and $250,000. Half a percent of the total value will
be charged for products worth more than $250,000.
suggestions that it was a new fee, SASO insisted that it had
originally been imposed five years ago. However, a SASO official
admitted to the Arabic daily that the implementation of the fee had
then been postponed after objections were raised by Saudi businessmen.
“SASO should make
it clear which products require ‘Country of Origin’ certificates.
They should also collect SASO fees from the place where the importer
is located,” another businessman speaking to the paper insisted.
He went on to
question the logic behind asking an importer to obtain the certificate
from the country of origin.
“We don’t see
that there is any sound reason for doing that. It merely makes us
incur additional expenditure, especially since SASO offices are not
even located in the countries from which exports are made. This means
we have to pay additional charges for express post,” one importer
blasted the organization for not informing Saudi importers of its
“The SASO should
have informed us, as it is of direct concern to us. We deal with goods
worth billions of riyals and it is unfair that we should hear about
such decisions second hand,” he stated.
emphasized the delays being caused by SASO offices to issue the
certificates because of the tiresome bureaucratic procedures. “We
are not sure whether the certificate was aimed at protecting consumers
or making money, as is clear from the way the officials deal with
certain products — especially cars.”
was established in 1972 as an independent organization. Its policies
are drafted by a board of directors chaired by the commerce minister.
The board includes representatives from related government departments
Source: Arab News