Saudi Arabia pursues a liberal trade policy with no quantitative or price
restrictions for importers. However, there are a number of regulations and
procedures governing business and trade in the Kingdom and adherence thereto
could be very helpful for those intending to do business in Saudi Arabia.
According to Royal Decree No. M/13 dated 10/5/1408 H., corresponding to
12/30/1987, and to the Saudi Council of Ministers order No. 86 dated 10/5/1408
H. (12/19/87) the following customs duties' rates have been in effect since
13/5/1408 H. (corresponding to January 2, 1988):
- Most of the basic consumer products are duty free, e.g., sugar, rice,
tea, unroasted coffee, cardamom, barley, corn, livestock and meat (fresh or
- Customs duties of 20% are imposed on some imported commodities for the
purpose of protecting the national infant industries.
- Customs duty on other items is 5% (Reduced
to 5% recently)on the
total cost value CIF (cost+ insurance+ freight).
- A limited number of items are subject to customs duties calculated on
the basis of metric weight or capacity, rather than ad Valorem. However, the
rates for these items are fairly low.
- Members of the Arab League who are signatories to the Agreement to
Facilitate Trade and Exchange and to Organize Transit between the Arab
League States are granted special concessions.
- Imports from the Arab states with which Saudi Arabia has bilateral trade
agreements are entitled to further reductions of duty.
Royal Decree No. M/56 dated 19/10/1407 H., corresponding to June 15, 1987,
has approved the international Brussels agreement of 14 June 1983 on the
Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). According to the
Minister of Finance and national Economy Order No. 3/1805 dated 19/10/1410 H.,
corresponding to May 14, 1990, the Kingdom has been implementing the Harmonized
System since 15/6/1411 H., corresponding to 1/1/1991. For details, contact
Customs Department (address).
The Commercial office, Embassy of Saudi Arabia,
Washington, D.C. and The Foreign Trade Statistics, Ministry of Finance and National Economy,
Central Department of Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi