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  • Imports of plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds, live animals and poultry must have the prior approval of the appropriate Saudi Arabian authorities and must be accompanied by a phytosanitary or health certificate stating that they are free from pests and other diseases. All shipments of plants will be inspected upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
  • Shipment of hazardous materials must have the prior approval of the Ministry of Interior in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • According to Royal Decree No. 5/E/27748 dated 24/11/1402 H. (corresponding to September 12, 1982), the country of origin must be mentioned on all products imported into Saudi Arabia, except when it is not feasible, as in the following list of examples:

 (a) Small spare parts, nails, pins, nuts, etc. In this case, the country of   origin should be mentioned on the package or box.
(B) Barbed wires, metal sheets, unfinished boards of glass, wood, marble, etc. In this case, the country of origin should be mentioned on the band.
(C) Raw materials or semi-finished products used as an input by national industries.

  • Carpet manufacturers and suppliers must indicate in Arabic the following data which is to be applied on each 5 meters along the carpet roll length:

    (A) Thickness or weight of each square meter.
    (B) Pile weight.
    (C) Country of Origin.
    (D) Type: Indicate whether made of nylon, wool, acrylic or polypropylene.

All carpet manufacturers, suppliers and distributors have to show the captioned data on the sales invoice.

  • Shaving brushes and other articles made of raw hair should be accompanied by a recognized official certificate showing the consignment to be free from anthrax germs.
  • Importing used clothing requires an official disinfections certificate. These goods will be subject to inspection by the Saudi Arabian quarantine officials.
  • Islamic Law strictly forbid the importation, sale and use of pork and its products, liquor and narcotics.
  • Saudi laws forbid the importation of firearms. Arms for hunting and similar sports arms need special permission.
  • Books, publications, audio and video materials are subject to inspection and approval by customs for entry into the Kingdom. In particular, obscene literature and Communist propaganda will not be allowed entry.
  • Medical drugs for personal use in small quantities are allowed. Travelers should be ready to show the inspectors the necessary documents to identify the drugs and the medical documents (e.g. doctor's prescription) to prove that the medicine is for personal use.
  • Non-commercial shipments of less than 10,000 Saudi Riyals (about $2,600) and cars imported into the Kingdom for personal use, regardless of their value, do not require shipping documents.
  • Commercial samples are subject to the payment of customs duty and surcharge either by a deposit equal to the duty at the time of import or by a bank guarantee. A refund is made if the goods are re-exported within 12 months. In the event of samples being sold, neither deposit nor guarantee will be refunded.

     Prior permission to import samples must be obtained from the Director General of Customs, Customs Department (see here for address), who should be furnished with lists of samples, prices and catalogues. A non-refundable duty of 12% is levied for imports of samples of jewelry and watches. Authenticated shipping documents are required for all shipments of commercial samples


Sources: 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 Arabia.

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