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The Saudi Government is committed to assist the private sector in handling domestic and foreign trade. In pursuit of its efforts to contain inflation, the Ministry of Commerce regularly checks the supply and prices of basic commodities such as flour, rice, sugar, milk and milk products, vegetable oil and ghee substitute, frozen meat and the imported animal feeds (barley, sorghum and millet).


Supply Policy:

 The Government has formulated a supply policy to achieve the following specific objectives:

  • Procuring essential commodities continuously and in sufficient quantities for all markets.
  • Providing supply items at reasonable quantities and prices.
  • Expanding consumer choice.
  • Reinforcing fair competition among suppliers.
  • Encouraging the establishment of distribution chains and upgrading the level of commercial services in general.
  • Promoting better understanding and cooperation between the private commercial sector and the government.

Further, the supply policy inspired by the country's socio-economic conditions is based on the following principles:

  • Reliance on the private enterprise system under normal conditions.
  • Government intervention only under abnormal conditions and when it is absolutely necessary.
  • Fixation of local ceiling prices for a selected number of basic supply and food items in order to make these available to the majority of consumers and also to protect the consumers from volatile international market prices of commodities. At the same time, an appropriate subsidy scheme is in force to compensate importers of supply commodities when the cost of importation exceeds local ceiling prices.
  • Fixation of ceiling profit margins in the trade of another group of essential supply commodities.
  • Monitoring and regulation by government of import storage and warehousing operations carried out by the private sector with respect to supply commodities.

Consumer Protection Objectives and Functions:

 Main objectives are: 

  • To protect the consumer from all kinds of commercial fraud and to keep him well-informed.
  • To prevent the rise of monopolies.
  • To contribute to price and cost of living stability.
  • To achieve better quality control in locally produced and imported foods and other consumer products by checking on specifications and standards adopted by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization or internationally. This is also done by examining the product’s conformity to the religious requirements of Islam.
  • To ensure the commercial application of standardization rules with respect to volumes, weight, and measures.
  • To ensure the commercial application of precious metal specifications with respect to gold, silver, platinum, etc.

Major functions are: 

  • Product and Price control.
  • Quality control.
  • Standardization and Hallmarking.

For further details on supply and consumer protection regulations and other connected matters, contact the Directorate-General of Supply or Directorate-General of Quality Control and Inspection, Ministry of Commerce (see here for address).


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 Sources: The Commercial office, Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C. and compiled by Saudia-Online staff

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Updated on:07 Apr 2000

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