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 frozen).
- Customs duties of 20% are imposed on some imported commodities for the purpose of protecting the national infant industries.
- Import duty on other items is 12% ad valorem on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight) value.
- 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 Saudi Arabia has been implementing the Brussels Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (H.S.) since 1991
Documents Required to Export Meat to Saudi Arabia
The documents required for all commercial shipments to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are:
- Commercial invoice
- Certificate of origin
- A bill of lading (or airway bill)
- A steamship (or airline) company certificate
- An insurance certificate (if goods are insured by the exporter)
- Packing list
- Hallal Certificate
Additional documents may be required, depending on the type of goods being shipped, on certain requests from the Saudi importer or in the letter of credit (L/C), or according to a contract.
The exporter is responsible for authenticating the certificate of origin, the commercial invoice, and any special documents. The documents must be certified in the following order:
- Notarized by a Notary Public and certified by a local Exporting country Chamber of Commerce.
- Certified by the Exporting country-Saudi Arabian Business Council.
- Legalized by the Saudi Embassy or any Saudi Consulate in the Exporting country
All shipments must contain two basic documents — the Certificate of Origin and the Commercial Invoice — and any other related documents required by the L/C to be certified and legalized. Each document should be prepared in (at least) an original and one copy. All documents (original or copies) should bear the handwritten signature of the person issuing the document. Facsimile signatures are not accepted.
In addition, two copies of the Export Information Sheet (EIS) must be filled out, signed by an official of the exporting/shipping company and submitted with the other required shipping documents.
Commercial Invoice for Meat Export to Saudi Arabia
All commercial invoices must be on the exporting company’s letterhead. The invoice should contain the names and addresses of the consignor and the consignee, and must accurately describe goods and components (including the six-digit Harmonized System number), trademarks, name of the vessel (or airline) and the date of sailing, port of loading and port of discharge, net and gross weight, quantity, unit price and extended price of each type of goods, total value of the shipment, contents of each package and container, currency, L/C number (if applicable) and freight and insurance.
As of May 18, 1996, Saudi customs authorities have emphasized that commercial invoices issued by exporters should contain an accurate description the goods being exported to the Kingdom.
Certificate of Origin for Import in Saudi Arabia
The certificate of origin must be issued by the manufacturer (or the exporting firm), and must include the name of the vessel (airline) and the date of sailing, name(s), nationality(ies), and full street address(es) of the manufacturer(s) of all items to be shipped to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the origin of each item or component must be specified. In addition, a signed statement to the effect that the document is true and correct must be given. If the merchandise is not solely and exclusively a product of the exporting country, a notarized “Appended Declaration to Certificate of Origin” must be attached to the certificate of origin.
In addition, the certificate of origin must include the name and address of the Saudi importer, a description of the goods, and the address of the shipping company.
The Bill of Lading (or Airway bill)
One nonnegotiable copy of the bill of lading is to be presented to a Saudi Arabian Consulate. The bill of lading should agree with the commercial invoice and show description, value, net and gross weight of shipped goods, volume and measurement, marks, number of packages, name and address of the consignee (Saudi importer) and consignor, name and address of shipping company and/or shipping agent, name of vessel and date of sailing, port of loading and port of discharge. Marks and numbers should agree with those on the invoice and containers.
This certificate (which is an Appended Declaration to Bill of Lading or airway bill) should be issued by the steamship (or airlines) company in at least one original. It must be notarized and contain the following information about the vessel (or plane), named in the Bill of Lading or the airline company certificate:
- Name of vessel (plane), and previous name (if applicable)
- Nationality of vessel (plane)
- Owner of vessel (plane)
- Names of ports (airports) that the vessel (plane) will call on en route to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including port (airport) of loading and port (airport) of discharge.
Further, the steamship (airlines) company certificate should declare that the vessel (plane) shall not anchor or call on any other ports (airports) than those mentioned in it, and that all information provided in the certificate is true and correct. The standard form of “Appended Declaration to the Bill of Lading” (or airway bill) is available from the Saudi Consulates.
Insurance Certificate for Export to Saudi Arabia
This certificate (issued by an insurance company in at least one original) must contain the actual amount of insurance, description and value of insured goods, name of vessel, port of loading and Saudi port of discharge, and name and address of beneficiary. In addition, the “Appended Declaration to Insurance Policy” (available from the Saudi Consulates) should state that the insurance company has a duly qualified and appointed agent or representative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, giving his name and full address.
If the shipment is insured by an insurance company in Saudi Arabia, the exporter, on their letterhead, must state the name and address of that company.
This includes names and addresses of consignor and consignee, description and value of the exported goods, net and total weight, number of packages and their contents, number of containers and contents, numbers of seals, and L/C number (if applicable).
Depending on the nature of exported goods to Saudi Arabia, or according to a request from the Saudi importer, certain documents may also be required. Special certificates or documents also need to be authenticated according to the procedure for authentication of shipping documents described above.
Food Products Export Documents
Requirements for labeling food and food products sold in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are determined by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO). Exporters of these products should comply (among other SASO standards) with Mandatory Standards SSA 1/1984, whether for sample demonstration or for commercial shipments, and must provide the following certificates:
Food Manufacturer’s Ingredients Certificate: This certificate should include a description of the exported food products (contents and percentage of each ingredient), chemical data, microbiological standards, storage, and life of product (date of manufacture and date of expiration). When products contain any animal fats, the certificate must confirm the kind of animal from which it is taken, or state that no pork meat or its artificial flavor nor its animal fat is being used. This certificate must be obtained from a local health department and must be signed.
Consumer Protection Certificate: This certificate confirms the healthiness of the various ingredients of the exported food products to Saudi Arabia, and their safety and fitness for human consumption. The certificate must be obtained from an office of the Exporting country Department of Agriculture and must be signed.
Price List: The price list should be issued by the exporter on his letterhead, and should indicate that the prices of the exported products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are the standard local market prices.
Import of Meat in Saudi Arabia
In addition to the general shipping documents all meat shipments must be accompanied by the following certificates:
- A certificate of “Halal” meat: This certificate indicates that slaughtering has taken place in an officially licensed slaughterhouse according to Islamic procedures. The “Halal” meat certificate should be legalized by a recognized Islamic Center.
- An Official Health Certificate: This certificate should indicate the date of slaughter, kind of animal and average age, in each shipment. The health certificate must also indicate that animals were examined within twelve hours before being slaughtered, and directly after, by a licensed veterinarian, and were found free from disease and suitable for human consumption.
The Health Certificate is required for all exports to Saudi Arabia of all kinds of meats, (including poultry and seafood), meat products, livestock, vegetables, fruits, and human blood, attesting to the fact that they are free from pests and/or disease.
Shipment of Livestock to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In addition to the general shipping documents, the shipment must include:
- Certificate of Weight, showing the average weight of the exported livestock
- Health Certificate, from the exporting country Department of Agriculture verifying that the livestock are free from disease
- Health Certificate, issued by a veterinarian
- Pedigree Certificate, issued by the exporting country Department of Agriculture
- Production records
- Declaration of Inspection and Acceptance
Legal Documents Required for Export to Saudi Arabia
Legal Documents include:
- Power of Attorney
- Agency Agreements
- Sole Distributorship
- Trade Marks Registration
- Certificates of Free Sale
- Bid or Tender Documents
- Registration of Partnerships, Corporations, or Joint Ventures
All companies’ documents must be legalized as follows:
- Notarized by a Notary Public
- Certified by the Registrar, where the Notary Public is commissioned
- Certificate by the District Authority
- Certificate under the seal of the Secretary of the Provincial Department.
- Legalized by a Saudi Consulate