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DHL Guide > Export to Saudi Arabia

Export to Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East and the UK’s main trading partner in the Gulf. The country is politically and financially stable; diversification measures have reduced dependence on oil and gas and the private sector is thriving.

Current and upcoming projects include upgrading Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure, health and education systems and the construction of six industrial and four economic cities, including King Abdullah Economic City which will be home to one of the world’s largest ports.

Sources: DHL, Ernst & Young, Global Institute, GOV.UK, IMF, McKinsey Global Institute, UKTI, World Bank

For more detailed information when trading with Saudi Arabia, download our Saudi Arabia Fact Sheet.

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Saudi Arabia Fact Sheet (1 MB)

Read more detailed
information about Saudi Arabia

DHL Facts

Locations: 94

Gateways into the Country: 4

Number of Service Centres: 33

DHL Delivery Zone: 9

Vehicle Fleet: 494

Saudi Arabia: Country Profile
Capital: Riyadh EXPORTS FROM SAUDI ARABIA
Population: 27.3 million Exports from
Saudi Arabia:
US$ 376.3 billion (2013 est.)
Area: 2,149,690 sq km Export Commodities: Petroleum and petroleum products
Currency: 1 Saudi riyal (SAR) = 20 qirsh = 100 halala Top Export Destinations: United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Germany, USA, Netherlands, France, India, China, Egypt
GDP: US$ 927.8 billion (2013 est.) IMPORTS INTO SAUDI ARABIA
Time Zones: UTC +3 Imports into
Saudi Arabia:
US$ 147 billion (2013 est.)
Languages: Arabic Import Commodities: Machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Ethnic Groups: Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10% Top Import Origins: Germany, Australia, USA, India, Netherlands, China, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Italy
Transit Times
The times provided for
dutiable shipments
are based on the time
expected for Customs
in Saudi Arabia to clear
the shipment. This is
contingent upon the
value of the shipment.
Destination Non-Dutiable Shipment Dutiable Shipment
Riyahd 3 days 3 days
Jeddah 3 days 4 days
Dhahran 3 days 3 days
Medina 3 days 4 days
Hafar Al Batin 4 days 4 days
  • Further Information

    DHL can assist you with trading with Saudi Arabia. Contact the DHL team on 0844 248 0675

    DHL Customer Services is also available on 0844 248 0844

    Calls to DHL UK phone numbers beginning ‘084’ cost 7 pence per minute, plus your phone company’s

  • Duty Free Allowance

    All shipments are subject to duty and taxes as Saudi Customs do not offer a duty free allowance

Essential Customs Information

For an estimate of landed costs (duties, taxes and other import fees) for shipments going to Saudi Arabia use the free and interactive DHL Express Trade Automation Services (TAS) tool, tas.dhl.com. TAS also provides information on regulations compliance and trade documentation.

A SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation) Certificate of Conformity is required for all goods entering the country www.intertek.com/government/product-conformity/exports/saudi-arabia.

All goods valued over US$ 100 should be cleared on Importer of Record (IOR). Shipping to a private individual: receiver must provide their tax ID/passport number/residence ID. Businesses must provide the receiving company's Commercial Registration (CR) number.

All special clearance shipments (Over Value, Duty Exempt & Temporary Import) should include a Commercial Invoice and Certificate of Origin (COO), and the authority letter from the receiver must be available before the shipment arrives in the country.


Prohibited items specific to the Saudi Arabia:

The list below is in addition to DHL’s standard list of prohibited items.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Antiques
  • Asbestos
  • Dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials
  • Electronic Cigarettes
  • Firearms, or parts of
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Goods of Israeli origin/manufacture
  • Goods with the Saudi coat of arms
  • Imitation firearms /paraphernalia
  • Items offensive to the Muslim and Saudi culture, including religious publications & figures
  • Ivory
  • Jewellery
  • Military uniforms
  • Pictures of Mecca, Medina or the Saudi Royal Family
  • Pork products
  • Pornography
  • Postal envelopes
  • Precious metals & stones
  • Soil samples
  • TV Satellite Cards
  • Unprocessed tobacco

Restricted items specific to the Saudi Arabia:

8mm, 16mm & 35mm & entertainment films, audio cassettes, computer tapes & video cassettes, blank forms, compact discs, credit cards & credit card blanks (NI), computer software, diskettes, microfiche & microfilm, negatives including x-rays & films
Approval from Saudi Ministry of Information required. Duty shipments must have the phrase 'Made in [country of origin]' engraved, permanently printed or on a non-removable sticker or label. Items must be originals, not counterfeits.

Items with special specifications where the 'Made in' phrase cannot be included will be accepted if this is mentioned on the outer packaging. For goods manufactured in the EU, the country of origin should be written in the goods specifications and COO.


Computer components & parts
Parts must include country of manufacture information. Invoice must be detailed by line item and individual value.


Cosmetics and non-hazardous chemicals
Laboratory guarantee letter, authorisation letter attested, original COO and invoice required.


Drugs: Prescription & non-prescription
Receiver must obtain Saudi Ministry of Health approval and present a copy of the invoice to the Ministry for inspection.


Foodstuffs, including food supplements, personal or commercial
Saudi Ministry of Health approval required.


Grain samples
Send as goods. Receiver must obtain Import Permit from the Ministry of Commerce before the shipment is accepted at origin; include a copy in the shipping documentation.


Medical or dental supplies & equipment 
State Commodity Code on invoice and waybill.


Medical samples, including herbal supplements and medicines, personal or commercial
Prior approval from the Saudi Ministry of Health required.


Mobile phones, accessories & components, radios & radio equipment or parts, slides, telecommunication equipment and televisions & television equipment
Receiver must obtain authorities' permission before the shipment is received into Customs; contact DHL for more information. Duty shipments must have the phrase 'Made in [country of origin]' engraved, permanently printed or on a non-removable sticker. COO and invoices required for shipments containing more than two mobile phones.


Passports
Passports sent to Jeddah are held by Customs and sent to Saudi Passport & Immigration for the receiver to collect from there. Passports sent via Riyadh and Dhahran are cleared as normal.


Plants & plant products, including seeds
Passports sent to Jeddah are held by Customs and sent to Saudi Passport & Immigration for the receiver to collect from there. Passports sent via Riyadh and Dhahran are cleared as normal.


Promotional or training films
Customs will impose duties (minimum: US$ 160) on promotional cassettes based on an assessment of value.


For communications equipment, toys, satellite dishes & equipment and x-ray machines please contact DHL Customs Services before shipping.

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