What are Saudi Customs Tariffs?

The world has changed a lot in the past couple of decades. Economic reforms like liberalisation and globalisation have changed the landscape of global business completely. The former has had a particularly huge impact on the life of an average person, because it has made imported, high-quality goods easily accessible to the middle-class. These reforms have also opened up potentially staggering markets in many countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a goldmine for the import-export business, with the generally high standard of living and prosperity in the nation. The market has proven to be a revelation, and many business organisations are looking to exploit this potential. However, things are never that easy and exporting into Saudi Arabia is a process fraught with complications.

Saudi Customs – Things to check

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a large list of banned items which shall be seized upon entry, with a fine or punishment levied on those in possession. All of the goods entering the nation are subjected to thorough checking by X-rays, sniffer dogs and even manual checking. Importers must always make sure that none of the banned items are present in their packages, as the punishment can be very harsh.
All goods imported into the country must also be accompanied by the correct set of documents for smooth processing through Saudi Customs. These documents include Certificate of Conformity, SASO Certificate, Airway bill and others. The list varies according to the goods imported and it is highly recommended that the importers avail the services of the best logistics companies in the UAE before starting the import process into the nation.

Customs Tariff

Like every other nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has imposed a Customs tariff on all goods imported into the country. This tariff is usually collected upon entry and it varies according to the nature of the imported goods.
The average customs duty for imported goods stands at 4.85%. This means that the importer has to pay a duty of 4.85% on the total value of the imported goods. Some goods have a higher customs tariff, goods like steel, cement, furniture, organic and liquid detergents are taxed at 20% to protect the rising national industry. Similarly, tobacco products have a customs duty of 30%. In order to protect local food production, higher tax rates are also imposed on some of the food products imported into Saudi Arabia.

Some imported goods are exempt from customs duties as well. These include most of the basic consumer goods, including sugar, rice, tea, unroasted coffee, wheat, livestock and meat. Saudi Arabia has also signed trade agreements with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) which allow the member countries total exemption from customs duties. Similarly, Saudi Arabia is also part of the League of Arab States (Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) and the member nations charge each other a reduced customs duty of 10%. However, it would be wise to check with the embassy and other experts before importing any goods into the nation.

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