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Export to Saudi Arabia

Certificate of Conformity

All consumer goods imported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must be accompanied by a Certificate of Conformity signifying compliance with Saudi Arabia’s standards as set by the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization (SASO). Until 2005, the document had to be issued by SASO’s International Conformity Certification Program. Now, an accepted certification body from the product’s country of origin can issue the certificate. SASO may check products at random to ensure compliance with standards. A certificate is not required for medical equipment, medicine, components of large industrial projects, which must comply with the Kingdom’s sanitary regulations. A certificate is not required if the exporter provides documentation proving that the goods conform to Sharia law.

Export Documentation Requirements

Below is a list of documents required for all commercial shipments to Saudi Arabia. These documents should be presented to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia or one of the Saudi Consulates stapled together in the following order:

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Certificate of Origin
  3. Insurance Certificate (if goods are insured by the exporter)
  4. Bill of Lading (or Airway Bill)
  5. Steamship (or Airline) Certificate
  6. Packing List
  7. Other documents may be required depending on the goods being shipped.

Commercial Invoice

All commercial invoices must be printed on the exporting company’s letterhead. The invoice should contain the names and addresses of the shipper and the receiver. The goods must be accurately described, including the net and gross weight, quantity, unit price and extended price, contents of each container, currency, and any other information relevant in identifying the goods. The shipper should include the name of the vessel (or airline), the date of departure, the point of entry into Saudi Arabia, and any trademarks on the products. The invoice should also contain a statement signed by the exporting firm certifying that the information on the invoice is correct.

Certificate of Origin

The certificate of origin may be issued by the manufacturer or the exporting firm and must specify the origin of each item. If the merchandise is not exclusively a product of the U.S., a notarized “Appended Declaration to the Certificate of Origin” must be attached. This document is available at the any of the Saudi Consulates. The document must include the name and address of the Saudi importer, a description of the goods, the address of the shipping company, the name of the vessel or airline, the date of departure, and full information about the manufacturers including names, nationalities, and contact information.

Insurance Certificate

The insurance certificate must be issued by the insurance company. It must contain the actual amount of insurance, as well as a description of the goods, the vessel or aircraft, the port of discharge, and the name and address of the beneficiary. It should include an “Appended Declaration to Insurance Policy” (available from the Saudi Consulates) which states that the insurance company has a duly qualified and appointed agent or representative in the Kingdom, providing name and full address. If the shipment is insured by a Saudi insurance company, the exporter must provide the name and address of that company on the exporter’s letterhead.

The Bill of Lading (or Airway Bill)

One non-negotiable copy of the bill of lading must be presented to the Saudi Consulate. The bill of lading should match the commercial invoice in its complete description of the products, the importer and exporter, and the shipping information. Marks and numbers should correspond with those on the invoice and on the containers.

Steamship Certificate

The steamship certificate is an appended declaration to the bill of lading or airway bill and should be issued by the steamship company or airline. It must be notarized and must contain the name, nationality, and owner of the vessel or aircraft, as well as the names of the ports or airports that the craft will visit en route and the point of discharge for the shipment. The steamship company or airline should declare that the trip will not include any additional stops and that all of the information included is correct. This document is available from the Saudi Consulates.

Packing List

The packing list includes the name and addresses of the shipper and receiver, a full description and value of the exported goods, number of packages and their contents, number of seals, and L/C number (if applicable).

More information on exporting to Saudi Arabia, including requirements for specific products, is available in our publication, A Business Guide to Saudi Arabia.


Last Updated April 21, 2014
©2014 U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council