Definition of the Saudi Customs Authority and its role in securing trade exchange

Definition of the Saudi Customs Authority and its role in securing trade exchange

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The Saudi Customs Service is an official body responsible for regulating the import or export of goods from outside the Kingdom. Through its effective management, the Kingdom is able to facilitate business operations between the exporter and the importer, as well as improve international trade security and the productivity and availability of goods. This means adequate and sound competitiveness, which builds mutual capacities and enhances purchasing power between Saudi Arabia and other countries. However, all of these measures are in accordance with a specific law regulating trade operations in order to achieve their stated objectives. These regulations make transactions between traders and some of them easier and promote economic prosperity in the Kingdom.

What is the Saudi Customs Authority?

The Saudi Customs Authority is the body that regulates trade exchange between the Kingdom and other countries by setting controls and standards that make procedures related to buying and selling goods across borders simpler. It follows up and organizes commercial activities across all border crossings, including airports and ports throughout the Kingdom as a whole, while undertaking customs monitoring, inspection, and inspection operations, as well as reporting and collecting fees and taxes imposed on goods.

Definition of customs clearance

The customs clearance process describes the movement of goods and commodities within the customs authority and their passage through official procedures after receiving them from the sender until they are delivered to the addressee. It is an organizational process whose goal is to complete commercial exchange operations easily and quickly while preserving the goods in their condition and quality until they are delivered.

The customs clearance process goes through several mandatory steps, starting from the moment the goods arrive at the port or border crossing, where they are unloaded in preparation for examination. Here, the customs broker, if any, extracts the delivery permit for that shipment and also submits the prescribed navigational statement with other documents.

Customs inspection work is carried out to determine the type, source, and value of the goods by customs experts and ends with confirmation of the customs tariff value imposed on them. They are then approved and passed after payment.

There are cases in which the shipment is transferred to the supplying bodies, and here the display fees are paid for examination by those bodies to grant it either full or conditional approval or to deny its entry into the country. Once approved, it finally passes through the x-ray machine to complete its final examination and is then transported to the recipient’s warehouses.

The role of the Saudi Customs Authority in trade exchange

The Customs Authority regulates trade exchange operations between Saudi Arabia and other countries. It also sets critical laws and imposes fees that must be collected on goods transported from outside the Kingdom to inside, or vice versa. Thus, the Customs Authority facilitates international trade operations and makes them more capable of achieving national goals. Among the actions undertaken by the Saudi Customs Authority to achieve this are the following:

Restrictions on the movement of international goods

The Customs Authority works to legalize the exchange of certain goods with the aim of enhancing their production internally or preventing the reduction of internal reserves, meaning that if the Kingdom does not produce enough wood, for example, the Customs imposes several laws on its import and export so that its productivity increases internally, as long as this is possible. They are not exported except after achieving sufficiency of them, and this improves their production and sale internally and achieves sufficiency of them quickly, which makes the level of income and profits of internal trade greater and improves the chances of profit from the sustainability of international trade in these products.

Customs tax

Imposing fees on the movement of incoming and outgoing goods is one of the most important things done by the Saudi Customs Authority. This aspect enhances the country’s economy, increases the degree of trade security between the supplier and the importer, and contributes to studying the type of imported goods and ensuring the market’s need for them before buying them and trying to sell them, which contributes to raising the merchant’s profits.

Trust between the merchant and the importer

Customs procedures in general enhance trust between the two parties to the trade due to going through their studied procedures and the necessity of understanding the method and purpose of customs clearance, which reduces the chances of fraud, lack of seriousness, etc.

Customs inspection

Inspecting goods before entering the Kingdom or removing them from it through customs prevents the chances of importing damaged or harmful goods to consumers, which means that this examination prevents the stagnation of goods and the loss of the buyer’s money and returns them to the sender under the condition that they do not conform to customs specifications.

Achieving transparency

Customs clearance laws make trade more transparent and easy. There are no opportunities for deception and no difficulties in the movement of goods. All you have to do is submit documents indicating the details of the goods and their condition, and the other party also hands over its supporting documents. The goods and their details are verified, and then they continue on their way in complete safety and without any problems. .

Strengthening business relations

The regulatory procedures imposed by the Saudi Customs Authority contribute to making trade relations stronger between the merchant and the importer, which makes exchange opportunities between them sustainable.

Achieving efficiency and productivity

The Customs Authority signs initiatives and agreements between the Kingdom and other countries to expand international trade operations with the aim of obtaining goods and exporting them easily while lifting some restrictions on them. This is what helps achieve prosperity and implement all the goals that make citizens in general and merchants in particular work in more advanced and civilized circles.

Conditions for merchant accreditation at the Customs Authority

Among the general goals that the Saudi Customs Authority seeks to achieve is securing trade operations in the Kingdom and abroad. Accordingly, no merchant is accepted into the Saudi Customs Authority unless it is confirmed that he complies with the following conditions:

  • Providing proof of his identity without requiring that he be a Saudi, in addition to submitting all required official documents through the Authority’s website either before or after release.
  • Submit all invoices related to his trade exclusively in Arabic.
  • Provide complete details supported by documents, a statement of the goods and methods of transport, along with a notarized certificate proving the country of origin, and take care to have it approved by the Saudi embassy.
  • He delivers the commercial invoice he obtains from the Chamber of Commerce, along with health certificates and papers related to each commodity separately, before the shipment arrives at the port where it is expected to be delivered.

Conditions for accepting goods at the Saudi Customs Authority

As we explained previously, goods do not pass through the Saudi Customs Authority except after ensuring that they meet the conditions, and among these conditions are the following:

  • Submit all official documents related to the goods, especially the national identity, the goods’ waybill, and their customs declaration. It is preferable to submit these documents through Saudi Customs electronic services.
  • Submitting a statement of approvals based on which the goods are to be moved commercially.
  • Determine the type of goods, whether personal or commercial, because personal goods have certain quantities, and anything in excess of them is subject to customs as commercial goods.
  • Payment of fees is determined according to the type of goods, their value, and the country with which trade is conducted.
  • Any document or invoice may only be submitted in Arabic, and invoices in English or written in other languages are not accepted.
  • The goods being traded must be neither locally nor internationally prohibited in order to be accepted by the customs department.

Saudi customs fees for goods

The customs tariff imposed on goods that move internationally to and from the Kingdom is subject to fees that are determined according to many factors. The fees have been imposed on some goods in accordance with the Saudi Customs Manual as follows:

  • When importing vegetables and trying to bring them into the Kingdom, a fee of 15% of the value of the original goods is imposed.
  • The same rate is imposed on household products, such as furniture, carpets, household electrical appliances, and others.
  • The Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority sets a customs tariff of 15% on cars and vehicles, along with related supplies such as oils and spare parts.
  • When importing meat, a tax of 2% to 15% is imposed, depending on several data points and factors determined by the Saudi Zakat and Tax Authority.
  • When importing dairy products, marble, plumbing tools, and cosmetics, the tariff may not be calculated at all or may reach 15%, depending on some factors.

Customs fees on personal goods

Goods imported or exported as personal may be exempt from customs and have a different customs tariff than commercial goods, but there are restrictions that specify those goods to separate commercial goods from those intended for personal use, and these laws include the following:

  • Do not complete any transaction without providing proof of the personal identity of the holder of the goods, while ensuring that the shipment is of a personal nature.
  • The quantities of goods that an individual carries are an indication of their type. If he carries more than five mobile phones, for example, fees will be imposed on them by the Saudi Customs Authority, and their exemption as personal goods will be waived.
  • If the total value of personal goods exceeds 1,000 riyals, a fee of 5% or more will be imposed, depending on their value and type.
  • Bags with contents weighing more than 32 kg are not treated as personal baggage and may be subject to customs tariffs.

How is the customs tariff on goods calculated?

The value of the added tax on the product must be determined, which amounts to approximately 15% of its value, with an increase of 11% imposed as a customs duty for any type of goods at the present time. Knowing that the Customs Authority calculates its fees separately for each commodity and is based on the value of the commodity in the market,.

There is a simple equation that enables you to easily calculate the customs value of your goods, which is as follows:

  • If we assume that the duty imposed on the item is 5%,.
  • The purchase price of the goods is $10,000.
  • So we multiply the value of the imported goods.
  • We add to this by multiplying the value of the added tax (about 15% of its value) by the value of the goods at customs, which gives us the amount required for the customs tariff.

Are there goods exempt from the Saudi Customs Authority?

Sometimes some products are exempted from customs tariffs in order to improve their commercial movement inside and outside the Kingdom. These exempted goods include the following:

  • Cheese, butter, and all dairy products.
  • Pipes and wires.
  • Some sanitary ware
  • Honey (unnatural).


We have provided you with comprehensive details about the way the Saudi Customs Authority works and how it contributes to strengthening the Saudi economy, which positively affects trade exchange operations and improves the situation of the merchant and the importer. The Saudi Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority is interested in increasing opportunities for trade exchange in order to achieve a more advanced standard of living for the citizens of the Kingdom and its investors. Therefore, it is interested in establishing and following up on these regulatory procedures and exempting some cases from them according to its vision, while allocating specific procedures to different cases. Since all these transactions take a long time to complete, the goods may be damaged or cause an increase in their final cost. Therefore, the Qoyod program allowed you a free trial for 14 days so that you could benefit from it as an accounting program that enables you to complete customs clearance procedures smoothly and flexibly and obtain your goods as soon as possible. Only with Qoyod will you not have to pay additional costs under the heading of storing goods at ports or renting the berths on which goods are loaded.

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