Import Tariffs: As a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi Arabia applies the GCC common external tariff of 5 percent for most products, with a limited number of GCC-approved country-specific exceptions. Saudi Arabia’s exceptions include 758 products that may be imported duty-free, including aircraft and most livestock. The Saudi government also applies a 12 percent tariff on 207 products, in some cases to protect local industries. Certain textile imports are among the products on which the 12 percent rate applies. Being a WTO member, Saudi Arabia is expected to bind its tariffs on over three-fourths of U.S. exports of industrial goods at an average rate of 3.2 percent, while tariffs on over 90 percent of agricultural products will be set at 15 percent or lower.
Import Requirements and Documentation: Under its WTO obligations, Saudi Arabia has committed to implement a transparent and predictable import licensing system. The Government of Saudi Arabia requires that local chambers of commerce around the United States perform the authentication of shipping documents. The following documents are required for exporting goods to Saudi Arabia: certificate of origin; commercial invoice (in triplicate) which must state the country of origin, name of the carrier, brand and quantity of goods, and description of the goods including weight and value; a clean bill of lading or airway bill; documents indicating compliance with health regulations, if applicable; insurance documents, if shipments are sent CIF; packing list; and certificate of conformity with applicable Saudi standards, if available. The original documents must be accompanied by an Arabic translation of a radiation certificate, if applicable.
The Department of Customs at the Ministry of Finance appraises all merchandise moving through Saudi customs ports. Import valuation is primarily used for collection of import duties and often does not reflect the actual transaction value. Saudi customs valuation procedures are not WTO- consistent, nor are they based on invoice value. Minimum prices are used, and customs agents rely on their own experience and local prices, as well as some contact with manufacturers, to assess import tariffs.
U.S. Export Controls: In the area of export control policy and regulation, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is charged with the implementation of U.S. export control policy on dual-use commodities, software, technology, and commodities on the Control Commodities List.
Source: The International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce www.export.gov