Exporting to Saudi Arabia: What needs to be considered?

Saudi Arabia is the second largest market for Switzerland in the GCC region and ranks 27th on the list of Switzerland's export trading partners. Swiss products and services benefit from an excellent reputation in Saudi Arabia. Swiss businesses are also popular as know-how providers in many industries. But what do you need to consider when exporting to Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia

Required export documents

1. Commercial invoice

In addition to the usual commercial information, the invoice must contain the following:

  • HS code and country of origin
  • Transport information such as name of the vessel / flight number and date of departure
  • Costs for freight and insurance are to be shown separately for CIF (Cost Insurance Freight) sales
  • Number and type of packages
  • Precise description of the goods including the net and gross weights
  • Legitimate signature of the exporter

Usually, the importer often also requires a declaration from the manufacturer. "The goods were manufactured by ... (name and address of the manufacturer).".

The commercial invoice must be certified by the responsible Chamber of Commerce.

2. Packing list

The shipment must be accompanied by a packing list containing an overview of the details and contents of the packages, including their dimensions and quantity.

3.    Declaration of origin

A EUR 1 movement certificate must be issued for preferential products of origin in accordance with the EFTA-GCC free trade agreement (Cooperation of the Arab Gulf States. This is irrespective of the value of the goods and also with the status of approved exporter, as the FTA does not provide for an invoice declaration.

4.    Certificate of origin

Regardless of whether the goods are preferential or not, a certificate of origin certified by the Chamber of Commerce is required.

The following declaration must be made on the reverse side of the certificate of origin:

"We hereby declare that the mentioned merchandise/foodstuff is being exported to Saudi Arabia on our own account. The goods are of pure national origin of ...."

This must be supplemented with the following additional declaration for goods that are not of Swiss origin:

"We certify that the goods are manufactured by: ... (Name and address of the manufacturer)."

Certificates of origin do not require consular legalization.

5.    Marking of goods

Products imported into Saudi Arabia must be marked with an indication of the country of origin, which cannot be removed. This can be done by engraving, sewing, printing or pressing.

You can also obtain detailed information on the import formalities applicable to your products in Saudi Arabia from our free customs database


All shipments to be delivered to Saudi Arabia require a "Product Certificate of Conformity (PCoC)" and a "Shipment Certificate of Conformity (SCoC)", which must be issued via the SABER platform. The registration of the products on the SABER platform is usually done by the importer registered in Saudi Arabia.

Products and packaging consisting of polyethylene or polypropylene must be made of an oxo-biological material that is approved in Saudi Arabia and labeled accordingly. Without the corresponding logo, the products cannot be imported into Saudi Arabia. In order to use the logo, the manufacturer or importer needs a license from SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation).

Sanctions / Embargoes / Export controls 

At the time of writing this article, no sanctions or embargoes have been imposed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, this can change at any time, which is why we recommend you check whether corresponding measures have been imposed prior to each export.

Certain products and product groups, such as dual-use goods, also require an export permit for delivery to non-sanctioned countries.In Saudi Arabia there is a general import ban on goods from Israel.

S-GE tips


In principle, all Incoterms clauses can be used for shipments to Saudi Arabia. You should be aware, however, that under the DDP (Duty Delivered Paid) clause, you as the seller bear maximum responsibility and must cover all costs. 

Terms of payment

Getting paid can be difficult, frustrating and time-consuming. It is therefore advisable to find a compromise with the Saudi company beforehand. A letter of credit, for example, is associated with fees, but is nevertheless less expensive than possible court proceedings.

All information in this article is provided for guidance only and is neither exhaustive nor legally binding.


If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the ExportHelp team of Switzerland Global Enterprise at or by phone 0844 811 812.