Shipping To Saudi Arabia Guide - Get A Quote


Shipping to Saudi Arabia

China and Saudi Arabia have long enjoyed good trade relations and the close trade relationship has sustained companies exporting large quantities of goods from China to Saudi Arabia.

If you are about to import or export goods between China and Saudi Arabia, then you should be aware of the shipping options available between the two countries. JIKEship is your ideal freight forwarding partner, connecting the two countries and shipping your goods efficiently.

To make this easier for you, we have answered questions on this page about the different shipping options, costs, transit times, customs clearance and ports of entry and exit.

shipping to saudi arabia,ports in saudi arabia,saudi arabia international airport

Sea freight to Saudi Arabia

Maritime transport contributes approximately 59.5% of Saudi Arabia's total imports and has clear advantages over air transport. For example, the high carrying capacity, the low costs and the flexibility of sea freight options.

Ports in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has 10 ports, four of which overlook the Persian Gulf coast and six of which are on the coast of the Red Sea. About 13% of world trade passes through these ports and they are directly linked to all economic, industrial and commercial activities in all the Kingdom's regions and cities.

Saudi Arabia's main Red Sea ports include Jeddah, Jazan, King Fahd Industrial Port in Yanbu, Yanbu Commercial Port, and Duba Port; Saudi Arabia's main ports in the Persian Gulf include Port du roi Abdelaziz: Dammam, Ras al-Khair Port, King Fahd Industrial Port, Jubail Commercial Port. The main sea freight lines shipping to Saudi Arabia from China call at the ports of Dammam and Jubail.

Sea freight transit times

We should need to know that the time for shipping to Saudi Arabia is determined by several aspects, such as the location, the size of the shipment, the season, etc., each of which may affect the timeliness of the whole transport.

In general, sea transit times are relatively constant at around 15 to 25 days. Unless there is particularly bad weather, sea transit times can be affected. In the case of fast ships, the transit time will be shorter.

Port to Port Door to Door
Sea Freight (FCL) 13-25 days 22-26 days
Sea Freight (LCL) 16-28 days 23-28 days

Airfreight to Saudi Arabia

Air freight services are available for urgently needed goods, lightweight goods and high-value and high-risk goods such as weapons and jewelry.

It is safer and faster than sea freight.

However, using this service is expensive and many factors affect the cost of air freight, such as the weight of the goods, the nature of the goods, etc.

Saudi Arabia International Airport

  • King Fahd International Airport (KFIA)

It is located 25 km northwest of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest airport in the world in terms of area (780 square kilometers), even larger than neighboring Bahrain.

The Saudi Arabian General Civil Aviation Authority finally opened the new Dammam King Fahd International Airport to commercial traffic on 28 November 1999, when all airlines transferred their operations from the previously used airport at Dhahran.

The new Dammam airport serves the entire eastern part of Saudi Arabia.

  • King Khalid International Airport (Ruh)

King Khalid International Airport is located 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and was designed in 1983.

The airport is the gateway to the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the center of national air transport. It was built to meet the international and local air transport requirements of the Riyadh region.

Air Freight Rates

The cost of air freight is based on the heavier weight between the gross weight and the volumetric weight.

Air freight prices for shipping to Saudi Arabia from China are usually divided into five categories:45kgs, 100kgs, 300kgs, 500kgs, 1000kgs, each class has a different price and of course the price varies from different airlines.

Air freight transit times

When you have small shipments that need to be shipped at the expected speed, you should consider express delivery. After all, express shipping is always door to door.

Port to Port Door to Door
Air Freight 3- 6 days 6 -12 days
Express --- 1- 4 days

Duties and customs clearance in Saudi Arabia

Customs duties and import taxes in Saudi Arabia average around 4.85%. All import duties are based on the value of the goods, i.e. CIF. Certain goods are exempt from customs duties, such as books, laptops, and other electronics.

Saudi Arabia does not levy VAT on imported goods and there is no import duty threshold in Saudi Arabia, regardless of the value of the imported goods.

Only Saudi companies, which are 100% owned by Saudis can import. Importers need to obtain a license from the Department of Commerce and Industry and then consult the relevant authorities depending on the nature of the goods to be imported.

Customs clearance

shipping to saudi arabia,ports in saudi arabia,saudi arabia international airport

According to the requirements of Saudi Customs, all bills of lading for shipments to Saudi Arabia must be shown after the address of the consignee.

  • Consignee's Importer Number
  • Consignee CR number
  • Consignee's mobile number

If the consignee is "To Order" or "To Order of Bank" etc., the above three numbers must be shown after the address of the notifying party.

Customs regulations state that "all goods should have an importer/exporter customs registration number", which is to be registered by the import/export company with Customs, not the HS code. The customs registration code of the consignee requires the foreign trade operator to ask the customer and explain the customs regulations to the customer to avoid misunderstandings.

In addition, all bills of lading sent to Saudi Arabia will not be accepted if it has the following cases:

  • The consignee or notifier is not an Arab company or person.

  • The bill of lading indicates that the goods are to be transshipped by road to a country other than Saudi Arabia.

  • The main ports covered by this regulation are. JEDDAH Port, DAMMAM Port, RIYADH Port.

Import Conditions

The following conditions must be met for shipping to Saudi Arabia.

  • Have a valid business record, as long as the activity shown is the same as the cough listed.

  • Be sure to obtain your own customs code, which is easily available when you submit your commercial records to the customs authorities.

  • The original documents of origin of the goods, provided they are certified by the Chamber of Commerce of the country where the goods are received.

  • An import invoice certified by the Ministry of Commerce of the country of origin of the goods.

  • A document stating that the incoming goods comply with Saudi or international specifications.

  • A label on the merchandise that cannot be removed, indicating the country of origin or export.

  • The expiry date of the merchandise to be in accordance with Saudi standards.

  • The imported medical goods must be registered with the Ministry of Health.

  • As for visual, auditory or printed publications, the customs office sends samples of them to the Ministry of Information and Culture to ensure that they do not infringe intellectual property rights.

  • As for animals and plants, they are subject to testing by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that they meet health standards.


  • A certificate of origin certified by the local chamber of commerce and translated into Arabic. It should accurately state where the goods were produced. The CO is the ID for your goods.
  • Saudi customs invoice (in triplicate) - required for most imports into Saudi Arabia (except for low monetary values).
  • Bill of Lading. A certified document (in triplicate) that clearly indicates the country of origin, the name of the carrier, the brand and quantity of the goods, and a clear description of the goods, including weight and value.
  • Commercial invoice: A descriptive invoice describing all the goods and containing the HS code.
  • Packing list. It should detail the HS code of the goods you are forwarding.
  • Insurance documents. If the imported goods are being forwarded, the original document must be accompanied by an Arabic translation.
  • SASO (Saudi Arabian Standards Organisation) Certificate of Conformity, is issued by a certification body recognized by the country of origin.
  • All these documents must be stamped by the following organizations: the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the exporting country, the "bilateral" Chamber of Commerce, and the Saudi Arabian Consulate of the exporting country.


  • For fruit, seeds, and vegetables, a phytosanitary certificate is required.

  • For meat, a health certificate from the veterinary authority of the exporting country is required, as well as a slaughter certificate from the competent Islamic authority of the exporting country showing that it has been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic rites.

These documents must be signed by the Chamber of Commerce or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

JIKE’s tips
In business and trade exchanges with Saudi Arabia, some basic common sense should also be observed. For example, Saudi Arabia has rest days on Thursdays and Fridays, rather than the usual Saturdays and Sundays. Some commercial enterprises are closed on Fridays only. Government hours are generally only from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm; other companies generally operate from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm, and the time difference between Saudi Arabia and China is five hours.
China freight forwarder
JIKEship, a China-based global company, is trusted by clients for its professionalism, experience and quality service.

We use third-party cookies in order to personalise your experience.

Read our cookie policy