Released On 12th Feb 2020
SABER system replaces SASO for Saudi Arabia imports
It is now very common to see individual countries introduce their own platforms to facilitate imports. We are all familiar with the Hong Kong TID system, or the CCC certification in China as well as the NOM in Mexico.
Up until recently, the requirements for importing into Saudi Arabia fell under the regulations dictated under the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO). A SASO CoC was a Certificate of Conformity which certified that goods had been successfully tested and inspected to meet the country’s quality and safety standards. Business got their equipment certified via third party companies licensed to authorise goods compliant with the SASO requirements – we wrote about it in this article about SASO CoC Requirements in Saudi Arabia.
However, since the beginning of February 2020, Saudi Arabia finalised an upgrade to these processes and introduced the SABER electronic platform. SABER is a computer system designed to allow the registration and issue of conformity certificates online before goods enter the country.
This is a new, mandatory, importer-based platform to ensure that goods entering the region are free from defects and abide by Saudi Arabia’s health and safety regulations.
The new platform also aims to accelerate the application process for entry of goods more efficiently. The original SASO procedure often caused long delays for companies and consumers importing their goods. SABER’s online tool is simple to use; it’s designed to reduce fraud and ensure Saudi consumers only buy compliant products.
How will SABER be fully implemented?
There are three steps that an importer must take to adhere to the SABER process if they wish to import goods:
- The importer is required to set up an account with SABER and enter the products they wish to import on the system.
- The importer must apply for Product Certificates of Conformity (Product CoC) and approvals (these are valid for a year).
- The importer has to upload copies of the invoices and apply for Shipment Certification of Conformity (Shipment CoC).
How will the SABER system changes our ability to do business in Saudi Arabia?
It is now the responsibility of the importing company based in Saudi Arabia to register their company, products and shipments on the system. This means that, when using an Importer of Record, the agent will perform the required entries. This will come with a cost, although Mouse & Bear plans to keep this to a minimum.