Released On 20th Jul 2018
SASO Certificate Requirements in Saudi Arabia
[Update: February 2020] Since publishing this article, Saudi Arabia has introduced a new system, called SABER, for the registration of goods and issuance of Certificate of Conformity Certificates prior to import. Please read about SABER here and contact Mouse & Bear for further information.
If you're think of importing goods to Saudi Arabia, you'll need to learn how to acquire a SASO Certificate, but first, we'll guide you through some useful information that will help you through the process.
All countries have regulations in place that ensure imported goods meet certain standards. These standards include national security, quality, health, environmental, safety, and social accountability standards. But some countries lack the infrastructure to implement the necessary testing and inspection of imported goods to comply with these regulations upon arrival to their country.
In such cases they use third-party agencies such as Intertek to obtain the required testing, inspection, and certification services. This ensures the goods comply with import regulations for that country prIor to importation.
What is the SASO Certificate of Conformity?
Saudi Arabia is one such example of a country that relies on these third party services; imported goods to Saudi Arabia cannot clear customs without the correct export documentation - specifically a SASO CoC (Saudi Arabia Certificate of Origin). A SASO CoC is a Certificate of Conformity that is specific to Saudi Arabia. This document certifies that the item has been successfully tested and inspected to meet the country’s quality and safety standards.
The SASO certificate acts as a passport for the goods to clear customs. However even with a SASO, customs officials reserve the right to administer additional inspections and test procedures once the item arrives in Saudi Arabia.
Process for obtaining a SASO CoC
The process for obtaining a SASO CoC can take up to one month or more, so it is advisable to plan ahead when looking to export goods to Saudi Arabia. A prerequisite for obtaining this document from independent agencies is as follows:
- A signed and stamped commercial invoice on the company’s letterhead paper, stamped by your local chamber of commerce
- A certificate of origin obtained from your local chamber of commerce (to ensure the country of origin of the goods you wish to export)
Once you have sent this documentation to the agency, they will confirm what testing and inspections will be required. If you regularly export goods to Saudi Arabia, you may want to consider registering your products with the agency in order to expedite the testing and inspecting process. For example, the agency may only need to inspect products from perhaps one in five of your shipments.
Who can issue a SASO certificate?
Unfortunately, the caveat to this is not all agencies offering SASO CoC services are recognized in Saudi Arabia, which can make things complicated for companies wishing to export their goods to Saudi Arabian markets. It is important that these certificates are obtained only from authorized agencies recognized in Saudi Arabia.
Intertek is accredited for most of the technical regulations in all five regions of Saudi Arabia, with five Accreditation Offices to facilitate Conformity Assessment and Certificate issuance.
If you are unsure if the agency you are using for SASO certification is an authorized agency, or require help with importing your goods to avoid time delays and unnecessary costs, please contact Mouse & Bear Solutions to enquire. Mouse & Bear Solutions are committed to helping clients navigate even the most complicated global markets to ensure your technology hardware is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.
More information about Certificate of Conformity Regulation
For more detail about Certificates of Conformity Regulation and the procedures for issuing certificates of conformity for imported goods to Saudi Arabia, you might find the following resource useful:
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