Prohibited Items

Common Prohibited Items

Below is a list of items that are commonly prohibited in to ship:

Prohibited Items

The following goods are not allowed to be imported into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under any circumstances and will be destroyed upon arrival at the Saudi border.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Alcohol distilling equipment
  • All animal blood products
  • All kinds of Liquor, or items containing liquor as an ingredient
  • All narcotics without exception regardless of form.(Including poppy seeds)
  • Annoying car horns or horns that play tunes
  • Antiques & works Art
  • Asbestos
  • Blank invoices for companies established abroad
  • Christmas Trees
  • Counterfeit products that bear the brand of a manufacture or brand name of a commercial product, or a commercial title.
  • Crosses, Crucifixes or stars of David
  • Dangerous goods, hazardous or chemical combination materials
  • Dogs except with permission from the Saudi Arabian embassy in origin country (live Animals Banned for Carriage)
  • Explosives except by licensed importers
  • Firearms & parts thereof
  • Frogs meat
  • Furs & Ivory
  • Gambling devices or Slot machines
  • Gemstones
  • Jewellery
  • Label and packing material (can be imported only if consignee has a license agreement with the shipper or with permission from the customs authority)
  • Laser pens or pointers
  • Masks
  • Massage equipment indecently packaged
  • Musical greeting cards
  • Night vision binoculars or similar items
  • Nutmeg, seeds & powder thereof
  • Phonographic/Audio Visual media products, subject to authorization by the Ministry of
  • Information
  • Pigs (Swine) and pork products
  • Pornography
  • Postal envelopes
  • Soil samples
  • Spawn of silk-worms, any kinds of soil, leaf, stem, straw and natural manure used for agriculture,
  • Tobacco advertising materials
  • Used tires or retread tires

Controlled Goods

This section covers a range of commodities that require specific authority to import into the Kingdom from various government ministries or require certificates of conformance from the shipper.

Government Ministry Approvals

SFDA - Saudi Food & Drug Authority

The Saudi Arabian Customs Regulations require that the following products and commodities require SFDA approval prior to entry clearance into Saudi Arabia;

  • Medications and pharmaceuticals (prescription and non-prescription)
  • Laboratory chemicals and solutions
  • Reagents and diagnostics
  • Dietary supplements including vitamins
  • Cosmetics and perfumes

CITC - Communications & Information Technology Commission

The following products and commodities require approval from Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) prior to entry clearance of shipments into Saudi Arabia:

  • All wireless telecommunications equipment
  • Wireless computers
  • Networking equipment
  • All IT equipment
  • GPS equipment
  • Satellite communication equipment
  • Cell phones and Smart Phones
  • Certain Wi-Fi routers

MOCI - Ministry of Commerce & Industry

The following products and commodities require Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) approval prior to entry clearance of shipments into Saudi Arabia;

  • Chemicals, including Dangerous Goods
  • Ink products
  • Toners

MOI - Ministry of Information

100% of all shipments entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are inspected by any of the following means; X-Ray, sniffer dogs, manually. The following products and commodities may be intercepted at the time of import and sent to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Information for review and approval;

  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Compact discs – music or data files
  • Computer games
  • DVD's
  • Photographic media
  • Cards containing electronic information – e.g. satellite TV cards, ID cards, Maps


Products may be selected at random by the inspecting customs officer. Delays may be incurred. Should the material be rejected by MOI following inspection it will be confiscated for destruction and cannot be returned to the shipper.

If shipments arrive for clearance but consignee does not have the necessary approvals then long delays will occur before clearance (up to 90 days) while permission to import is obtained. Therefore, approval should be obtained by the consignee prior to shipping to Saudi Arabia.

General Rules

IMPORTANT: There are different value splits and accompanying rules depending upon the point of clearance in Saudi Arabia.

By Value - Upto $2,500 or SAR 9,375(Destined for Riyadh and Jeddah only but if value below $100 or SAR 375 destined for all of Saudi Arabia)

Non document shipments, up to $2500 or SAR 9375 and NOT mentioned on the list of prohibited items and controlled goods need only a detailed invoice from the shipper to clear through customs formalities into Saudi Arabia.

  • A detailed commercial invoice, with full accurate descriptions and preferably the HS Code for each item
  • A copy of the consignees Personal ID (Iqama)

By Value – Over $ 2,500 or SAR 9,375 (Destined for Riyadh and Jeddah only)

Non document shipments, over $2500 or SAR 9375 and NOT mentioned on the list of prohibited items and controlled goods need the following documentation;

  • A copy of your Personal ID (Iqama)
  • An authorization letter addressed to customs allowing DHL's broker to clear the shipment on your behalf
  • A Certificate of Origin attested by a competent authority to be created by the shipper prior to export (Extra charges apply, Contact Us)


We will provide a detailed invoice at all times and attach your Personal ID.

Private individuals may not import any items that require SFDA approval, including medicines or drugs covered by a prescription, cosmetics, herbal supplements etc.

Electronic items for personal use cannot exceed 4 of the same item. 5 or more will be classed as a commercial shipment and will require CITC and / or SASO approval prior to importation.

For commercial establishments please Contact Us.

Should you have any questions on any point covered in this briefing please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service team.