When can a Saber Exemption Request be used for imports to Saudi Arabia?

Almost all imports into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia require an accompanying Saber Shipment Certificate. This certificate ensures that all items in the shipment conform to the relevant quality and safety standards imposed in Saudi Arabia. In some specific instances, the importer can submit an exemption certificate request instead.

What is an Exemption Certificate?

An Exemption Certificate serves as official certificate that exempts imported shipments from the typical regulatory requirements. This typically applies to goods not intended for sale, trade, or direct marketing to consumers. Instead, these shipments are earmarked for specific purposes such as construction projects, procurement of raw materials, or supplies designated for government agencies or national events.

In what circumstances can you apply for an Exemption Certificate?

An importer can apply for an Exemption Certificate for various purposes beyond commercial transactions. For instance:

  • Raw Materials: Businesses importing raw materials for manufacturing processes, including chemicals, textiles, or components for assembly, can often apply for exemption certificates to bypass consumer-oriented compliance measures.

  • Government Supplies: Goods procured by government agencies for various public services, infrastructure development, or defense purposes, often require an Exemption Certificate.

  • National Events: Temporary imports of goods for national events, exhibitions, or cultural festivities may qualify for exemption, recognising their temporary nature and specific usage. The event organiser should be able to advise on this.

Obtaining an Exemption Certificate

The process of obtaining an Exemption Certificate involves submitting a formal request through the SABER online platform. Businesses or individuals seeking exemption must provide comprehensive documentation outlining the nature of the imported goods, their intended use, and justification for exemption based on applicable regulations.

Limitations and Alternatives

While exemption certificates offer flexibility and streamlined procedures for certain imports, it's essential to note that exemptions are granted on a limited basis and subject to strict scrutiny. In such cases where exemption criteria are not met or permissible, a Product Certificate of Conformity will be required in order to clear customs.

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