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Saudi Arabia customs regulations

It is important to know about customs regulations before traveling to Saudi Arabia to avoid legal issues and potential fines. As you know, customs regulations widely depend on the country. Before traveling to (or from) Saudi Arabia make sure to check the allowance and limits for the next things:

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Currency
  • Medicines (especially those containing drugs)
  • Animals
  • Cultural artifacts
  • Plants, fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products

Check the information below to be sure that you are complying with Saudi Arabia customs regulations.

Import regulations in Saudi Arabia

Duty-free allowance

Tobacco limit

  • 400 cigarettes.

Cash limit

  • Any funds exceeding SAR60,000 or its foreign equivalent must be declared.

Other goods

  • Personal effects and gifts to the value of SAR3000.
  • Any amount of currency is permitted for import, but amounts exceeding SAR60,000 must be declared.
  • Medication must be accompanied by a prescription.

Prohibited items

The following are goods which cannot be brought into the country.

  • Swine and its derivative products.
  • Counterfeit currency.
  • Narcotic drugs of all kinds, including snuff, tumbak, and cola nut.
  • Foodstuffs made of animal blood.
  • Wines and intoxicants of all kinds, including products that contain alcoholic substances at any intoxicating ratio.
  • Wine distillation appliances.
  • The Holy Quran in commercial quantities.
  • Frog meat.
  • Blank invoices addressed in the name of foreign companies abroad.
  • Advertising materials for cigarettes.
  • Any commodity which features pictures, phrases, film, or anything else contrary to the Islamic faith or the publications regulation.
  • Empty packings coming from abroad.
  • Dummies not in compliance with the Sharia provisions and imported in commercial quantities.
  • Used and retreaded tyres.
  • Christmas trees.
  • Weapons and military equipment of all kinds, including night vision binoculars and telescopic sights for fitting to arms.
  • Explosive and radioactive substances, firecrackers, fireworks, and gunpowder.
  • Goods with the government emblem on them.
  • Nutmeg fruit and its derivative products.
  • Bonds and coupons for sacrificial animals.
  • Massage devices presented in a manner violating morals.
  • Unlocking devices to open car doors.
  • Annoying horns.
  • Disguise masks.
  • Transparent women's cloaks, even if for personal use.
  • Special forms of knives designed for aggressive purposes.
  • Entertainment devices which contain hysterical laughter.
  • Sodium carbonates.
  • Pens in syringe form.
  • Goods bearing flags of foreign countries in prominent form.
  • Preparations which cause irritation to the organs of the body.
  • Goods bearing names and pictures of celebrities.
  • Goods bearing the image of Mohammed.
  • Wild animal hides.
  • Wireless video transmitters.
  • Videophones.
  • Greeting cards with musical devices.
  • Vehicle antennas similar to antennas of policemen' cars and wireless televisions.
  • Potassium bromate.
  • Vehicles with two exhaust pipes, 450 Horse Power and ordinary transmission.
  • Devices fixed behind the driver to alert him in case he sleeps.
  • Eagle emblem.
  • Devices which change the voice.
  • Laser spectacles with perforations.
  • Illuminated footwear in which mercury is used.
  • Games in the form of human hand which some drivers display prominently in their vehicles.
  • Electronic mihrab.
  • Kaaba Musharafa model.
  • Six pointed star.
  • Old newspapers.
  • Vehicles with steering wheel on the right side.
  • Antique guns.
  • Laser pens.

Restricted items

These goods are strictly regulated, and in most cases require a permit to be obtained prior to arrival.

  • The import of dogs is restricted to hunting dogs, guard dogs, and guide dogs. These categories of dogs require a certificate from the competent authority in the country of origin and authenticated by the Saudi Embassy stating that the dog is a hunting, guard, or guide dog. This dog will need to be presented for veterinary quarantine upon entry.
  • All other live animals, eggs for hatching, veterinary vaccines and medicines, animal feed, and animal hides, furs, and skins are subject to examination and quarantine by the Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture.
  • Plants, their derivative products, fertilisers and pesticides are subject to examination and quarantine by the Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture.
  • Edible eggs must bear the seal of the producing country.
  • Tobacco products must bear warning phrases and an ingredient list.
  • Chemical substances require permission from the competent authority.
  • All imported publications require approval by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
  • Distillation devices require approval by the Ministry of Health or any of its branches with regard to medical and scientific purposes.
  • Electrical appliances must conform to the standard specifications of Saudi Arabia.
  • Firearms intended for hunting require prior approval by the competent authorities.
  • Military clothing requires permission by the competent authority.
  • Metal and jewellery detecting devices require permission from the competent authorities.
  • Signs resembling traffic signs require approval by the competent authorities.
  • Fire extinguishing powder containers and fire alarm devices.
  • Mail processing machines.
  • Antiques.
  • Vehicle ornaments resembling military ranks.
  • Drone aircraft.
  • Fishing boats.
  • Ozone depleting substances.
  • Endangered animals, plants, and their derivative products protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) may require protected species permits.
  • Television receiver cards.
  • Gas cylinders shall be presented to the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization.

Information has been updated: .