The Saudi market is one of the biggest markets in the Middle East area with growing demand in many sectors such as building materials and electrical and electronic products thanks to launching mega projects within Vision 2030 and the increased living standards in the country. The increasing consumption of high-quality products in Saudi Arabia opens the door for European exporters to take a share of this big market.
Meanwhile, the conformity procedures have always been the main concern for the European exporters wishing to access the Saudi market but now the conformity procedures can be the reason that encourages European exporters to target Saudi Arabia. In this article, we will explain how exporting to Saudi became easier than before in terms of conformity procedures.
Electronic processing (Saber)
The Saudi authorities are keen to facilitate the procedures for entering imported products into the market, as now almost all required conformity certificates can be issued online through a unified platform.
The Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization (SASO) has developed Saber Electronic Platform so that all suppliers can register products, apply for certificates, add required documents and test reports, and even issue conformity certificates for products and shipments in the country of origin.
Saber also allows users to find certification bodies, define the Saudi HS codes, define the regulatory requirements for each product, and follow up on the application status. Furthermore, Saber has been linked to FASAH Electronic platform to facilitate the clearance process at the Saudi customs ports.
Notified certification bodies
SASO notifies a number of certification bodies around the world to work as third parties responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment and issuing certificates, so beneficiaries will not have to communicate with SASO directly.
The certification bodies take the responsibility of guiding the beneficiary to regulatory requirements, testing products in accredited labs, carrying out audits and factory visits (if required) following up on the applications, and issuing conformity certificates like the Product Certificate of Conformity (PCoC) or submitting recommendations to SASO to grant some other certificates like the Saudi Quality Mark.
Tabseer, for example, is a certification body with a branch in France approved by SASO to issue the Product Certificate of Conformity and carry out the technical study to issue the Saudi Quality Mark (SQM) for products exported from all European countries to Saudi Arabia.
Aligning with the international standards
SASO and other relevant entities in Saudi Arabia are making efforts to ensure a high level of safety and quality of the products in the Saudi market through continuous updates and developments for the standards and technical regulations.
However, SASO is keen to align with the international standards and rules while developing standards and technical regulations. All Saudi standards are based on the standards of the International Organization (ISO) and the relevant International and regional standardization organizations like the International Electrotechnical Commission standards.
In addition to SASO, the other entities responsible for standardization and clearance activities such as the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and The Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority have adherence to the relevant international standards.
Aligning with the international standards left no concern for the European exporter of not conforming to the Saudi standards or the need to apply special standards in manufacturing products for the Saudi market.
All these aforementioned reasons combine to maintain the fact that the Saudi conformity procedures don’t represent a barrier for European exporters. The conformity process can also be smoother if you choose an experienced and trusted certification body to help you benefit from all the facilitations provided by the Saudi authorities.