When we talk about buying internationally, especially from the USA, Saudi shoppers are front and center. Saudi shoppers love online shopping. In 2018 alone, the KSA was the 28th biggest buyer purchased from the United States, with over $22 billion in goods and services. According to the US Trade Representative Office, the Saudis were the US’s 22nd largest trading partner in 2018. According to the stats, Saudis love to buy from the US. But if you want to purchase something internationally and ship it to your desired location in KSA, you must know what to buy and what not to buy. You may be purchasing restricted or prohibited items while shipping to Saudi Arabia. In addition, while importing to KSA, you must have special approvals and certificates from Saudis authorities.

This blog will discuss the prohibited and restricted products when importing them to Saudi Arabia and how you can ship items safely to Saudi Arabia at the cheapest shipping rates.

Table Of Content:

  1. Restricted Items
  2. Prohibited Items
  3. Managing Shipping Restrictions to KSA
  4. Summary

Restricted Items: Shipping To KSA

You must provide the specific documentation or license for any restricted item you are shipping. Also, provide documentation about the products to Saudi customs to release your package to your final destination.

The following products are currently on the restricted list:

  • Agricultural seeds
  • Live animals
  • Chemicals and harmful materials
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Wireless equipment and radio-controlled model airplanes
  • Products containing alcohol (e.g., perfume)
  • Natural asphalt
  • Archaeological artifacts

Religious Books 

It’s important to remember that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country. Therefore, entering the country with a bible is restricted.

Dangerous goods

Some of the products are classified as dangerous goods like lithium batteries, perfumes, lighter, solid carbon dioxide, phones or laptops, etc.

These are the restricted items, but you can still ship if you have special approval from the government. It’s crucial to determine which items are restricted or prohibited because sending such items to KSA can result in legal problems with customs authorities.

Prohibited Items: Shipping To KSA

Importing prohibited items into Saudi Arabia is strictly not allowed. In addition, Saudi customs have the right to destroy your items or may not be returned to you.

The following items are prohibited and strictly not allowed to ship into KSA.

  • Used clothes
  • Narcotics
  • Arms and Weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Pork and their products

Saudi Customs also does not allow the importation of cars that are older than five years, salvaged vehicles, used police cars, taxis, and rental cars. For additional information, please review the requirements on the SASO and Saudi Customs websites.

Managing Shipping Restrictions to KSA

Shipping the products to Saudi Arabia from the United States can be challenging because of the shipping address and language barrier. However, you can get the shipping address by choosing a reliable package forwarder. Still, it’s also crucial for one to choose a freight forwarder that can move the package safely and understands the language and manner of doing business in the country.

The Saudi Arabian customs office has its policies for international shipments clearance. As of 1 July 2020, a 15% value-added tax (VAT) applies to all shipments regardless of value. Package forwarder does not collect VAT, and it will not include in your shipping invoice. The Saudi Arabian government often collects VAT when the carrier delivers your package.

For additional information on shipping to Saudi Arabia, visit your desired package forwarding company dedicated country page for KSA. In addition, package forwarding companies such as Global Shopaholics, MyUS, Planet Express, and Stackry have the country pages for Saudi Arabia. In addition, they briefly answer the questions about which items you ship and which can’t.

Also, you can use their shipping calculator to get comparable shipping prices; it depends on the shipping service you choose. For the best results and cheapest shipping rates, choose a slow shipping courier. Shipping prices will calculate accordingly as the dimensions of the items. 


You can only ship your packages to Saudia Arabia from a package forwarding company if the items don’t include restricted or prohibited items.


Saudis are so much involved in purchasing and importing from the United States. Still, sometimes they face issues like prohibited items or restrictions on items to be shipped. However, you can still send these products to Saudi Arabia if you have particular documents or certificates.


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