The documents required for all commercial shipments to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, irrespective of value or mode of transportation, are: a commercial invoice, a certificate of origin, a bill of lading (or an airway bill), a steamship or an airlines company certificate, an insurance certificate (if goods are insured by the exporter) and a packing list. Depending on the nature of goods being shipped, or upon certain requests from the Saudi importer or in a letter of credit (L/C), or according to clauses in a contractual agreement, specific additional documents may also be required (see "Special Documents" below).

It is important to note that authentication of the certificate of origin, the commercial invoice, and any special document is the responsibility of the exporter, who must make sure that they are certified in the following specified order:

(1) Notarized by a Notary Public.
(2) Sealed and certified by a local U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
(3) Sealed and certified by a representative of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council located at any of the Consulates General of Saudi Arabia in the U.S.
(4) Legalized by one of the Consulates General of Saudi Arabia in the U.S.
(see appendix II for addresses).

The Saudi Arabian Consulates legalize only one copy. Additional copies will be legalized upon request. The Saudi Arabian Consulates will legalize the respective documents for $8.50 per document or page (an original or a copy). All fees must be submitted in the exact amount. No cash or personal checks will be accepted. Payments should be made by a company’s check, a cashier's check, or a money order payable to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, or to the relevant Saudi Arabian Consulate. Companies’ checks, money orders or cashier's checks must be signed.

Each document should be prepared in (at least) one original and one copy. The certifying U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce will retain the copy. The original is legalized and returned. All documents (originals or copies) should bear the handwritten signature of the person issuing the document. Facsimile signatures are not accepted. 

All documents sent in by mail must include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Saudi Arabian Consulates will not return any documents without a self-addressed stamped envelope. Documents presented by hand will only be released upon presentation of the consular receipt.


Description of Shipping Documents:

All commercial invoices must be on the letterhead of the exporting company. The invoice should contain names and addresses of consignor and consignee, accurate description of goods and components (trademarks, name of the vessel or airlines) and the date of sailing, port of loading and port of discharge, net and gross weight, quantity, unit price and extended price of each type of goods, total value of the shipment, contents of each package and container, currency, number of L/C (if applicable) and freight and insurance.

As of 1/1/1417 H., corresponding to May 18,1996, the Saudi customs authorities have emphasized that commercial invoices issued by exporters should contain accurate description of goods being exported to the Kingdom, for example:

 A) For equipment:

- Line, number, and size of exported item.
- Model number.
- Trade marks.
- Manufacturer’s complete name.
- Any other information helpful in identifying the exported equipment.

B) For other exported products:

- Complete material description including type, size, weight, and percentage of its components if possible.
- Complete name(s) of manufacturer(s) or producer(s).
- Trade marks.
- Any other information pertaining to the type of the exported item to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In addition, all commercial invoices should be certified by a responsible official of the exporting firm as follows:

"I certify this invoice to be true and correct and in accordance with our  books, also that the goods referred to are of ...........origin."

This certificate must be issued by the manufacturer (or the exporting firm). In addition to the name of the vessel (airlines) and the date of sailing, name(s), nationality(ies), and full street address(es) of the manufacturer(s) of all items to be shipped to Saudi Arabia, and components thereof, must be declared. Furthermore, the origin of each item or component must be specified. A signed statement to the effect that the document is true and correct must be given.

If the merchandise to be shipped to Saudi Arabia is not solely and exclusively originated in the U.S., then a notarized "appended declaration to certificate of origin" (available at any Saudi Consulate), must be attached to the certificate of origin.

In addition, the certificate of origin must include name and address of the Saudi importer, description of the goods, and address of the shipping company.

One non-negotiable copy of the bill of lading is to be presented to a Saudi Arabian Consulate. The bill of lading should agree with the commercial invoice and show description, value, net and gross weight of shipped goods. Likewise, volume and measurement, marks, number of packages, name and address of consignee (Saudi importer) and consignor, name and address of shipping company and/or shipping agent, name of vessel and date of sailing, port of loading and port of discharge, etc., should be mentioned. Marks and numbers should agree with those on invoice and containers.


This certificate (which is an appended declaration to bill of lading or the airway bill) should be issued by the steamship (or airlines) company in at least one original. It must be notarized and contain the following information about the vessel (or plane), named in the Bill of Lading or the airline company certificate:

(1) Name of vessel (plane), and previous name (if applicable).
(2) Nationality of vessel (plane).
(3) Owner of vessel (plane).
(4) Name(s) of ports (airports) that Vessel (plane) will call on en route to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

A- Port (airport) of loading ...................
B- ..........................................................
C- ..........................................................
          Port (airport) of discharge..................

Further, the steamship (airlines) company certificate should declare that said vessel (plane) shall not anchor or call on any other ports (airports) than those mentioned in it, and that all information provided in the certificate is true and correct. The standard form of the Appended Declaration to the Bill of Lading or airway bill is available at any Saudi Arabian Consulate.

This certificate (issued by an insurance company in at least one original) must contain the following information: actual amount of insurance, description and value of insured goods, name of vessel, port of loading and Saudi port of discharge, and name and address of beneficiary. Moreover, the appended declaration to insurance policy (form of which is available at any Saudi Arabian Consulate) should state that the insurance company has a duly qualified and appointed agent or representative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, giving his name and full address.

Note: If the shipment is insured by an insurance company in Saudi Arabia, the exporter, on his letterhead, must state the name and address of said company.

This includes names and addresses of consignor and consignee, description and value of the exported goods, net and total weight, number of packages and their contents, number of containers and contents, numbers of seals, and number of L/C (if applicable).