Saudi Arabia Testing, Inspection and Certification
SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization) is introducing SALEEM SABER, an electronic certification and conformity assessment system that will be mandatory for all imported goods entering Saudi Arabia by December 2018. With nearly $20 billion in U.S. annual exports to the Kingdom, it is critical that U.S. exporters are aware of how to use this new system, so goods can easily enter the Saudi market.
Referred to simply as Saber, the system is an online verification tool which connects importers, SASO-approved certification bodies, and Saudi customs & related trade authorities in one online system. Saudi Arabia’s purpose for initiating this program is to accelerate the clearance of the upcoming shipments, reduce counterfeit consumer products, more easily track products, and raise the number of SASO-standard-conforming products in the Saudi market. Saber replaces the current certificate of conformity and pre-shipment inspection requirements.
Saber works like an online portal and covers both regulated and unregulated products. To submit a regulated product for importation, the importer will have to initiate the certification request by first, registering their product into the Saber system by entering the product details; then, selecting the product’s classification; next, have a SASO-approved certification body assigned to the product for conformity assessment; and finally, await an approval certificate. If the product receives its approval certificate (which is a Certificate of Conformity), the importer is then issued a shipment certificate, and is sent to Saudi customs before the product can enter the market. The entire process is done online through the Saber system.
For unregulated products, the importer must simply self-declare the product or products to be imported into the Saudi market. To self-declare a product, the importer must enter the product details into Saber, attach technical files and documents, and then be issued a Requester Declaration (SDoC). The importer is then allowed to receive a shipment certificate, their product is sent to customs and then may enter the market.
Saber will have an initial launch for all traders inside Saudi Arabia in July 2018. From July to December, Saudi customs will give priority to products that went through the Saber process. After December, customs will only give clearance to products logged through Saber. All products going through the Saber system must comply with SASO’s Technical Regulations.
SASO has stated there will be a soft launch of Saber in July and it will be mandatory starting from December 2018. The website for SALEEM SABER is https://saber.sa/