Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Middle East
Reload this Page >

Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Old Mar 11th 2009, 9:24 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 17
FlorenceZebedee is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

We are getting ready to ship our personal effects from London to Riyadh and I wanted to find out how strict customs are in Saudi. I am aware that there are restrictions on printed material and DVDs but we were also told by our shipping company we couldn't bring games of chance (ie. Backgammon, Monopoly, etc) and medicine. Can anyone tell me if that's accurate? And also, how strict are customs with printed matter, such as children's books? And standard adult fiction (bookgroup type stuff). And same with DVDs, we have some for the children, and some for us, all certificate 15 or less. I'd really appreciate any information you may have about this. Thanks in advance.
FlorenceZebedee is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 9:33 am
  #2  
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 872
still.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Originally Posted by FlorenceZebedee View Post
We are getting ready to ship our personal effects from London to Riyadh and I wanted to find out how strict customs are in Saudi. I am aware that there are restrictions on printed material and DVDs but we were also told by our shipping company we couldn't bring games of chance (ie. Backgammon, Monopoly, etc) and medicine. Can anyone tell me if that's accurate? And also, how strict are customs with printed matter, such as children's books? And standard adult fiction (bookgroup type stuff). And same with DVDs, we have some for the children, and some for us, all certificate 15 or less. I'd really appreciate any information you may have about this. Thanks in advance.
sorry, but can only help based on what i've brought through the airport which is normal books (dime store novels and business magazines) without any problems. as for dvd's, my colleagues seem to recommend 'ripping' them to a hard drive and bringing that in, instead. not sure about the board games because my colleagues regularly play monopoly (which they brought in) but i haven't heard of that 'game of chance' thing.

so, i'll defer to others with more experience, (have you checked the saudi customs site? --> http://www.customs.gov.sa/CustomsNew/default_E.aspx)

Last edited by still.unsure; Mar 11th 2009 at 9:34 am. Reason: wrong url
still.unsure is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 10:25 am
  #3  
**** it we'll do it live
 
shiva's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Dubai
Posts: 7,892
shiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond reputeshiva has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

got sent this the other day re saudi and customs

PROHIBITED ITEMS



Alcohol-containing items, flavoring extracts, cooking wines, wine making kits, books on manufacturing of such drinks or any foods with alcohol, etc.

Narcotics

All kinds of medicines

Medicine MUST be accompanied by doctor's prescription and is to be for personal use only

Radio transmitter/communication equipment (including walkie-talkies, short-wave, VHF, marine, police band equipment, etc.)

Binoculars or telescopic equipment

All types of statues

Objects of human or animal form (statues, figurines, carvings, etc.)

Games of chance (chess, dice, backgammon, etc.)

All weapons and firearms (real or ornamental), including guns, ammunition, fireworks, spears and other edged weapons, etc. (owner subject to investigation, fines, and/or imprisonment)

Pornographic material and literature including fashion magazines with people wearing undergarments or swimsuits

Politically sensitive material

All foodstuff

Stuffed animals

Articles contrary to Muslim or Saudi Arabian beliefs or morality will not be allowed into the country

Christmas trees/decorations or any other items (BIBLES) associated with religions other than the Muslim faith

Military uniforms or equipment of any kind

Other miscellaneous items (blueprints and designs, artificial pearls, etc.)

*ALL PRINTED MATTER, BOOKS, PICTURES, RECORDS, FILMS, TAPES, SLIDES, MOVIES, VIDEOS, COMPACT DISCS, COMPUTER SOFTWARE AND DISKETTES, ETC. ARE SUBJECT TO CENSORSHIP AND CONFISCATION (MUST BE PACKED SEPARATELY FOR EASY ACCESS AND CLEARLY MARKED ON THE INVENTORY)

Such items will be removed from all incoming shipments at the time of Customs clearance and sent to the Ministry of Information for review

Once censorship has been completed, a separate delivery will be made at an additional charge to the customer

Cartons containing these articles should be clearly labeled as to contents and must not be mixed with other items

Any restricted or prohibited items in shipment will cause delays, may be subject to confiscation and may cause possible fines or penalties to customer's account.
shiva is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 10:30 am
  #4  
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 872
still.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Originally Posted by shiva View Post
Games of chance (chess, dice, backgammon, etc.)
guess that wouldn't include things like scrabble or pictionary, (basically, anything without a dice?)
still.unsure is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 10:41 am
  #5  
why ayeeeee man!
 
Spugsy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Disco Gardens...
Posts: 11,370
Spugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond reputeSpugsy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Originally Posted by shiva View Post
got sent this the other day re saudi and customs

PROHIBITED ITEMS



Alcohol-containing items, flavoring extracts, cooking wines, wine making kits, books on manufacturing of such drinks or any foods with alcohol, etc.

Narcotics

All kinds of medicines

Medicine MUST be accompanied by doctor's prescription and is to be for personal use only

Radio transmitter/communication equipment (including walkie-talkies, short-wave, VHF, marine, police band equipment, etc.)

Binoculars or telescopic equipment

All types of statues

Objects of human or animal form (statues, figurines, carvings, etc.)

Games of chance (chess, dice, backgammon, etc.)

All weapons and firearms (real or ornamental), including guns, ammunition, fireworks, spears and other edged weapons, etc. (owner subject to investigation, fines, and/or imprisonment)

Pornographic material and literature including fashion magazines with people wearing undergarments or swimsuits

Politically sensitive material

All foodstuff

Stuffed animals

Articles contrary to Muslim or Saudi Arabian beliefs or morality will not be allowed into the country

Christmas trees/decorations or any other items (BIBLES) associated with religions other than the Muslim faith

Military uniforms or equipment of any kind

Other miscellaneous items (blueprints and designs, artificial pearls, etc.)

*ALL PRINTED MATTER, BOOKS, PICTURES, RECORDS, FILMS, TAPES, SLIDES, MOVIES, VIDEOS, COMPACT DISCS, COMPUTER SOFTWARE AND DISKETTES, ETC. ARE SUBJECT TO CENSORSHIP AND CONFISCATION (MUST BE PACKED SEPARATELY FOR EASY ACCESS AND CLEARLY MARKED ON THE INVENTORY)

Such items will be removed from all incoming shipments at the time of Customs clearance and sent to the Ministry of Information for review

Once censorship has been completed, a separate delivery will be made at an additional charge to the customer

Cartons containing these articles should be clearly labeled as to contents and must not be mixed with other items

Any restricted or prohibited items in shipment will cause delays, may be subject to confiscation and may cause possible fines or penalties to customer's account.
****ing hell man, why no telescopes, games of chance, Objects of human or animal form?

What a STUPID country.
Spugsy is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 10:57 am
  #6  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 336
eylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to all
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

I agree with Spugsy but all the board games are available here so if they do lift yours you can replace them.

When we shipped our gear in they took my wife's CD cover of Rod Stewarts Atlantic crossing because they thought the cover picture was of a female! They did give her back the CD after it had been listened to.

We had a couple of the kids string puppets lifted along with some papyrus from Egypt which we replaced the following weekend in Khobar.

Also, in my personal experience, expect anything which is small (easily pocketable) and valuable to go missing. Draw your own conclusions.

The short answer is they are VERY strict and will go through everything.
eylesda is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 11:17 am
  #7  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 462
Bambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to beholdBambi in Abu Dhabi is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Statues? Artificial pearls? Sorry, but I don't get it
Bambi in Abu Dhabi is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 11:49 am
  #8  
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 872
still.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to beholdstill.unsure is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Originally Posted by Bambi in Abu Dhabi View Post
Statues? Artificial pearls? Sorry, but I don't get it
the statues are part of the anti-iconography bit of islam, but can't figure out the pearls bit for the life of me...
still.unsure is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 11:51 am
  #9  
Go on.. Pull my finger..
 
TGFKASE's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Dubai
Posts: 5,717
TGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond reputeTGFKASE has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Originally Posted by still.unsure View Post
the statues are part of the anti-iconography bit of islam, but can't figure out the pearls bit for the life of me...
Its the whole pearl necklace connotation, methinks....
TGFKASE is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 11:55 am
  #10  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 17
FlorenceZebedee is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Thanks for the responses, Eylesda did they take away any of your books? And were you fined for any of the stuff that they took away? Were you there when they went through all the stuff, or do you get called in after the fact? Thanks a lot
FlorenceZebedee is offline  
Old Mar 11th 2009, 1:12 pm
  #11  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 336
eylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to alleylesda is a name known to all
Default Re: Shipping personal effects to Saudi - how strict at customs?

Originally Posted by FlorenceZebedee View Post
Thanks for the responses, Eylesda did they take away any of your books? And were you fined for any of the stuff that they took away? Were you there when they went through all the stuff, or do you get called in after the fact? Thanks a lot

I air freighted it in and they called AFTER they had opened the boxes up. Just to rub my nose in it I think.

They then showed me what they were to confiscate.

No they did not take books but ripped out pages they thought offending to Islam. My wife has now got several knitting pattern and dress making books without illustrtations

No fines though.
eylesda is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.