Thinking of exporting to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar and/or Syria? Then it’s important to be aware that these Middle Eastern countries operate mandatory Conformity Assessment Programmes and that there are strict import regulations for the Middle East to consider. Implemented to ensure that unsafe goods and those of poor quality do not enter their markets.
Whilst the premise of each countries programme is similar (nearly all shipments must be inspected and certified based upon existing product conformity documentation, such as safety test reports & technical datasheets), there are slight variations in their requirements.
Understanding the import regulations for the Middle East, the differences between each country, and the compliance requirements related to your shipment is therefore vital, as a one size fits all approach will result in shipment delays and hinder your supply chain.
#3 Exporting to the Middle East Facts:
- Each country has its own list of what it considers to be ‘regulated’ products. The products are determined based upon product type and identified using HS/Commodity Codes. These products will be subject to the programme.
- Each country also has its own list of exempted products. This means certain categories of goods may not need certification to enter the country.
- Some countries also have a list of prohibited goods which are not allowed to enter the country under any circumstances.
The Middle Eastern countries with such programmes in place are below:
- Saudi Arabia (SASO Certificate of Conformity)
- Iraq (ICIGI Pre-Importation Inspection, Testing & Certification Program of Goods to Iraq)
- Kuwait (Kuwait Conformity Assurance Scheme – KUCAS)
- Qatar (Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QGOSM) Certificate of Conformity)
- Syria- (Syrian product conformity assessment and verification of price and origin)
- Kurdistan – (The Kurdistan Standardization and Quality Control Administration (KSQCA) Certification)
- Lebanon – Industrial Research Institute (IRI) of Lebanon Pre-Shipment Programme of Conformity Verification)
The following countries are also members of the Gulf Standards Association (GSO), and as such are required to implement a strict set of import standards:
- United Arab Emirates
- Kingdom of Bahrain
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Sultanate of Oman
- State of Qatar
- State of Kuwait
- Republic of Yemen
As members of the Institute of Export and The Arab British Chambers of Commerce we provide expert advice and proactively look for ways to streamline the export document process for businesses. Take a look at our recent IOE blog, all about the new Gulf Conformity Tracking Symbol (GCTS) for electrical products ‘Gulf Conformity Tracking Symbol: Are you ready?’
Taken your first order to the Middle East? Talk to an XDS Account Manager >> Early planning will streamline export compliance and ensure all the mandatory export documents are in place, before your shipment leaves the warehouse.