Exporters and importers: will the new SABER system impact your business?

The SABER system is a new mandatory importer-based computer system facilitating online certification of imports into Saudi Arabia. The long-term plan is for SABER to become the only system for clearing goods through Saudi customs and replace the SASO COC. All shipments arriving into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will require a Product CoC and a Shipment CoC to be issued through SABER.

What products need to be processed through SABER?

Product types and categories will be gradually introduced into SABER in order to provide a smooth transition to the new system and ensure there are no delays in trade or shipments into KSA. Once the product type becomes mandatory on SABER then SASO COC can no longer be issued for that product type.

Timeline of SABER system announcements by SASO

17th June 2019: SASO announces the fourth phase of products being implemented onto SABER including Self Balancing Boards (Scooters), Barriers for Trucks & Trailers, Degradable plastic products, Electrical Batteries and Paints (Dyes) and Varnishes. Certified bodies must stop issuing SASO on affected products from August 1st, with a clearance deadline at customs of August 15th 2019.

6th May 2019: SASO announces the third phase of products being implemented onto SABER including Building Materials Parts I, II, III & IV and Technical Regulations for Electrical Lifts. Certified bodies must stop issuing SASO for these products from June 1st with the clearance deadline at customs of June 15th. From June 15th all products affected must be cleared using SABER.

4th March 2019: SASO confirms that in preparation for the addition of Toys, Low Voltage Electricals & Lubricating Oils to the SABER system that all certified bodies must stop issuing SASO certificates for these items from 15th March 2019.

11th February 2019: 
SASO Announces that Children’s toys, Low Voltage Electricals & Lubricating Oils are to become mandatory through SABER system on 1st April 2019 after which they can no longer be suitable for clearance with a SASO COC.

20th January 2019: 
SASO announces that it is now only mandatory for Gas Appliances and their accessories to be cleared through SABER system. All other product types may still be cleared using SASO COC. SASO advises that the other Technical Regulations will be implemented in stages on dates to be confirmed in the near future.

1st January 2019: 
SASO Launches SABER System.

Various dates throughout 2018:
 SASO conducts various small trials of the new system and consults with large importers to ensure system will be efficient and suitable.


Implementation Date Example of Products processed by SABER Relevant Technical Regulation
January 2019 Cooking Stoves, LPG Heaters, Pressure Regulators, Leakage Alarm Systems, Gas Supply Hoses, Valves for Gas Cylinders etc. M.A.-156-16-04-04
Technical Regulation for Gas Appliances and their Accessories
April 1st 2019 All Children’s Toys BD-131704-01
Technical Regulation for Children’s Toys
April 1st 2019 Electric Fans, Toasters, Hair Dressing Apparatus, Food Grinders/Mixers, Plugs/Sockets etc. BD-142004-01
Technical Regulation for Low Voltage Electrical Equipment and Appliances
April 1st 2019 Lubricating Oils for internal combustion engines, Lubricants, Industrial Oils and Related Products, Automatic Transmission Fluid etc. S. V-155-16-03-01
Technical Regulation of Lubricating Oils
June 1st 2019 Metals & Alloys used in construction (Part I) M.A-156-16-03-01
June 1st 2019 Insulation and cladding material for walls, ceilings and floors (Building Materials – Part 2) M.A-156-16-03-02
June 1st 2019 Hydraulic Binders (cement, gypsum, Building Limes), concrete, and derivatives (Building Materials – Part 3) M.A-161-17-07-02
June 1st 2019 Sanitary Ware, Tiles, Bricks, Blocks & related products (Building Materials – Part 4) M.A-161-17-07-03
June 1st 2019 Lift Elevator System & similar systems M.A-161-17-07-05
August 1st 2019 Electrical Scooters M.A-155-16-03-04
August 1st 2019 Barriers for Trucks and Trailers M.A-161-17-07-04
August 1st 2019 Degradable Plastic Products M.A-156-16-03-03
August 1st 2019 Various Batteries M.A-166-18-04-02
August 1st 2019 Paints, Dyes and Varnishes M.A-155-16-03-03

* Last updated: 4th July 2019

Are SASO certificates still valid for shipments to Saudi Arabia?

SASO certificates can still be issued for most products. As SASO gradually introduces product types to the mandatory SABER list, the number of products still suitable for SASO COC will decrease.

For this reason, it is paramount that all importers are fully prepared for SABER and the change to the new system. To clarify which system is required for your product please contact XDS Solutions today for the latest update and how to manage the switch.


Features of the new SABER system

  • Products registration and approval online
  • Electronic access to Certificates of Conformity
  • Speeding up of the issuance process
  • Reduction of fraud and manipulation
  • Additional consumer protection by eliminating non-conforming products


Benefits of the SABER system

SABER benefits importers by speeding up the issuance process of electronic Certificates of Conformity for your imported products, also delivering the following benefits:

  • Reduced time to import products with Saudi customs checks aiming to be under 24 hours
  • Linking of your product approval to the electronic Certificate of Conformity throughout the product registration validity


The three stages of SABER when fully implemented

There are three stages of the SABER process, all of which fall under the responsibility of the importer.

Stage 1: Importer needs to set up their own account and add all of the products on the system they wish to import.

Stage 2: Importer needs to apply for product certificates and approval (these are valid for a year).

Stage 3: Importer needs to upload invoice and apply for shipment cert (COC).


How will the SABER system changes affect me?

The implementation of the SABER system will create a shift in who is responsible for arranging the customs clearance of the goods. It is now the responsibility of the importing company based in Saudi Arabia to register their company, products and shipments on the system.

How can XDS Solutions assist?

Specialising in Saudi Arabian customs clearance with a vast amount of experience with the SASO program, the team of experts at XDS Solutions can handle everything from Product Registration to Shipment CoC – ensuring compliance, avoiding additional workload and offering the simplest SABER solution on the market.

Expert use of the SABER system with assistance from XDS Solutions will ensure you benefit from rapid processing and issuance of Certificates of Conformity and a reduction in the time it takes importing your products through Saudi customs.

XDS Solutions can offer a fully managed SABER solution. Customers benefit from reduced costs, increased efficiency and expert advice. Throughout the change from SASO to SABER, XDS Solutions are your go-to supplier offering a certificate of conformity package tailored to your requirements.


What next?

XDS Solutions works with clients all over the world from Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East.

If you are an importer it is imperative that you are fully prepared for the change to the new system. It is not yet clear the specific dates when further product types will be added to SABER. For further clarification on SABER, and the most up to date information on how to clear your shipment please contact XDS Solutions today.


About XDS Solutions

Every step of your export document journey managed by us. No more complex forms, no more frustrating processes, just a team of expert advisors who’ll move mountains to meet your export certification deadline.

Contact XDS Solutions for a simple switch to SABER

Register your Company, Products and Shipments using our industry leading SABER solution.

Prefer to talk? Call our experts on (+44) 01245 249002.

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