Packing, Marking & Labeling

Labeling and marking requirements are compulsory for any products exported to Saudi Arabia.  The Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO, which is the only entity in charge of implementing and developing standards) is responsible for establishing labeling and other guidelines in Saudi Arabia.  The Ministry of Trade and Industry implements SASO guidelines through its inspection and test laboratories at ports of entry in Saudi Arabia.

Labeling is particularly important for companies marketing food products, personal care products, health care products, and pharmaceuticals.  SASO has specific requirements for identifying marks and labels for various imported items.  Labels must be in Arabic for any imported foodstuff item, which should basically reveal the same information on the container as in the foreign language, i.e. ingredients, country of origin, manufacturer, shelf life, instructions for use, etc.  New labeling standards went into effect in December 2001 requesting companies to declare whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.  Companies can request a copy of the labeling requirements by contacting SASO at Tel: (966 1) 452-0132 or Fax: (966 1) 452-0196.  Arabic manuals must be included with any household electrical appliances exported to Saudi Arabia.

Quality control laboratories at ports of entry may reject products that are in violation of existing laws.  Products arriving at port having less than one-half of the time remaining between production and expiration date will be rejected and cannot be sold on the market.  foreign manufacturers are urged to discuss labeling requirements with their selected representative or distributor.

- Contact Information

Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO)
PO Box 3437 Riyadh 11471, Saudi Arabia
Phone: (966 1) 452-0000
Fax: (966 1) 452-008

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Regional Representative – Middle East
PO Box 94309 Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia
Phone: (966 1) 488-3800 x 4880
Fax: (966 1) 488-3237