Quality & Technical Standards


Overview
The Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) has over 2,030 SASO and 1,060 Gulf promulgated standards, and is actively pursuing the promulgation of hundreds of new standards currently in various drafting stages of development.  SASO has decided to adopt ISO 9000 as the approved standards for Saudi Arabia, and will act as an accreditation body through the Quality Assurance Department.  Compliance will be on a voluntary basis.  However, it would be prudent for exporters to consider this matter seriously in planning to do business in Saudi Arabia.  There may be many cases where procurement agencies will insist on purchasing and placing orders only with those companies that are in compliance with ISO 9000.

Saudi Arabia's residential electric power system of 127/220 volts, 60 Hertz, is unique and has caused export problems for some foreign exporters.  However, SASO will accept electrical products as low as 120 volts, 60 Hertz.

Conformity Assessment
As of August 2004, the International Conformity Certification Program (ICCP) will cease.  The Ministry of Trade and Industry is expected to take over and set up its own program.  Since its inception in 1995, the certification program known as the ICCP was applicable to 69 regulated products.  The purpose of the program was to insure consumer protection and that products entering Saudi Arabia conform with SASO standards.  On behalf of SASO, Intertek Testing Services used to administer the ICCP on a global basis.  With the exception of certain food products, all other regulated products used to require Certificates of Conformity issued by Intertek.

Product certification
In Saudi Arabia, SASO will set up its own certification organization for locally manufactured products, as several SASO employees have been certified to work as professional auditors in conformance with ISO 9000 series standards.  For imported products, SASO will cease to implement the ICCP program as of August 2004, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry will be setting up its own program.

Accreditation
SASO is the only Saudi entity that is empowered to accredit.