Home » News » Company News » Guide to Importing to Saudi Arabia from Alibaba

Guide to Importing to Saudi Arabia from Alibaba

Importing from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia step by step

You are in the right place, you find in the following lines the steps to import from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia in detail, starting from the conditions and requirements for importing in Saudi Arabia, passing through the steps of buying from Alibaba, until receiving your goods in your stores in Saudi Arabia and starting the sales and distribution stage, so follow us and save the link to your article for reference and step-by-step application…

First: Conditions of import in Saudi Arabia


Importing into Saudi Arabia requires the following documents:

  1. Commercial Registration for the Importer
  2. Import Card
  3. Tax Card
  4. Customs Handling Card
  5. Incoming Finance Application Form
  6. General authorization of the customs broker
  7. Saudi Certificate of Conformity (SASO CoC)
  8. Other certain documents may be required depending on the type of goods imported into Saudi Arabia, including but not limited to: official health certificate, inspection certificate, phytosanitary certificate, food products conformity document, consumer protection certificate, food manufacturer’s ingredient certificate, etc.

Conditions that must be met by goods imported into Saudi Arabia

  • Your goods imported into Saudi Arabia comply with safety and health standards, laws and technical regulations.
  • The presence of non-removable labels on the goods, provided that the labels indicate the country of origin or export.
  • The expiry date of the goods must comply with Saudi standards.
  • In the case of importing medical goods, you must register with the Ministry of Health.

You should also avoid goods that are prohibited from importing, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia prohibits the import of goods:

  • Counterfeit or adulterated
  • Goods contrary to Islamic law
  • Banned internationally or locally
  • Violation of approved specifications
  • Infringement of intellectual property rights

Second: Import steps from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia

Shipping From China To Saudi Arabia

1. Find products and suppliers in Alibaba

  1. Create your personal account as a merchant on Alibaba, by entering the Alibaba website and clicking on the registration button, then enter your personal information such as: your name, email, and password. Complete the registration process and then enter your email to confirm the registration via verification email.

Congratulations you now have an account on Alibaba, log in now to the site and start the import journey from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia….

  1. After logging in to the site, start your journey in searching for the product you aspire to import through the search box on Alibaba’s website, you will find better results if you use the categories menu in the sidebar on the left and select the characteristics of the target product.
  1. Look carefully at the existing goods, especially the details of the products, such as their prices, and the minimum quantity that can be ordered, and do not forget to filter and narrow the search specifically to:
  • Trade Assurance box for filtering suppliers joining Alibaba Trade Assurance Service, with which Alibaba guarantees you to secure your purchases from fraud, in addition to guaranteeing a refund in the event that the goods do not arrive.
  • Verified Supplier means a supplier verified via Alibaba and highly reliable.
  1. Narrow down and filter the search results to reach the desired product, and this is done through:
  • Specify all the required product specifications (such as: color, size, price, minimum order quantity) and other characteristics that vary according to the type of product.
  • Search using more accurate keywords.

5. In case you know a specific supplier, you have the possibility to search by the name of the resource.

6. You can also use the search feature by requesting an RFQ quote for your product

You can get this option by clicking on (Buyer central) from the main interface, then clicking on (Submit RFQ) and create your post in the available space.

Enter the product keyword and desired quantity in the allocated spaces. You can explain any other specifications related to the product in the body of your order. You can add details of your shipping destination and preferred payment method under the message place.

After sending the request, suppliers’ messages will begin to reach you and you will find them at (Messenger) and then start negotiating with them to complete the order.

7. After you have searched for suppliers for the desired product, and narrowed down the search results to reach the best suppliers, now open Google Sheets and add a number of the best suppliers to your product in preparation for starting communicating with them and adding your evaluation to them in the table.

2. Communicate with suppliers on Alibaba website and request quotations

The resource on Alibaba receives hundreds of messages, and in order for your message to be among the messages that your supplier cares about and gives priority to reply, follow these golden rules:

  1. Do not send all your questions at once, make your message brief simple and clear and contain most of the questions important to you, and you can distribute the questions and send part of them to the supplier’s e-mail, for example, and part to WeChat [note that when agreed, all agreements between you and the supplier must be documented within the messaging application on the Alibaba website to preserve your rights in the event of disputes, God forbid].
  2. Before negotiating with suppliers about your product, classify your supplier list into primary vendors and secondary vendors.

The classification of the supplier as primary or secondary depends on several things such as: product quality, specialization, customer service, and other features. It is recommended to communicate with the secondary supplier first in order to collect information about the product and its manufacture and know its secrets, and then communicate with the primary supplier and you have more information and deeper experience with your product, this golden rule gives the supplier an excellent impression of you and makes him feel that you are informed and capable in your product and contribute to a more effective negotiation.

Shipping From China To Saudi Arabia

3. Evaluate bids and choose the best

Evaluate the quotation file accurately to ensure that the price – offered by the supplier – conforms to the product specifications, the specifications include:

  • Product Requirements
  • Sample cost
  • Minimum Order Quantity

Choose ten special offers, do not choose one, the owner of the offer may not respond to your messages or do not meet your request, contact the owners of these offers, identify the best suppliers – from three to five – and then move on to the fourth step.

4. Get samples of the product before buying

When importing from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia, ask suppliers to send product samples, this is an essential step to verify the ability of suppliers to meet the requirements and product standards you set for them.

5. Evaluate product samples and communicate with the supplier about any feedback you want

If the samples are good or have some simple notes that have been agreed upon with the supplier, ask them to modify them when the entire quantity is sent and then start the sixth step.

6. Communicate with the supplier and order the full quantity of the product

After evaluating the product samples and clarifying the required modifications, if any, contact your preferred supplier and ask them to send the full quantity requested.

This stage includes negotiating with the supplier on: price, payment method and mechanism, minimum order quantity, negotiation of incoterms, and other factors that must be considered when concluding an agreement with the supplier.

If your requirements don’t match a vendor, you can contact another vendor.

7. Pay via Alibaba website

Now you have contacted the supplier, agreed with him on all the order information (quantity, price, shipping terms, payment mechanism and method, etc.), the supplier returns at this stage to provide him with the first payment (mostly 30% of the total order) to start working on the order.

To successfully complete the import process from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia, it is necessary here to choose a secure payment method, and payment methods by “PayPal” and payment by credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or payment by documentary letter of credit are considered safe payment methods.

Always make sure to pay through the Alibaba website, and document the entire agreement on the Alibaba platform so that you can protect your funds in the event of disputes with the supplier, God forbid.

Alibaba provides the “escrow” or “escrow” service, such as: Trade Assurance Service, which is a paid service that protects your money until you confirm to Alibaba that you have received the goods, among the payment methods available in the Trade Assurance Service are the following:

  • Payment by credit card (Mastercard or Visa): The advantage of this method is the speed of arrival of funds – instantaneously – but the payment fees are rather high.
  • Wire Transfer T/T: The direct bank-to-bank transfer method has low fees, but funds are delayed in arriving from three to seven days. It is recommended to use the account number registered on the Alibaba website, click on the “View Account information” box or “View Account information” you will see the existing account information registered with Alibaba, in this way you ensure the protection of your money and do not fear fraud on you.
  • Online Bank Payment: This method is also characterized by low fees, but the payment process is rather complicated and long compared to other methods and the money is delayed in arriving – four to five days.
Shipping From China To Saudi Arabia

8. Register on Saber Saudi platform

As a Saudi importer, the Saber electronic platform helps you obtain important documents in the customs clearance stage electronically, in this step it is recommended to start customs clearance procedures after your shipment leaves the port of the country of export, send the documents to the customs broker first hand and do not wait for the arrival of the goods, it is important to prepare early.

Among the documents that Saber provides you with: certificates of conformity, commercial invoice, certificate of origin, bill of lading, and packing list.

All you have to do is register on the Saber platform and add the data of the products you import electronically through the Saber platform.

9. Shipping from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia

There are limitations based on which the procedures required to ship your products will vary when importing from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia, including the following:

  • Agreed shipping condition (Incoterms): For example, if it is mentioned in your contract with the supplier that this contract is subject to EXW, which means delivery at the factory, here you will have to agree with a shipping company to receive your products from the factory and clear them customs from the port of the country of export and then ship to the country of import,,, the matter is different if it is agreed on a different Incoterms, for example if you agree on the DDP shipping condition, which means that the supplier delivers the goods to a country The buyer with customs clearance pay customs duties, taxes and even delivery to the buyer.

Note that this listing does not mean that Incoterms DDP is better than EXW, each shipping condition has advantages and disadvantages, there are also many types of Incoterms, you have to familiarize yourself with them and choose what suits you

  • Will you buy goods with a full container load or are your goods less than a container load: In the first case, you will only need to agree with a shipping company to ship your goods, but in the event that your goods are less than a container load, my advice to you is to communicate with a company to collect shipments in China, where these companies collect shipments for different importers of the same destination, so that you ship them all in a container or a group of containers to the country of import, which saves you a great cost.Cheapest Shipping Company From China To Saudi Arabia/Best Shipping From China To Saudi Arabia
  • Required shipping method: When shipping from China to Saudi Arabia, you can ship by sea or air, depending on the cost, type of goods, and required shipping speed.

Now you need to reach a reliable shipping company (or a shipping company that provides a shipment consolidation service in China) and submit a shipping order which must include all the data required to be proven in the bill of lading.

Among the most important documents that must be submitted to the shipping company are the following documents:

  1. Packing List.
  2. The name of the supplier company in English and the tax number.
  3. Receiving address of the goods.
  4. Contact phone number and email.
  5. Good description.
  6. Commodity coding of imported goods (HS Code).
  7. Shipping Marks.

Import From China To Saudi Arabia

Shipping Process From China To Saudi Arabia

Shipping Cost From China To Saudi Arabia

How Long Does It Take To Ship From China To Saudi Arabia

10. Follow up the order with Alibaba supplier and shipping company

Track the shipment of your goods, through a tracking number sent to you by the shipping company via a message on the phone or e-mail, you are now on the verge of successfully completing the import process from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia.

11. Customs clearance in Saudi Arabia

You can do all customs clearance procedures yourself without the need for a customs broker, but this is not recommended at the beginning of your business from Alibaba, because the customs broker has knowledge of customs exemptions and experience that makes him able to solve any problem that may arise during the customs clearance process (some shipping companies provide a door-to-door service, where they receive the goods from the supplier, ship them, clear them customs, and deliver them to the importer in his warehouses)

The good news is that you can make an authorization for a customs broker through the Fasah platform, as Fasah platform provides a range of other services, the most important of which are creating a customs declaration, electronic payment, and knowing the customs number of the importer or supplier.

In order to complete the customs clearance process when importing from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia, there are many documents necessary for customs clearance in Saudi Arabia so that your goods enter Saudi territory, namely:

  • Packing list.
  • Bill of lading.
  • Country of origin certificate.
  • Original invoice for the shipment.
  • Certificate of specifications and metrology.
  • Power of attorney in the presence of the port or clearance agency.
Shipping From China To Saudi Arabia

12. Receiving your shipment and transporting it to stores

Congratulations 🎉 have reached the end of the import journey from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia. In this step, after transporting the goods to your store, prepare to prepare advertising campaigns to promote your product on various social networking sites such as Instagram or Snapchat, you may need or perhaps it is better for you to build an online store for your product on the basket or z platform, in order to double your sales and achieve the desired profits.

Third: Tips when importing from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia

  1. Control the information – about your business – that appears to the supplier on your page on the Alibaba website, show only the information that supports your file, such as: the volume of financial transactions if it is a significant amount, what appears on your profile is what gives the first impression of you to the supplier, and determines whether the supplier will care about your request and message or not.
  2. Before importing goods, verify that they are not prohibited from entering Saudi territory.
  3. Find and deal with the trusted supplier with positive reviews and not with the cheaper one.
  4. Make sure you have a clear, accurate and detailed product specification sheet.
  5. Do not forget to document the violation of the goods to the conditions and specifications by making a video while opening your container or boxes so that the video is clear evidence of a problem with the goods.
  6. In the event that the goods do not match the agreed specifications, contact the supplier and explain the problem to him, if he does not respond, inform him that you will raise a dispute case to Alibaba, know that raising a dispute case is available only up to 30 days from the date of receiving the goods, so you should check the quality of the products as soon as possible.
  7. Beware of low prices, if you compare the price of the product with its other prices at the rest of the competing suppliers and find that its price is much lower than the rest of the prices, the supplier is likely to be defrauding you.
  8. Use a reliable interpreter for flexible and efficient communication with the supplier.
  9. Be familiar with import-related trade terms and Incoterms.
  10. Work on preparing the documents and documents necessary for customs clearance in the importing and importing countries and seek the help of a customs broker who is an expert in importing the type of your goods from China to Saudi Arabia.

At the end of our article Import from Alibaba to Saudi Arabia, always make sure that there is a need in the local market for any goods you import, and then search for your desired product and find a reliable supplier, communicate and negotiate with the supplier on the unit price, minimum order and shipping method, use secure payment methods, such as: “Escrow” service, and also be sure to hire a customs broker to facilitate the process of customs clearance and payment of fees in Saudi Arabia.

Scroll to Top