How to ship internationally from India to Saudi Arabia?

Learn how to ship internationally from India to Saudi Arabia in this guide — from documents required to selling your products in Saudi Arabia.
How to ship internationally from India to the UAE
The ever-evolving global market makes it imperative for businesses and individuals to understand the intricacies of international trade. One such pivotal trade route is the one from India to Saudi Arabia. As you plan to ship to Saudi Arabia, understanding each step, costs involved, and rules of shipping from India to Saudi Arabia becomes paramount. Moreover, with the e-commerce market in Saudi Arabia projected to reach $11.98 billion in 20231, the market offers dynamic expansion opportunities, allowing Indian exporters who ship to Saudi Arabia to tap into new markets and boost their sales. In this blog we will chart a comprehensive guide with an aim to assist you in simplifying the process, ensuring that your shipping experience is both cost-effective and efficient.

Key parties involved in international shipping from India to Saudi Arabia

Every journey requires a team and international shipping is no different. Recognizing the main participants in this process can facilitate smoother transactions:

Customs officials:

These are the gatekeepers of international trade. They ensure that shipments leaving and entering countries are in line with local and international standards.

Shipping agents:

The bridge between the shipper and the carrier. Their expertise helps in deciphering the often-confusing world of international shipping to Saudi Arabia.

Cargo carriers:

These are the workhorses of the shipping industry. They undertake the responsibility of moving your goods from one point to another.

Local distributors:

Local distributors are your on-ground partners in Saudi Arabia. They manage the last mile delivery, ensuring your products reach their final destination.

Other parties:

Other parties that may be involved in international shipping include freight forwarders, customs brokers, and insurance companies.

Step-by-step guide to ship internationally from India to Saudi Arabia

Understanding the requirements

Before shipping, familiarize yourself with Saudi Arabia's import regulations and restrictions. This understanding will help avoid potential customs issues.


Shipping internationally requires a plethora of paperwork. From a comprehensive shipping invoice and packing list to the all-important certificate of origin and bill of lading or airway bill, everything should be in order.

Choosing the right shipping agent

Your agent is your guide. With their experience, they'll offer insights on the best carriers, routes, and even give you a clear idea about the shipping cost to Saudi Arabia.

Package your shipment

Once you’ve chosen a shipping carrier, you need to package your shipment properly. This is important to ensure that your shipment arrives at its destination safely and undamaged. When packaging your shipment, be sure to use sturdy materials and pack your goods securely. You should also label your shipment clearly with the following information:
· Your name and address
· Recipient name and address
· Contents of the shipment
· Value of the shipment

Customs clearance

Once packed and ready, the shipment must pass through the Indian customs. On reaching Saudi Arabia, it undergoes a similar customs clearance process. Adhering to all regulations can significantly reduce clearance times.

Duty and tax payment

All goods arriving in Saudi Arabia are subject to duties and taxes. These must be settled promptly to facilitate the release and delivery of your shipment.


The final step where the shipment, after clearing all formalities, reaches its destination.

List of prohibited goods when shipping from India to Saudi Arabia

Abiding by regulations is a non-negotiable aspect of international shipping. Here are a few prohibited goods to keep in mind when shipping to Saudi Arabia:
• Alcohol and its derivatives
• Items with offensive or inappropriate content
• Weapons of any sort

For detailed guidelines, the official Saudi Customs website is a reliable resource.

Amazon Global Selling: Easy e-commerce exports and hassle-free shipping

If you are a business owner and you want to sell your products in Saudi Arabia, Amazon Global Selling enables you to list and sell ‘Made in India’ products on Amazon UAE and Saudi Arabia marketplaces at zero monthly subscription fee. As an e-commerce exports program, Amazon Global Selling provides support and guidance at every step of your exports journey – documents and licenses, logistics, payments, advertising, and more.

Registered sellers can choose to ship their products by themselves through Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) or they can opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and outsource order fulfillment to Amazon including packing, storage, delivery, and returns. Amazon Global Selling simplifies the process of international shipping to Saudi Arabia, helping businesses navigate customs and reach a vast audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does shipping from India to Saudi Arabia take?
Shipping duration from India to Saudi Arabia varies based on the mode of transport and the service provider chosen. Generally:
• Air freight: Shipments typically take between 3 to 7 days. This is one of the quickest modes but can be pricier.
• Sea freight: Sending goods by sea can take anywhere from 20 to 40 days, depending on the specific ports of departure and arrival and the shipping line.
• Express couriers: Companies offer express courier services that usually deliver within 3-5 days.

It's always advisable to consult directly with your chosen shipping provider for the most accurate time estimate, considering possible delays and customs clearances.
What is the cheapest way to send a package from India to Saudi Arabia?
Sea freight is generally the cheapest mode of transport for bulky items or larger volumes. However, it takes longer than other methods. For smaller parcels, opting for postal services like India Post's international parcel service can be cost-effective. Additionally, there are several courier aggregators available online that offer competitive rates by consolidating shipments. Always compare rates from different providers and consider the weight, dimensions, and urgency of your package before making a decision.
What are the customs duties applied in Saudi Arabia?
Customs duties in Saudi Arabia vary based on the type of product being imported. Here are some general points3:
• Saudi Arabia has a flat customs duty rate of 5% on a vast majority of products.
• Some products, like tobacco and its products, have higher rates.
• Certain essential goods, like staple foods and medical products, might have reduced or zero duties.
• Value Added Tax (VAT) is also applied, which as of my last update in January 2022, was 15%. This can change, so always check the latest rates.

To get an accurate and updated breakdown of customs duties for specific products, it's best to consult the official Saudi Customs website or seek advice from shipping agents familiar with Saudi Arabian customs.
Published on November 14, 2023.


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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.