·  General requirements


Without prejudice to the general import requirements stipulated in the Saudi Customs, the basic conditions for the importation of food include the following:

1.  That importers have already created an account with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), and registered their food items.

2.  Imported food item shall meet all the regulations, requirements, technical regulations and standards applied in KSA.

3.  Importer must have a Commercial Register, which includes (food trade).

4.  Original invoice shall be certified from the competent authority in the country of origin.

5.  One or more of the following certificates (according to the food item) shall be made available:

-  Certificate of origin (Copy).

-  Halal Certificate (original).

-  Certificate of slaughtering for meat and poultry (original).

-  Any other documents or certificates required by the SFDA.

In addition to the general requirements listed above, there are special requirements according to the nature of various food items as follows:

·   Meat, poultry and their products:


·  Food for special dietary uses:


-  GSO 2233:2012 Requirements of nutritional labeling.

-  GSO 654:1996 General requirements for prepackaged foods for special dietary use.

-  GSO CAC / GL 10:2009 Advisory lists of nutrient compounds for use in foods for special dietary uses intended for infants and young children.


·  Novel Food.


The following documents must be presented prior to the importation of a novel food item.

1.  Reliable scientific evidence authenticated by recognized official bodies to confirm the safety of food for human consumption including: Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), possible warnings in case of intake by a high risk population and also warnings if a food ingredient has exceeded its Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

2.  Reliable information on the criteria upon which the method of use has been based.

3.  Ingredient analysis results from accredited labs, confirming that the product is fit for human consumption and free from any health hazards.

4.  A Free Sale Certificate testifying that the product with the very components and ingredients is freely sold in countries which apply Codex standards or EU legislations.

5.  A pledge of full responsibility towards the product after its entry to the market, and commitment to follow any relevant circulars, standards or regulations that the SFDA officially publish in the future.


·  Genetically Modified (GM) Foods


The following requirements must be met prior to the importation of GM FOODS:

1.  The label on GM foods using modern biotechnology, shall indicate that these foods or some of their ingredients are genetically manipulated. All necessary information shall be written on the food label with a clear and easy to read font upper case in both Arabic and English, with a color distinct from that of the label.

2.  An official certificate issued by the competent authority confirming that GM foods intended for exportation to KSA, are allowed to be used and consumed in the country of origin.

3.  All GM foods should be in line with the Islamic law (Sharia),  and the approved relevant standards.


* (Decision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Decree No. “1666” dated 15/09/1421).


·  Irradiated foods




  • .  Baby formulas


    ·  Subsidized food items:


    Breast Milk Substitutes (infant formula and follow-up formula): In addition to the general requirements, BMS must undergo the following specifications:

    -  Age group: from birth until three years of age (36 months).

    -  The percentage of milk protein: (11%)

    -  Percentage of milk fat: (8%)

    -  Non-flavored, only plain .