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June 1, 2020

Saudi Arabia increases customs duty rates on imports

Saudi Arabia enacted Cabinet Decision No. 559, on 28 April 2020, to amend the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and increase various customs duty rates. The changes take effect from 10 June 2020 and certain rates are increased up to 25%. Businesses should review the changes in the HTS to determine whether their products are affected and how the changes may impact their supply chain and operations.

The following table sets forth some of the products (includes consumer, industrial and agricultural products) covered by the rate changes.


Current rate

New rate

Foods and beverages (such as live animals, meats, seafood, milk products, yoghurts, vegetables, fruits, sugars, rice, sweets, juices, sauces and honey)

0 to 5%

7% to 25%

Mineral products (such as lime and coal)



Chemicals (such as acids, sulphates, oxides, methane, magnesium and chlorides)


5.5 to 6.5%

Textile fabrics and clothing (such as polyvinyl chloride, textile wall coverings, adhesive tapes, textile fabrics, wearable clothing, blankets, linens and bags)


10% to 15%

Plastics and rubber items


6.5% to 15%

Building materials (such as stone, marble bathtubs, marble handwashers, wood panels, boards, certain wooden tiles, ceramic tiles, pipes, glass items, paints, plastic tubes, steel basins, showers, sprinklers, window frames, tanks, pumps, screws and lights)

5% to 12%

Up to 15%

Metal products (such as iron or non-alloy steel, stainless steel, alloy steel, wire, pipes and tubes, steel bolts, and articles of copper)



Machinery, equipment and parts (such as refrigerators, freezers, beverage coolers, mineral oil filtering machines, irrigation systems, cranes, fire extinguishers, valves, crankshafts, gearboxes, engines and batteries)

5% to 12%

Up to 15%

Motor vehicles and spare parts (such as tractors; emergency vehicles, armored cars, motor vehicles, four-wheel drive vehicles, diesel powered and electric powered vehicles and refrigerated vehicles)





Cabinet Decision No. 559 has made significant changes to the HTS and duty rates. This will affect all imports into Saudi Arabia under the revised HTS codes as of 10 June 2020.

Businesses should assess the impact of the above revisions on their imported goods and ensure these goods are imported with the appropriate tariff classification. Additionally, businesses need to understand the practical implications regarding the movement of goods between Gulf Cooperation Council countries with differing duty rates, and how these changes might affect their supply chain in the future.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young and Co (Certified Public Accountants), Riyadh
Ernst & Young Middle East (Dubai Branch)
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Middle East Tax Desk, New York



The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting or tax advice or opinion provided by Ernst & Young LLP to the reader. The reader also is cautioned that this material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader's specific circumstances or needs, and may require consideration of non-tax and other tax factors if any action is to be contemplated. The reader should contact his or her Ernst & Young LLP or other tax professional prior to taking any action based upon this information. Ernst & Young LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.


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