SASO Certificate of Conformity is a document used to clear shipments at Saudi Arabia customs
Every country has its own rules and regulations put in place to ensure that standards such as national security, health and safety are met when it comes to importation of goods. However, some countries do not have the infrastructure needed to implement the required testing and inspection procedures in ensuring regulation. Such countries rely on third party agencies to get the required inspection, testing, and certification services.
Saudi Arabia is a perfect example of a country depending on third party agencies. In order to import goods into Saudi Arabia, you need to meet the regulations and requirements dictated by Saudi Arabia Standards Organization. However, since February 2020, Saudi Arabia finalized an upgrade to introduce the SABER electronic system. The SABER system has been designed to make registration and issuance of conformity certificates through online possible. The system is mandatory in order to ensure that imported goods abide by the set safety and health regulations.
What is SASO certificate?
A SASO certificate is a document used in Saudi Arabia to ascertain that imported goods have been successfully inspected and tested to meet the safety and quality standards of the country. Goods imported to Saudi Arabia cannot be cleared without proper documentation.
The SASO certificate is used as a passport for clearance of the imported goods. However, even if you have SASO document for your goods, the customs officials still have the right to conduct more test procedures and inspections once your goods reach Saudi Arabia.
How to Apply For A SASO Certificate of Conformity?
- Get your Quotation ” conatct us to provide all the necessary information related to your shipment
- The consignment then goes through analysis and lab testing according to the standards and related technical regulations of that particular product.
- An audit is then performed to check out the manufacturing process.
- A documentation check is then conducted based on the SABER requirements.
- An assessment is then carried out to ensure that the process is carried out in accordance with the applicable regulations and standards.
- The SASO certificate is issued according to the applicable product standards clearly outlined in relevant technical regulation.
Once an approval has been made on the consignment of goods, the SASO Certificate of Conformity is then issued by the Certified Body in the country where the goods are coming from. The Certificate of Conformity must come together with the consignment of goods when being shipped to Saudi Arabia. There must be a Certificate of Conformity for each consignment. You cannot use the same certificate for two consignments. The Certificate of Conformity can only be used for a specific period of time. The expiration date has been stated on it.
It is mandatory for all goods to have an indication of origin that cannot be removed. If there is no indication on them, they will not be released until the importer corrects the issue or gives an assurance that there will not be a repeat of the same next time. The goods may be taken back to their original country or the importer may be required to pay a fine.
The Process for obtaining a SASO CoC
In order to obtain a SASO CoC, you need to undergo a mandatory process. The process takes a month or more. Therefore, if you are looking forward to exporting goods to Saudi Arabia, then you need to plan ahead of time. A compulsory requirement and procedure for obtaining the SASO CoC from the independent agencies is;
- A commercial invoice on the letterhead paper of the company should be signed and stamped by the local chamber of commerce.
- A certificate of origin should be obtained from the local chamber of commerce in order to confirm the country in which the goods will be exported from.
Once all the required documentation has been sent to the agency, they will give a confirmation on the kind of inspections and testing that will be needed. If you export your goods to Saudi Arabia on a regular basis, then you should consider registering your goods with the agency to speed up the inspection and testing process. For instance, the agency may only conduct an inspection on your products from one in five shipments done.
Types of SABER Certificates
Since January 1, 2019, it has been mandatory for importers to initiate certification requests before importing products goods into the country by first accessing SABER, then registering the regulated goods and choosing one of the certification bodies approved by SASO to process their request. Therefore, SABER has two types of certificates that can be used in conducting both product and shipment certifications. They include;
1. Product Certification of Conformity
It is provided online for each and every regulated product in the SABER platform. The certificate is issued according to the applicable product standards clearly outlined in relevant technical regulation. When obtaining a Product Certification of Conformity, the following steps are followed;
- The importer should first add the details of the product on the SABER platform.
- The importer then selects a certification body to be issued with the Product Certification of Conformity after which the related fees is paid.
- The certification body then gets access to the SABER platform in order to check the importer’s requests.
- The certification body then facilitates the assessment process for conformity. The body then informs the exporter to submit all the substantiating documents.
- The certification body verifies the results in order to upload the qualifying valid documents in the system.
- The Product Certification of Conformity is then issued online in SABER. The certificate is only valid for a year.
2. Shipment Certificate of Conformity
The certification body verifies each and every regulated product in the shipment to confirm that there is a valid Product Certification of Conformity. After the confirmation has been made, a Shipment Certificate of Conformity is then issued. The following process has to be followed in order to get the Shipment Certificate of Conformity;
- The importer first makes an online request through SABER in order to obtain the Shipment Certificate of Conformity.
- The certification body then verifies if the Shipment Certificate of Conformity is valid for each regulated product.
- After the verification of the Product Certification of Conformity, the certification body then makes a confirmation in SABER.
- The importer then pays Shipment Certificate of Conformity fees.
- The Shipment Certificate of Conformity is then issued online in SABER. It is valid for only that particular shipment.
Is SASO certificate enough when importing a shipment?
There is no particular certificate in the name of SASO. However, it is mandatory to do a registration on all consumer products that have an affiliation with the Standards and Metrology Authority in Saudi Arabia and issue the needed certificates to register in the SABER system in order to ensure that the product is safe.
What is the difference between a Shipment Conformity Certificate and a certificate of conformity?
A Certificate of conformity is normally given by the conformity assessment bodies that have been accredited by the authority. The certificate gives an assurance that the product adheres to the technical regulations and specifications in which it belongs to. The validity of the Certificate of conformity is usually one year. On the other hand, Shipment conformity certificate is normally issued for each imported shipment. It contains information about the number of products and also the billing information. The certificate expires when the shipment is cleared.
How long does it take for a conformity certificate to be issued?
The time required for a conformity certificate to be issued depends on the regulations in which the product belongs to. It also depends on whether the required documents such as the technical reports have been provided according to the requirements by the assessment body.
What are the documents are required when obtaining a conformity certificate for your products?
You need to provide all the needed information together with the technical files for the registered products and submit to the conformity assessment bodies in order to speed up and facilitate the process of getting the conformity certificate for your products. The information needed comprises the supplier information such as the address and contact information. The most prominent contents found on the technical file include; tests reports, product pictures, factory license and the supplier’s acknowledgement of conformity.
Why am I obligated to obtain a certificate of conformity?
You are obligated to obtain a certificate of conformity so that you ensure that your products are in line with the relevant specifications and regulations in Saudi Arabia. Obtaining a certificate of conformity also gives an assurance that your products are safe and will not impose health risks on potential consumers.
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