RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia on Friday announced new customs rules, conditions and procedures for establishing duty-free shops at air, sea, and land ports, but said that prohibited goods will continue to be banned in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority said the measures were in accordance with the unified customs system of the Gulf Cooperation Council states, which includes requirements related to the operation of the free market, in addition to provisions related to the requirements for operating licenses and other related controls.
The authority said that defining these rules was the consequence of a Saudi Cabinet decision, which included approving the establishment of free markets — according to air, sea, and land ports demands, and allowing sales for travelers coming to and departing from the Kingdom.
ZATCA said that the decision will contribute to supporting supply chains and improving logistical services to duty-free shops by providing a wide range of goods and products for shopping during travel.
The shops will also be able to provide additional sales channels to the local companies by selling their products to the duty-free operators, which will support and contribute to promoting national products by displaying them in sales halls.
The authority said that the duty-free shops are currently located in the departure halls of a number of airports, including the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, King Fahd Airport in Dammam, and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah.
Free markets at customs are defined as retail outlets that allow travelers to purchase goods and products that are permitted to be traded in the Kingdom, and that are subject to exemption from customs duties or taxes in accordance with the provisions of the relevant regulations, as stipulated in the Unified Customs Law of the free market rules system.
Goods prohibited from entering the Kingdom include contraband, alcohol, weapons, and products violating regulations related to the protection of commercial, industrial, literary and artistic property, as well as those originating from a country that has been boycotted economically.
Tax exemption systems differ from one country to another according to the location of the free market (arrival or departure halls) and in accordance with the provisions of the unified customs system, its executive regulations, and any of the relevant laws and legislation in each country.