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Shipping from China to Saudi Arabia: Custom, Duty & Cost

Shipping from China to Saudi Arabia is a dynamic sector in international trade within Saudi Arabia. Today’s guide will walk you through the entire process, from selecting the appropriate shipping method to navigating customs clearance during China to Saudi Arabia shipping.

Air freight from China to Saudi Arabia

Air freight presents the most suitable method for shipping delicate, perishable goods, urgently needed parts or high-demand cargo. Despite being more expensive, air shipping guarantees swift delivery to Saudi Arabia, typically within 2-6 days.

Furthermore, air shipping from China to Saudi Arabia eliminates the need for multiple transfers as a safer choice.

It’s essential to note that the weight and volume of your cargo significantly impact air freight options. The most cost-effective scenarios occur when the product has a low weight and size (under 500 kg/2CBM).

Generally, China boasts a network of modern airports spanning the nation, providing extensive international connections. 

The notable airports in China:

  • Shenzhen Baoan
  • Shanghai Pudong

On the other hand, the major ports in Saudi Arabia include:

  • King Abdulaziz International Airport
  • King Fahad International Airport
  • King Khalid International Airport

Air freight from China to Saudi Arabia through Airsupply offers businesses an array of opportunities for quick and dependable shipping solutions. Our integration with over 50+ airlines ensures sufficient cargo space via Block Space Agreements or charter services.

saudi arabia airports

Air shipping cost from China to Saudi Arabia

On average, the air shipping cost from China to Saudi Arabia ranges between $3 to $8 per kilogram for standard goods. Below is the specific air shipping rate from China to Saudi Arabia you can refer to:


However, these rates can fluctuate due to fuel costs, demand, seasonal variations, and other factors. For the latest shipping price, contact our logistics expert now! 

Sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia

Sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia is a popular method for transporting goods across long distances. It involves transporting cargo in containers via ships, allowing for handling large volumes of goods at lower costs than air freight.

Usually, sea shipping offers an array of container options tailored to suit different types of cargo. Commonly utilized are standard containers, such as the 20-foot and 40-foot sizes.

Moreover, it also provides specialized containers, including refrigerated containers for perishable goods or open-top containers for oversized cargo.

Shipping time from China to Saudi Arabia via sea can range from two weeks to 40 days, contingent upon weather, cargo volume, distance, etc. Typically, port-to-port shipping time is around 15-25 days for FCL and approximately 18-30 days for LCL.

The prime shipping route from China to Saudi Arabia

Several ports in China serve as major hubs for shipping to Saudi Arabia, such as Shanghai, Ningbo, and Shenzhen. On the Saudi Arabian side, there are ten pivotal seaports positioned along the coastlines of the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf:

Red Sea ports

  • Jazan Port
  • Port de Duba
  • Jeddah Islamic Port
  • Yanbu Commercial Port
  • King Fahad Industrial Port in Yanbu

Persian Gulf ports

  • Ras Tanura Port
  • Port of Ras Al-Khair
  • Ras al Mishab Port
  • Jubail Commercial Port
  • Port of King Abdulaziz in Dammam
saudi arabia seaports

Container shipping rates from China to Saudi Arabia

POLPOD20’ container40’ container

LCL shipping cost from China to Saudi Arabia


The above price is only for reference. To get the most up-to-date rates, consult our shipping expert. 

Door to Door shipping from China to Saudi Arabia

Sometimes, you might prefer to alleviate the burden of managing shipping, customs clearance, and paperwork by seeking a reliable freight forwarder. Airsupply offers a streamlined, one-stop logistics solution: shipping goods from China to Arabia with a comprehensive door-to-door service.

In general, door-to-door shipping denotes a logistics service that transports goods directly from the sender to the recipient’s designated destination, whether a residence, business, or warehouse.

When you select door-to-door air freight, the usual timeframe is 8-14 days. In the case of door-to-door sea freight, the shipping time may extend slightly to 22-30 days for FCL and 25-40 days for LCL.

Through our door-to-door delivery service, we handle every step of the transportation process, including:

  • Pickup/consolidate shipments from your supplier.
  • Booking space and loading onto aircraft or containers.
  • Customs clearance services in both China and Saudi Arabia.
  • Delivering to your specified private address.

Shipping Cost from China to Saudi Arabia (DDP)

DDP sea freightShenzhenSaudi ArabiaUSD175/CBM
DDP air freightShenzhenSaudi ArabiaUSD6/kg

You should know that the shipping price will fluctuate due to the market demands. For the latest rate, consult our logistics experts. 

Customs clearance in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with strict customs requirements. Understanding the customs clearance process in Saudi Arabia is vital to ensure smooth and timely clearance of the shipments.

For each shipment, Saudi Customs conducts inspections to verify the accuracy of the declaration and ensure compliance with import regulations. In addition, your goods may undergo physical inspection, especially if there are discrepancies or further verification.

Subsequently, Saudi Customs determines the applicable customs duties, taxes, and fees based on the cargo assessment. You need to pay these charges to release the goods from customs. The payment can usually be made electronically or through designated banking channels.

It’s important to note that Saudi Customs exercises stringent control over prohibited goods imported into Saudi Arabia. Violating these regulations could result in substantial fines or the detention of your goods.

Prohibited products for shipping to Saudi Arabia

  • Alcohol includes alcoholic beverages, wines, spirits, and related products.
  • Pork and pork-related products are forbidden due to Islamic dietary laws.
  • All illegal drugs and narcotics, including cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and other controlled substances, are strictly prohibited.
  • Importing or possessing materials that are considered pornographic or offensive to Islamic values is not allowed.
  • Items that contradict Islamic beliefs or promote religions other than Islam are prohibited.
  • Shipping weapons, firearms, ammunition, explosives, and related accessories requires special permits and is heavily regulated.
  • Hazardous and radioactive materials are not allowed for import without proper authorization and compliance with safety regulations.
  • Unless authorized and compliant with specific regulations, live animals, endangered species, and animal products may not be imported.
  • The importation of counterfeit products or items infringing on intellectual property rights is strictly prohibited.
If you’re unsure whether your cargo contains restricted items for shipping from China to Saudi Arabia, please provide your cargo details and consult our shipping experts.

Documents for shipments from China to Saudi Arabia

Apart from the essential shipping documents, you better prepare the SASO (Saudi Arabian Standards Organization) certificate.

To apply for the SASO certificate, you can do so online through the SASO’s official website or authorized representatives. Depending on the product type, it may require laboratory testing to ensure compliance with Saudi standards.

Then, prepare the necessary documents, which may include:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Certificates of conformity or compliance
  • Test reports from accredited laboratories
  • Packing lists

Once the application and supporting documents are reviewed and found compliant, the authority will issue this certificate to you.

Custom duty in Saudi Arabia

Customs duty in Saudi Arabia typically averages around 4.85%, with specific rates determined by cargo classification in the HTS (HS code). Certain goods, especially luxury items deemed harmful to health or the environment, may attract higher duty rates.

Most essential food and consumer items are exempt from customs duty in Saudi Arabia. It includes wheat, rice, sugar, tea, cardamom, and similar necessities.

In addition to customs duties, there are other tax levies and fees to consider, notably the Value Added Tax (VAT). Goods exceeding a total customs value of $266 are subject to a 15% VAT. It applies to most goods and services unless they qualify for specific exemptions.

In most cases, customs duties are calculated based on the customs value of the imported goods. Assume you are shipping electronic products into Saudi Arabia from China with the following charges:

Products cost: USD 10,000

Insurance fee: USD 200

Shipping cost of USD 600

Customs duty rate: 5%

Therefore, the customs duty will be:

Customs Duty = CIF value × Customs duty rate

CIF value = (Cost of goods + Insurance fee + Shipping cost)

CIF value = (USD 10,000 + USD 200 + USD 600) = USD 10,800

Customs Duty = USD 10,800 × 5% = USD 540

Considerations when shipping from China to Saudi Arabia

There have been cases where authorities refused to clear goods due to seemingly minor issues. Hence, it’s crucial to take the following conditions when shipping from China to Saudi Arabia:

  • A valid commercial record is essential, demonstrating an exact match with the registered business activity.
  • The goods should attach unremovable labels indicating their country of origin or export.
  • Ensure you acquire your customs code, which is easy to obtain by submitting your commercial record to the customs authority.
  • Provide documentation certifying compliance with Saudi or international standards, such as SASO certificates, confirming adherence to incoming shipment specifications.
  • Recognize and respect cultural differences between China and Saudi Arabia. Be aware of cultural nuances and business practices to maintain professional relationships.
  • Adhere to Saudi customs clearance requirements for your Chinese imports. For instance, medical products must receive registration approval from the Ministry of Health, and product expiration dates should align with Saudi standards.
  • Choose a reputable and experienced freight forwarder with expertise in shipping from China to Saudi Arabia. They should have a good understanding of the customs procedures, local regulations, and a reliable network to ensure the smooth movement of your goods.

Freight forwarder China to Saudi Arabia 

Shipping from China to Saudi Arabia demands a thorough knowledge of essential requirements to prevent possible delays or losses. Airsupply, a distinguished freight forwarder based in China with a widespread global network and agents, specializes in expediting shipments with all types of cargo.

Their services guarantee prompt and economical transportation for both air and ocean cargo. While we may not always offer the cheapest shipping from China to Saudi Arabia, our focus is on finding a balanced and coordinated solution between service quality, speed, and shipping prices.

Here are the advantages of opting for Airsupply for your shipping needs:

  • Immediate access to online quotes for your convenience
  • Expertise in handling dangerous goods such as batteries and liquids
  • Comprehensive warehouse services encompassing repackaging and relabeling
  • Proficiency in dedicated ULD (Unit Load Device) build-up and palletizing services
  • Efficient customs clearance and delivery, regardless of whether you ship using DAP, DDP, or DDU Incoterms

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