Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan has approved the rules of establishing duty-free markets at the Kingdom's entry ports. The Umm Al-Qura official gazette published on Friday the details of the rules and conditions for operating duty-free markets, in addition to the provisions related to the requirements for operating licenses and other controls. The rules allow imports to and exports from duty-free markets foreign goods of any kind and of whatever origin without being subject to customs duties.
The rules also allow all types of goods to be stored in duty-free markets and their customs warehouses, except goods that violate the regulations related to the protection of commercial, industrial, literary and artistic property rights, goods that originate in a country that has been under economic sanctions, and goods that are prohibited in the country. The rules obligate the duty-free market operator to provide the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority with an annual action plan to support the sale of national goods, and it shall be reviewed in the middle of each year. Duty-free shops are free to operate round the clock.
The rules obligate operators of duty-free markets to fulfill all customs requirements and to obtain the necessary approvals from competent authorities before starting sales and operations. The rules allow the establishment of duty-free markets at air, sea and land ports, where goods can be sold to travelers arriving in and departing from the Kingdom.
To obtain an operation license, an establishment should apply through Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) channels. A valid commercial register that includes the activity of duty-free market, as well as a valid social insurance certificate must be submitted with the application. The rules will come into effect after 30 days from the date of its publication in the official gazette.