New Customs mechanism for individual importers of tobacco products

September 28, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Customs has introduced a new mechanism to regulate the procedures of importing tobacco products by individual importers. These include the regulations for the import of tobacco products either in their baggage or via parcels. The Customs issued a circular to all its land, air and sea ports citing details of the new mechanism.

According to the mechanism, individual importers can import tobacco products via express transport service or mail or air cargo service. The individuals are allowed to import a total of 2,400 cigarettes or a consignment of 125 cigars and two kilograms of shisha products or its equivalent of other tobacco products every three months.

Customs duties and taxes due on these quantities will be collected upon import, which include customs duty of 100 percent in addition to 100 percent of selective tax, together with 15 percent of value-added tax (VAT).

The mechanism also stipulates that individual travelers can carry a quantity that does not exceed 200 cigarettes or 500 grams of other types of tobacco and that will be exempted from duties and taxes.

If the quantity is found higher than this, the fees and taxes due on the entire quantity will be collected. An individual importer can bring a maximum number of 2,400 cigarettes and a quantity of 125 cigars and two kilograms of other tobacco products for every three months.

Saudi Customs confirmed that in the event of the seizure of more than the permissible quantities, the individual importer and traveler would be required to return them to their source.

If they failed to return it within the specified period, the seized items will be deemed abandoned and will be automatically transferred to the customs depot in preparation for selling them to levy the export fee. In such cases, the concerned person is not entitled to claim after the expiry of the deadline for contacting.

The Customs also confirmed that these procedures are not applicable to individual importers and travelers under the age of 18 years, as well as for transit passengers and to those tobacco products that are seized while trying to smuggle into the Kingdom.

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