Shipping goods to Saudi Arabia can be expensive. The price is affected by shipping method (sea, air or combined shipping), the size of the load, and how well insured it is. Since compounds often provide furnished accommodation and plenty of amenities, expats should think carefully about what needs to be shipped out – it may be very little indeed.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia has plenty of shopping opportunities to purchase goods, so one can easily and cheaply purchase goods that may prove troublesome to ship over.

Customs regulations in Saudi Arabia

All shipped items must pass through customs, and the appropriate forms should be completed by the sender. In Saudi Arabia, customs clearance depends on whether goods are either classified as documents with no commercial value or dutiable goods. Dutiable goods are taxed if they are valued over a certain amount.

The customs list of prohibited items includes but is not limited to alcohol and pork. Contrary to popular belief, religious texts may be brought into the country as long as they are for personal use only.

There are restriction on what medications may be brought into the country, and how much. Expats who take chronic medication can bring up to a month's supply as long as they carry their prescription and obtain clearance in advance by applying to the Saudi Drug and Food Authority.

To ship a pet over, one requires an import permit, vaccination certificate and health certificate.