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Travelling to Saudi? Kingdom issues new screening process for passengers

IFM_Saudi Travellers
Travellers with SR60,000 or more in cash or precious metals must declare the sum in advance with the Saudi authorities

Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has recently issued guidance on customs rules for travellers carrying cash, gold and jewels into the Kingdom.

As per the new ZATCA rules, travellers with SR60,000 (USD 16,000) or more in cash or precious metals must declare the sum in advance with the Saudi authorities.

The Saudi customs administration also emphasised the importance of passengers arriving and departing from the Kingdom, who are carrying currencies/negotiable instruments, to declare them electronically before arriving at the points of entry or exit.

The whole process can be done through the ZATCA application for smart devices available through the Apple and Google Play systems. The passengers can access the declaration page on the customs authority’s website and fill out the form. The passengers can also visit the declaration offices located at customs ports for letting authorities know about the currencies/negotiable instruments they are carrying.

The list of negotiable tools includes gold bullions, precious metals and stones or fine jewellery, whether new or used, and their value reaches SR60,000 or more, or its equivalent in foreign currencies.

The authority also stressed that proof of the legitimacy of the source of the declared items must be submitted. Failure to adhere to it will result in a financial fine of 25% of the value of the seized items for the first violation, and 50% for repeat violations, following the provisions of Article 23/6 of the Regulations for the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

However, the clause will only be applicable if the suspicion of a relation between these seizures and an original crime or money laundering offence is negated.

If the suspicion between the seizures and an original crime or money laundering offence remains, the full amount will be seized, and the violator will be referred to Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution, the new rules stated.

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