Export - 10/20/2020, SA-53
Last update Oct 20, 2020
1. Beef and beef products and veal and veal products
To be eligible to export beef and beef products and veal and veal products to Saudi Arabia, producers, backgrounders, farmer/feedlots, feedlots and slaughter, fabrication and processing companies must participate in the EV Program for Saudi Arabia that is approved by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Information about the EV Program for Saudi Arabia can be obtained from the AMS website and a list of EV-approved establishments for Saudi Arabia, including their approval dates can be obtained from the AMS website.
Specific Beef and Veal Requirements:
- Beef or beef products produced prior to May 13, 2020, must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age.
- Beef and beef products produced on or after May 13, 2020, may be derived from cattle of any age.
- Must be derived from cattle born and reared in the United States or from cattle that have been legally imported into the United States from countries not banned from exporting beef and beef products to Saudi Arabia. (Note: With regard to this table, cattle from countries with yellow or green dots under the column ‘Meat of bovine & products’ are eligible so long as they meet all other requirements of the EV program. Cattle from countries with red dots under this column are banned. After opening the link provided, a second click at ‘Meat and Countries of Importation’ will be necessary to get to an English language translation.)
- Must have been derived from cattle that have not been fed with prohibited animal protein post-weaning (including those that are grass-fed as well as those routed through feedlots). Each company is required to maintain a unique product identification system, which can be accessed by authorized FSIS inspection personnel from FSIS’s website
Note: See AMS program for details of feed ingredients.
Note: Veal and veal products from young animals fed only milk replacer and/or a grain based diet are eligible for export to Saudi Arabia. These products are not subject to the AMS EV Program. *
- If beef tallow is used as a feed ingredient, it must be sourced from a rendering facility subject to federal inspection that sources raw material from beef-only slaughter establishments that are subject to U.S. federal inspection requirements. These establishments are available on the AMS website.
1. Imports of pork or pork products are not allowed by Saudi Arabia. However, pork or pork products may be allowed for entry for U.S. diplomatic or military use.
2. Mechanically separated beef.
3. Beef or beef products or veal or veal products repackaged in cold storage facilities under Identification Services (i.e., ID warehouses).
5. Imports of poultry or poultry products are not allowed by Saudi Arabia. However, poultry or poultry products may be allowed for entry for U.S. diplomatic or military use.
A. All products - Storage temperature must be placed with the refrigeration statement on the boxes to fully clarify the type of product being handled. (EXAMPLE: "KEEP FROZEN - store at or below ___°C; KEEP CHILLED (OR REFRIGERATE) - STORE BETWEEN ___°C AND ___°C. "
1. Storage temperature must be placed with the refrigeration statement on the boxes to fully clarify the type of product being handled. (Example: "KEEP FROZEN - store at or below ___°C; KEEP CHILLED (OR REFRIGERATE) - STORE BETWEEN ___°C AND ___°C."
2. Production and expiration dates (See OTHER REQUIREMENTS, section C -- Mandatory Expiration Periods for Food Products.)
B. Fresh/frozen beef and veal. In addition to the labeling features mandatory in the United States, precut/processed and packaged beef and veal must bear the following features:
1. Bilingual labels - The Arabic language must be one of the languages used for declaration.
2. A statement must be included on the label that Halal product has been slaughtered according to Islamic principles.
3. The use of the terminology "Keep Refrigerated" is not acceptable on labels for frozen product.
4. The following labeling methods may be used as alternatives to comply with Labeling Requirements:
a. Stickers - Must not interfere with label terminology and be self destructive on removal. Stickers covering existing labeling information are in violation. Adding stickers for production and expiration dates is not permissible.
b. Inserts - Must be accompanied by production and expiration dates.
c. Ink stamp - Ink must be indelible and legible. (Ink stamps are the least desirable labeling method.)
C. Processed beef and veal
1. Features required on processed beef and veal labels:
a. bilingual labels with labeling features mandatory in the United States,
b. metric net weights, and
c. production and expiration dates (See OTHER REQUIREMENTS, section C -- Product Arrival and Expiration Date.)
2. If processed products are labeled with Halal claims, then the origin of the raw materials must be from Muslim- approved operations and be accompanied with appropriate certificates supporting Islamic Slaughter.
D. Prepackaged processed beef and veal require the following:
1. Net weight.
2. A list of all ingredients should be declared in descending order of weight at the time of manufacture, except for single ingredient food.
3. The name and address of the manufacturer or packer should be declared in case the packer is not the manufacturer.
Note: Exporters are required to comply with current Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) and/or Gulf Standards Organization (GSO) standards regarding “Labeling of Prepackaged Foodstuffs”. Exporters may contact SFDA regarding relevant standards at the following:
All FSIS export certificates accompanying the product must be signed by an FSIS veterinarian. The veterinary degree (DVM or equivalent) must be indicated after the signature.
A. Beef and veal
1. Obtain FSIS Form 9060-5, Meat and Poultry Certificate of Wholesomeness and FSIS Certificate for the Export of Beef Meat and Beef Products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Note: Frozen product may require a statement that "Product was frozen 72 hours after slaughter." The application of the statement is unclear at this time, however FSIS can certify this statement if requested by the exporter and verified to be true. More information will be provided if it becomes available.
Saudi Arabia requires that instructions for consumers concerning storage, preparation and other special handling requirements accompany all shipments.
A. Saudi Arabian Import Inspection
1. Laboratory sampling - Random samples collected on all meat and poultry products entering Saudi Arabia are examined for:
a. Salmonellae - product rejected when more than 2 of 5 sub-samples are positive.
b. E. Coli - no tolerance in ground beef.
c. Growth bacteria - maximum 10,000,000/gm.
d. Volatile nitrogen - beef: maximum 20 mg./100 gm.
2. Species identification tests for pork are routinely run on all product.
B. Detained product - If product is detained, an appeal must be made in person by a Saudi Arabian broker or consignee to the Saudi Ministry of Commerce. Appeals are decided on a case-by-case basis.
C. Mandatory Expiration Periods for Food Products
1. Saudi Arabia requires that production and expiration dates be declared on the label of the package for each food product in an uncoded manner as follows:
- [Day-Month-Year] for food products having an expiration period up to 3 months.
- [Day-Month-Year or Month-Year] for food products having an expiration period exceeding 3 months.
The use of any of the following statements for expressing the expiration date is permissible. It is mandatory to mention the production date:
- The expiration date.
- Consume until date ______.
- Best until _______ from production date.
- Best before date _______.
2. In case of production and expiration dates in month and year only, the expiration period shall be calculated up to the end of the registered expiration month.
3. Dates shall be printed or stamped with permanent ink directly on all packages or on their original label by the producer only. Adding stickers for production and expiration dates is not permissible. There shall not be more than one date of production or date of expiration on the same package. Both dates shall not be subject to deletion or change.
4. Saudi Arabia requires mandatory expiration periods for the following chilled food products (to be stored at temperatures from 0-5 degrees C):
a. For chilled meat packed under carbon dioxide atmosphere within suitable containers eliminating gases exchange, the expiration period shall be no more than 90 days from the slaughtering date at a temperature of -0.5 +/- 1 degree C.
b. For edible organs and fats such as kidneys, heart, brain, tongue, poultry giblets, etc. under suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 7 days from the slaughtering date.
c. For edible organs and fats such as kidneys, heart, tongue, poultry giblets, etc. packed under vacuum in suitable plastic containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 51 days from the slaughtering date at a temperature of -0.5 +/-1 degree C.
d. For edible organs and fats such as kidneys, heart, tongue, poultry giblets, etc. packed under carbon dioxide atmosphere in suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 90 days from the slaughtering date at a temperature of -0.5 +/-1 degree C.
e. For beef and veal packed in suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 21 days from the slaughtering date.
f. For beef and veal packed under vacuum in plastic containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 10 weeks from the slaughtering date.
5. Expiration dates for other frozen, chilled, or canned beef and veal meat and meat products are voluntary. Exporters are advised to work with importers for more information about these or other shelf-life standards.
Note: Exporters may contact the Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) regarding any relevant standards for beef or poultry exports at the following:
D. For direct shipments, the container number and seal number (not a USDA seal) should be typed in the "Remarks" section of FSIS Form 9060-5. However, product transiting third country ports must be sealed with a USDA seal and the seal number and container number must be typed in the "Remarks" section of FSIS Form 9060-5.
Only establishments approved under the AMS Export Verification Program for beef and veal are eligible to export to Saudi Arabia.
The following is presented as information for the exporter. FSIS is not responsible for certifying that products intended for export to Muslim countries meet appropriate requirements for religious slaughter. Procedures for export certification do not include agency oversight of the Halal process or review of the authenticity of the Halal certificate.
The exporter must obtain a Certificate of Islamic (Halal) Slaughter from a member of an Islamic Center or Islamic organization approved by the World Muslim League. Products bearing Halal label claims must be accompanied by an appropriate Halal certification or a written assurance from the exporter that an appropriate Halal certificate will be supplied to accompany that shipment before it reaches its destination. A Certificate of Islamic Slaughter is a certificate issued by a member of a Muslim organization recognized by the importing country to provide this service; the certificate states that animals were slaughtered according to Islamic religious requirements. Processed products with Halal claims should also be accompanied by an appropriate Halal certificate. The certificate must be endorsed by the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce or by Saudi Arabia's Consul and must accompany all shipments. The serial number of the FSIS Form 9060-5 export certificate for the product must be included on the halal certificate.
National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC)
1012 15th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 289-5920
For additional assistance regarding Halal slaughter requirements:
The Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
Fax (202) 342-0271