bottles of lotions being produced and checked at a cosmetics factory

A Short Guide to Cosmetic Product Certification in Saudi Arabia

The cosmetics market in Saudi Arabia is large, with various estimates putting the annual total value at around $4bn. This value is also expected to grow. As such, there’s plenty of reason for cosmetic brands to want to take advantage of the opportunity to sell in the lucrative Saudi Arabian market.

However, brands that want to do so need to make sure they’re compliant with the Saudi government’s rules.

In Saudi Arabia, certification is an essential part of the process of compliance.

In this article, we’ll give a brief overview of what the certification requirements are for importing and selling cosmetic products in Saudi Arabia and what brands need to do to get their products certified.

QIMA is an approved notification body and is able to certify cosmetic products for importation and sale in Saudi Arabia. If you need to get cosmetic products certified for sale in Saudi, we can handle the process for you.

What Certification Do Cosmetic Products Need in Saudi Arabia?

The rules governing the importation and sale of cosmetic products in Saudi Arabia are controlled by the Saudi Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

In order for cosmetic products to be imported and sold in Saudi Arabia, importers need to adhere to the SFDA’s cosmetics conformity procedures. Doing so will allow imported products to be issued with a certificate of conformity for customs clearance.

Getting a certificate of conformity depends on demonstrating that products meet standards requirements and completing various additional steps.

Product Standards

To achieve certification, there are requirements that must be met regarding product standards.

Products must comply with the SFDA’s GSO 1943:2016 Safety Requirements of Cosmetics and Personal Care Products regulation. In addition to setting out a range of standards requirements, a list of prohibited substances, restricted substances and approved preservatives, UV filters, and colorants is also included in the annexes of the regulation. As well as paying attention to this regulation, importers need to ensure that products adhere to requirements published in circulars issued by the SFDA.

In addition to this, there are also labeling requirements that have to be met, and other requirements may also apply to certain products.


Testing is used to confirm product standards. For repeat shipments, the frequency at which testing takes place depends on the level of risk associated with a product.

Technical File

The submission of a technical file is instrumental in demonstrating that product standards requirements have been met.

This may contain information such as:

Additional Steps

There are also administrative requirements that must be met during the process of achieving certification:

How Can Cosmetic Brands Get Their Products Certified?

Certification is attained through an SFDA-approved notification body by third-party solution providers like QIMA.

By collaborating with a third-party solutions provider, you can conduct conformity assessments to ensure that your cosmetic products meet the SFDA’s technical regulations and are safe for sale. At QIMA, we provide our clients with comprehensive assistance in achieving compliance, including administrative support.

Conformity Assessments

Below is a brief example of services that are provided related to product conformity:

Additional Steps

In addition to conformity assessments, it is also important to ensure the administrative side of certification goes as smoothly as possible including the below:

What is Defined as a Cosmetic Product in Saudi Arabia?

Cosmetics are defined by the SFDA as products that are intended to be placed into contact with the external parts of the human body, such as the skin, hair system, nails, lips, teeth or mucous membranes of the mouth for various purposes, including cleaning, perfuming or altering appearance.

If you’d like to find out more about cosmetic certification in Saudi Arabia, you can watch QIMA’s webinar on the subject here.

Alternatively, for further information contact us at

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