SASO Refresher for White Goods Exporters

Mon 24 Apr 2017
Posted by: IOE&IT News

SASO logo


Since April 2010, Saudi Arabia has mandated that air conditioners, washing machines, fridges and freezers being imported must comply to a strict set of energy efficient standards. But, did you know that these products must now meet a minimum star rating too?

Understanding the implication this has on your export business can be tricky.  So, today’s guest blog from IOE&IT corporate member and expert in export procedures, XDS Solutions, explains:


SASO Energy Efficient Labelling

1 – Called the SASO (Saudi Arabian Standards Organization) Energy Labelling Programme, it’s designed to ensure that the energy consumption efficiency for each product is documented. This helps Saudi Arabian consumers choose the most efficient product.

2 – The following products must comply if they are to clear Saudi Arabia customs; air conditioners, washing machines, fridges and freezers.

3 – Testing and certification to comply with SASO Energy Efficient Labelling standards is delivered via accredited firms, such as XDS Solutions.  The certificate is then sent via electronic transfer to customs officers via the SASO electronic portal.

4 – As well as compliance to SASO standards for Energy Efficiency Labelling, air conditioners, washing machines, fridges and freezers must also meet the minimum star rating, as detailed below:

  • Washing machines (≤ 12kg) – star rating 4
  • Freezers & Refrigerators (≤ 30ft3) – minimum star rating 1 
  • Window type A/C (CC ≤ 24000 BTU/hr) – minimum star rating 5
  • Window type A/C (24000 < CC ≤ 70000 BTU/hr) – minimum star rating 3  
  • Split type A/C (CC ≤ 70000 BTU/hr) – minimum star rating 7


5 – Manufacturing and exporting AC/Split type into Saudi Arabia?  You should now renew your EER certificate and labels (with 7 to 10 stars).


6 - Already have existing import processes in place?  No matter, you still need to comply with the SASO Energy Labelling Programme. 


7 – There are three routes to SASO Energy Efficient Labelling compliance:

  • Route 1 – For Unregistered/Unlicensed products.  Often the choice of infrequent exporters…your shipment will require pre-supply inspection and pre-supply testing to demonstrate it meets certain standards. If successful you’ll be issued with a Certificate of Conformity, granting you clearance through customs.


  • Route 2 – For Registered Products.  The preferred route for businesses that regularly export to Saudi Arabia.  Consignment Inspection is still performed on all shipments, but product testing is reduced and only carried out on shipments chosen at random. Note though, to take advantage of this more efficient route you will first need to register your products. 


  • Route 3 – For Licensed Products.  If your exports into Saudi Arabia are consistent and frequent then it’s often sensible to become registered as a licensed product.  This route means that pre-supply inspection and pre-supply testing is reduced, and only performed on shipments at random intervals.  Note though, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate compliance of your products with standards (Saudi Arabian or applicable International standards) and prove that the manufacturer operates an approved Quality Assurance system e.g. ISO9000.

White goods exporters looking to better understand SASO Energy Efficient Labelling & the minimum star rating system should contact an XDS Solutions Account Manager via

Those concerned about the complexities of international compliance can boost their knowledge base by enrolling staff on the Institute’s Diploma in World Customs Compliance. The pioneering 18 month to two-year online course offers part-time blended learning, with modular assessments - and leads to a full customs qualification at level 5 diploma level. You can check it out here – where you will also find details of our complete range of professional qualifications.


About XDS Solutions

Chelmsford-based XDS Solutions was launched in 2013 to offer export managers a fast and simple way to manage customs clearance. With more than 12 years’ experience in export compliance, its founders knew well the frustration felt at being unable to find a straightforward route. Instead of slow, complex, web-based conformity assessment

To discuss your firm’s export procedures, including faster SASO & SONCAP customs clearance documentation, visit