As one of the world's largest seaports, with plenty of competition between logistics and removals companies, expats should have few problems shipping items to Jeddah.

Expats should get quotes from several companies, and compare their prices and reputations before settling on one.

That said, shipping can be expensive, accommodation in Jeddah often comes furnished and expats would easily be able to purchase most of their household items locally. Expats moving to Jeddah should therefore think carefully before deciding what to bring with them.

Air freight and courier services are good for delivering smaller packages. They're efficient, but the costs are proportionately higher.

All shipped items must pass through Saudi Arabian customs and the sender has to complete the appropriate paperwork. Customs clearance depends on whether goods are classified as having no commercial value. Dutiable goods are taxed.

Shipments can sit in customs for quite some time before they're allowed to be claimed. In some cases, the goods recipient may have to pay for storage during this period.

Using a shipping company with warehouse storage can be worthwhile as expats won't have to worry about extra costs if they can't claim their goods from customs immediately.

The list of prohibited items is long and constantly changing but generally tends to include the following: alcohol, fashion magazines, games of chance, statues, Bibles, binoculars, medicines without a prescription, and even Christmas trees.

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