MSC Isabella (built 2019) 23 656 TEU  MSC Isabella (built 2019) 23 656 TEU

Saudi Arabia

Connecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world


MSC has been operating in Saudi Arabia since 1996, delivering successful business growth with our customers and trading partners. Today, MSC serves the Kingdom and the region from three main offices, Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh.

Contact our  team to request a quote, book or find out more about our local services



Detention, demurrage, Per Diem and storage charges

What is detention?

Detention is the charge applicable, after the free time expires, for the use of the carrier’s full container inside the marine terminal, railroad facilities or container yard. This charge can also apply while the container is undergoing Saudi Arabian customs inspections, or while the cargo inside the container is being reworked for safety reasons.   

What is demurrage?

Demurrage is the charge applicable, after the free time expires, inside the terminal for the use of the land. 
In case of a demurrage dispute, email (email subject: Dispute + Invoice Number), describing the reasons for your dispute. 
What is Per Diem?

Per Diem is the charge applicable, after the free time expires, for the use of the carrier’s container (full or empty) outside the marine terminal, rail ramp or container yard.  
In case of Per Diem disputes, email, mentioning the invoice number in the email subject.

Our dispute team will come back to you within 48 business hours.

What are storage charges?

A storage charge is applicable, after the free time expires, for containers left inside the rail ramp or container yard (for the use of the land).


SOLAS VGM information for Saudi Arabia

What is VGM?

Verified Gross Mass or VGM refers to the exact, verified weight of a packed container. For safety reasons, vessel operators can only load a container if its weight has been verified.

  •  Authority in charge of SOLAS implementation in KSA SAUDI PORT AUTHORITY
  • Tolerance, fines / penalties: 1Ton of declared VGM
  • Level of control expected: Not announced

Gates procedures:

  • Once the shipping line upload Saudi EDI, the hauler can move the Containers to terminal.
  • Containers with VGM declared can pass through Gate with scanner & off load at yard.
  • Containers without VGM data, should go through Weigh Bridge Gate & obtain the VGM Data.
  • The above process will be controlled by TAR. 

What do I need to include in my VGM instructions?

  • You must include the following on all VGM instructions: The following items are mandatory and must be on all VGM
  • Booking or Bill of Lading number
  • Container number
  • VGM,  weight measurement unit (lbs. or kgs.)
  • Authorized person’s signatory (submitter of the VGM who may be authorized to act on behalf of shippers
  • Responsible party Name
  • Any other by local law (if applicable)

How can I submit my VGM instructions?

  • myMSC (Free of Charge) 
  • EDI (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)
  • Manually (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)
  • Fax, email
  • Standard Shipping Instructions

Guidelines for submitting your VGM instructions

  •  120 Hours of ETA as per usual practice otherwise. VGM cut-off different from Documentation cut off 96 RS

MSC admin fees and costs 

  • Manual Submission of  VGM/per box: $25 WW
  • Late Submission Of VGM /per box: $50 WW
  • Misdeclaration of VGM /per box: $500 WW


  • Keep the VGM records for future references.
  • MSC Local agency should be informed in advance about the appointment of 3rd parties to provide the VGM.
  • From terminals (in respect to weigh, gate in, modal, cargo stuffed inside terminals)
  • From MSC agency
  • For landlocked countries

Contact information

Prohibited cargo

It is illegal to bring the following items into or out of Saudi Arabia 

  • Any goods imported from Israel.
  • Hazardous waste as defined by both the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their
  • Disposal and the Saudi Arabian General Environmental Law and its rules for implementation.
  • Designated toxic and hazardous chemicals, including the fluorescent stain Auramine O.
  • Palm trees of any type (including date, coconut and ornamental palms).
  • Christmas trees of any kind.
  • Natural soil, whether to be imported as such or used as potting material, e.g. for seedlings, cuttings, tubers.
  • Goods unfit for their intended use, e.g. spoilt foodstuffs.
  • Foodstuffs involving animal blood in their production process.
  • Beverages bearing the description of "Zamzam" (water from a certain well in Mecca).
  • Cooling equipment such as freezers, air conditioners, compressors and refrigerators operating on banned refrigerants, e.g. cooling agents
  • containing Freon 11, 12, 22 and 123.
  • All types of machines, equipment and tools for gambling or games of chance.
  • Leftover equipment and machinery from the Kuwait and Iraq war.
  • Certain religious literature, e.g. the Holy Quran.
  • Blank invoices of foreign companies abroad.
  • Advertising material for cigarettes of any kind.
  • Products polluted by radiation or nuclear dust.
  • Though the above items are the only ones prohibited, there are a number of goods that are heavily restricted.  For more information, see the links below. 

 View the full list of prohibited and restricted goods.

  • There are no major export prohibitions in place, though some items – as with importing – are heavily restricted.
    For full details of prohibited cargo please visit the links below:

View the full list of prohibited and restricted goods.
Find information on procedures and formalities. 


List of terminals 

Ports and terminals

MSC operates services to and from the following Saudi ports and terminals, with local teams in each location to support our customers.

Dammam (SADMM) – King Abdul Aziz Port
Jeddah (SAJED) – Jeddah Islamic Port
Jubail (SAJUB) – Jubail Commercial Port
King Abdullah (SAKAC) – King Abdullah Port