As Clyde&Co reports, shipping agents will be able to operate independently, as until recently, ship agency services could only be carried out by a 100% owned KSA company or KSA national. With the recent reforms, instead of working with a local investor, foreign shipping companies and ship agents can operate independently as ship agents at Saudi Arabian ports. Namely, the Saudi Minister of Commerce has confirmed that shipping agency activities do not fall under the Saudi Agency Law and it is not a prohibited activity for non-KSA owned companies.

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SAGIA also confirmed that they are welcoming foreign shipping companies and ship agents, and that there will be no special requirements to perform the activities of shipping agency other than the regular requirements for crating a company in Saudi Arabia.

The foreign investment license will be valid for five years and can be renewed every year. Moreover, investors will have to obtain a shipping agency license from the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani), after establishing the company and prior to practicing the activities.

According to Clyde&Co, the activities of shipping agencies would include vessel clearance and related activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Loading and unloading of cargoes;
  • Booking of cargoes;
  • Paying port dues;
  • Representing the shipping line;
  • Supplying supplies to ships.

The only service that cannot be performed by foreign direct investment companies is customs clearance and fuel supply to ships.