Saudi Arabia is set to officially begin using an electronic system to control imported foods entering the country through sea, land and air, reported the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
An electronic request must be submitted by food importers who wish to pass food products across the border into Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to control quality and help establish a detailed electronic database about the goods available in the Saudi market, the newspaper reported.
“No approvals will be provided unless an electronic request is submitted. Food importers and custom brokers must hurry to register in the electronic system to control imported foods before the set deadline,”  a Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) statement was quoted by Asharq al-Awsat.
Operations through the electronic system are set to officially begin on Jan. 2, 2014, added the newspaper.
Identifying the names of food importers, the imported shipments, the markets in which goods are to be sold, and ensuring that there are price tags on the medicine packs are the most important information to be taken from the database on the new system, unnamed sources told the newspaper.
The SFDA presented the registration mechanism earlier this week at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported the newspaper.
The value of food consumption in Saudi Arabia is projected to reach $70 billion over the next four years to accompany a rise in the demand, reported the Saudi-based Arab News in September 2013.