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Saudi Arabia bans 200 foreign companies for importing Israeli products into the kingdom

5 August 2002

Saudi Arabia has blacklisted about 200 foreign companies during the past 10 months for importing $150 million of Israeli products into the oil-rich kingdom, a Saudi trade official said Monday.


Ahmed al-Ouda, a counselor in the kingdom's Commerce Chamber, told The Associated Press that the companies — mostly Jordanian and Cypriot — forged certificates of origin of Israeli products in order to bring them into the Saudi market.

Al-Ouda said the companies — including 72 from Jordan, 70 from Cyprus, 23 from Egypt and 11 from Turkey — will not be able to trade in Saudi again. The other banned companies come from the United States, Britain, Singapore, Thailand, Portugal and Poland.

He did not name any of the banned companies or give the exact number of companies blacklisted.

Al-Ouda said Saudi authorities verified the goods originated in Israel after making checks on items imported by the companies, which include vegetables, seeds, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

About $300 million worth of Israeli goods were imported to Gulf countries during the last 10 months, al-Ouda said, with about half that amount entering Saudi Arabia.

An Arab League boycott has been in place since 1951, banning companies that do business with Israel from dealing with Arab nations. But the boycott, which once listed more than 8,500 companies and people from Coca-Cola to the Ford Motor Co., has not been active for almost a decade.

Recently, however, boycott calls have risen because of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli violence.


190 firms blacklisted for Israeli imports

Arab News
5 August 2002


RIYADH, 5 August — Saudi authorities have blacklisted about 190 Arab and Western companies in the last 10 months for importing Israeli goods into the domestic market, Al-Watan newspaper reported yesterday.

The companies, including 72 from Jordan, and 70 from Cyprus, figured in the list after being accused by the Saudi office for boycotting Israel of importing and selling Israeli goods in the Saudi market, the paper said.

The other companies were based in Egypt (23 companies), Turkey (11), Germany (6), the United States (3), Britain, Singapore, Taiwan, Poland and Portugal, the paper said.

Saudi Arabia tightened its trade boycott against Israel after the Jewish state and its occupation forces continued their atrocities against unarmed Palestinian civilians.

The Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently asked its members not to import any goods suspected of Israeli origin.

"Some of the Jordanian companies are still being probed to confirm accusations that they received Israeli capital and re-exported Israeli goods to Arab countries," the paper said.

The government has instructed customs at airports, seaports and land border points not to release any products, which do not carry certificates of origin in its bid to prevent Israeli products from entering the country.

The Ministry of Commerce has also warned foreign companies against importing Israeli products into the Kingdom, either directly or through a third country. "Any company involved in such fraudulent activities will immediately be blacklisted," it said.

The ministry’s quality control laboratory at King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam had seized a consignment of fruit and vegetables suspected to have originated from the Jewish state.

The ministry has blacklisted Hortex Holding SA, a Polish company, for trying to send Israeli products into the Kingdom. It has also instructed all quality control centers to reject shipments by the Polish company.

Quality control laboratories had aborted an attempt by a German company to export Israeli-manufactured wheat fiber to the Kingdom. The German exporter was subsequently blacklisted by the Commerce Ministry.

Experts from 13 Arab states had held a meeting in Damascus last year to revive the boycott policy against Israel to exert pressure on Tel Aviv to end its military aggression on the Palestinian people.

The Commerce Ministry has cautioned Saudi businessmen to be careful while signing deals with foreign companies and urged them to be certain of the origin of all imported products. It also instructed quality control centers to intensify monitoring of incoming shipments.