A file photo showing Haj pilgrims from Kerala, waiting at Kochi International Airport at Nedumbassery in Kerala. Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced a series of guidelines that must be adhered to by Hajj pilgrims prior to and upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. These stipulations are intended to ensure a smooth pilgrimage, according to the ministry.

Pilgrims are required to carry all necessary official documents when they arrive at the airport in order to complete travel procedures. Furthermore, the ministry has instructed that any electronic devices should be kept within checked-in baggage.

Pilgrims must ensure that each piece of luggage that will be shipped adheres to the approved dimensions to assure its acceptance. Additionally, distinctive identification marks should be placed on each piece of luggage prior to shipping.

Customs declaration

The ministry has also listed items that are prohibited, including plastic bags, water bottles, liquid materials, and unwrapped or untied baggage. Boxes that are wrapped and covered in fabric are also forbidden.

Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, pilgrims are required to declare any cash or precious items in their possession exceeding a value of SR60,000. This includes foreign currencies, gifts, electronic devices, jewellery and precious metals.

The ministry has further emphasised the importance of filling out the customs declaration when entering or exiting Saudi Arabia. This is particularly important if pilgrims are carrying local or foreign currencies, or any items valued over SR60,000.

The same customs declaration is also required for passengers carrying goods in commercial quantities worth over SR3,000, or items prohibited from importing or exporting, such as antiquities.

This also applies to goods subject to excise tax.

The ministry has issued a stern warning to pilgrims who fail to complete and sign the customs declaration, noting that they will be held accountable.