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The Impact of Cross-Border E-Commerce on GCC’s Retail Landscape

Cross-border e-commerce is on the rise worldwide, and the (GCC) region, comprising Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is no exception. Technological advancements and consumer inclination towards online shopping have turned the GCC region into a significant cross-border market.

Cross-border E-commerce in GCC!

Cross-border e-commerce is on the rise worldwide, and the (GCC) region, comprising Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is no exception. Technological advancements and consumer inclination towards online shopping have turned the GCC region into a significant cross-border market. In this article, we will explore the growth, regulations, and opportunities in cross-border e-commerce for your business and how Jeebly can help you achieve it!

The Growth of Cross-Border E-commerce in GCC

The cross-border e-commerce market in the GCC region is rapidly expanding and is expected to reach $24 billion by 2022. The UAE and Saudi Arabia account for 78% of the total value, with electronics, fashion, beauty, and health as the most popular products. The top countries from which GCC consumers purchase online include China, the US, the UK, India, and Turkey. Expanding your business to the GCC market can tap into this growth and increase your revenue.

Import Regulations in the GCC Market

Businesses that want to engage in cross-border e-commerce in the GCC need to comply with import regulations updated to 2023. The following are some general regulations that businesses need to comply with:

  • The GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) Technical Regulations, 
  • The GCC Customs Union Common External Tariff (CET), and 
  • The GCC Conformity Assessment Scheme (G-Mark)

Some of the recent and upcoming changes in the GCC import regulations and standards are:

  1. The Harmonized System Convention (HS 2022): Based on changes in environmental and technological needs, the GCC region adopted this regulation on 1 January 2022. It was made to update the previous regulations on tariffs. 
  2. Saudi Arabia has revised its regulations restricting preferential tariff concessions on imports from other GCC countries using Israeli input or made in free zones.
  3. The GCC would implement a common value-added tax (VAT) of 5% on most goods and services by 2023, following the lead of Saudi Arabia and the UAE which introduced VAT in 2018.

Expanding your business through cross-border e-commerce in the GCC market is an excellent opportunity to increase sales, but compliance with import regulations is crucial. Partnering with local businesses can provide valuable guidance to maximize your success.

Steps to Take Before Your Business Considers Cross-Border Shipping

Here are three things you need to do before you dive into the world of cross-border e-commerce and start cross-border shipping:

  1. Conduct Market Research:  Customize products to customer preferences and behavior.
  2. Find a Logistics Partner: Quick, safe, and trusted delivery.
  3. Secure Payment Methods:  Essential for smooth cross-border transactions.

You can partner with local businesses and research cultural and legal differences when expanding in GCC to root your business. The main driving forces that make the GCC region beneficial for your business are the growing population, high living standards, and business-friendly regulations.

How Jeebly Brings Your Business to the GCC Region

Jeebly is a leading tech-enabled logistics company based in Dubai, offering road, air, and ocean freight services for e-commerce businesses in the UAE, GCC, and MENA. Our freight services are cost-effective and designed for the needs of e-commerce businesses.

Our line haul services are specially designed for the GCC region for e-commerce, and we also provide free-zone warehousing services with no taxes or VAT. Additionally, our other value-added services include:

  • 24/7 inbound and outbound operations
  • Associated with custom clearance & shipping partners
  • Last-mile delivery at the speed of smart!

 

Conclusion

Cross-border e-commerce in the GCC presents opportunities for businesses to expand their customer base and reduce costs, but it’s important to research import regulations and market conditions and partner up with a reliable logistics partner like us. Considering these factors, businesses can successfully grow in the dynamic GCC market.