The Federal Customs Authority (FCA), has recently hosted the two-day 5th field visit by the GCC Secretariat General Delegation to the customs ports. Comprising representatives of customs departments from the GCC member states, the delegation paid this visit under a timetable approved by the GCC Customs Union to inspect the first points of entry.
This visit comes by virtue of the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee decision in its 90th meeting to make intensified field visits to customs ports across the GCC countries. This step aims to define the customs procedures applicable and ensure their compliance with the Customs Union requirements.
Khalid A. Al Bustani, the FCA Acting Director-General, said the UAE highlights its keenness to enhance cooperation with the GCC member states and make effective contribution to economic integration among them for successful GCC Customs Union, removing all hiccups to mutual trade in the inter-customs ports.
Visiting the customs ports in the UAE, the delegation of the member states and GCC Secretariat General visited the customs department of Port of Fujairah and Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi. The delegation previously visited other ports in the UAE under a program approved by the FECC and the GCC Customs Union Authority, said Al Bustani.
At the beginning of the visit, the delegation reviewed the guide prepared by the Secretariat General to guide the team through its tasks in the destination customs ports, said Al Bustani. During its visit, the delegation made sure of the quality of the procedures applicable in the UAE customs ports with respect to certain issues that are the core of customs work.
“During the visit, the delegation was reassured about the currently available preparations at the ports visited and the procedures required in such ports and other assistant entities before the end of the transition period, in preparation of launching the final stage of the customs union. The delegation made sure that the customs tariff, unified customs law and declaration, statistical declaration, exemption of national products are applied and that the work continues 24/7 for the release of easily destructible goods,” he added.
On the first day of its visit, the Secretariat General delegation reviewed work progress in the Port of Fujairah, the documentary cycle of customs transactions being cleared, the customs procedures adopted when surveying and releasing goods as well as other customs operations, Al Bustani stated, indicating that the delegation confirmed at the end of the visit that all points mentioned in the guide related to the evaluation of customs points are fulfilled in the port.
On the second day, the Secretariat General delegation reviewed work progress in Khalifa Port, the top official said, adding that the delegation opinion on the documentary cycle of customs transactions being cleared, the customs procedures adopted when surveying and releasing goods as well as other customs operations were highly positive. The delegation confirmed that all the points mentioned in the guide related to the evaluation of customs centers are fulfilled in the port, as all facilities and equipment available in the port are very sophisticated and are bigger than the port capacity.
At the end of the visit, the delegation members praised progress in customs work across the UAE customs ports, stressing that work systems and procedures adopted in the ports visited are ideal and at the same time represent a source of pride for all GCC states. The visitors offered great thanks to the UAE, represented by the FCA and Abu Dhabi Customs for the warm reception and facilities offered to the team during its visit to fulfill the assigned mission.
The delegation members recommended sharing experience with the customs ports in terms of developing customs work, especially the latest work development, i.e. the risk management system. They also highlighted the need for exchanging officials among the GCC countries in the customs ports, as this allows sharing information and experience in addition to realizing the customs union requirements.
On the other hand, Daifallah bin Badr Al-Otaibi, Head of the Saudi delegation, said the visit was aimed at ensuring full application of the GCC Customs Union requirements in the GCC customs ports and ensuring the fulfillment of the first customs point of entry conditions under the union.
The delegation, said Al-Otaibi, started with visiting some ports in the Saudi Arabia, then visiting specific ports at the remaining member states, ending with the UAE.
The delegation members found unprecedented cooperation by the appropriate authorities in the UAE, in addition to the well-arrangement of the visit. The FCA offered all help required for facilitating the mission of the delegation, said Al-Otaibi. The delegation, he said, reviewed the procedures adopted in the Khalifa Port, stating that despite its young age, the port is well equipped with the latest systems and equipment required for completing import customs procedures, and with the warehouses, cameras, live means (police dogs) and trained human resources.
Hassan Ali Al-Nuaimi, Head of the Qatari delegation, said: “Khalifa Port is deemed one of the customs hubs in which we pride not only in the UAE, but in all the GCC countries. It is a typical, integrated customs port that fulfills all requirements stated in the Customs Union guide. Port of Fujairah as well is a strategic port contributing to bolstering the GCC regional security.”
Al-Nuaimi lauded progress in customs work across the UAE, indicating that the UAE enhanced performance in customs ports over a short time. All Customs Union requirements were fulfilled in terms of devices, procedures, risk management, human cadres, information analysis, and the devices of examination, inspection and surveillance.
He voiced confidence in Khalifa Port, adding that it can easily pass the international examination requirements by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to rank among the best hubs worldwide.
Mohammed Hassan Al-Eissa, Head of the Bahraini delegation, showed gratitude for the warm reception in the UAE. He congratulated the FCA and other local customs departments on the advanced customs work in terms of facilities, advanced devices and the existence of a well-prepared environment. Al-Eissa confirmed that the ports visited are special hubs of the customs point of entry in the UAE and other GCC countries.
Khamis Muhanna Awlad Thani, Head of the Omani delegation, commended the efforts of the GCC Secretariat General to unify customs procedures, and the surveillance and inspections measures in the member states. He added that Khalifa Port is a model of advanced customs work, in light of its potentials, buildings, constructions, warehouses and storages. This underscores the State interest in the development of customs, Thani added, calling on the GCC countries to benefit from the UAE experience in this regard.
Mohammed Al-Dossari, Head of the Kuwaiti delegation, deemed the UAE customs hubs, especially Khalifa Port, as a source of pride for all GCC countries, thanks to its human, financial and technical potentials. He stated that the UAE was the first state to apply the unified customs procedures. In addition, the developed customs in the State supports and protects the other GCC countries as they can share experience, visits and information to confirm their leading position worldwide.
Monday, June 2- 2014 @ 15:51 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.