FCA - UAE,Federal Customs Authority -United Arab Emirates
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GCC Customs Union Authority, recently held its 23rd meeting chaired by the United Arab Emirates, the president of current session, through video conference under the current state of emergency encountered by the region and whole world due to novel COVID-19 pandemic.
Chaired by H.E Ahmed Abdulla Bin Lahej Alfalasi, Director General, Federal Customs Authority with participation of H.E Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Chairmen, Bahrain Customs; Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Alhaqbani, Governer, Saudi Customs General Authority; H.E Khalifa Bin Saeed Alabri, Assistant Secretary General for Economic and Development Affairs, GCC General Secretary; Brigadier General Khalifa Bin Ali Alseyabi, Director General, Oman Customs; Counselor Jamal Bin Hadel Aljalawi, Director General, Kuwait Customs General Authority and Ahmed Bin Abdualla Aljammal, Chairman, Qatar Customs General Authority in addition to UAE delegate encompassing H.E Molhamed Meer Abdul Rahman, Director of Sharjah Customs; Aliaa Almarmoum, Director of Customs Policies and Affairs with a number of Authority's customs departments officials.
The meeting agreed the necessity to comply with GCC commerce ministers first extraordinary meeting resolutions in relation to Corona virus crisis and member states' endeavor to find appropriate solutions to ensure commodities streamlining via air, land and sea inter-countries ports so that precautionary measures taken among Council's countries measures to curb down Corona virus outbreak may not impact commodities movement streamlining.
During the meeting, Customs Union Authority confirmed the participation of GCC customs departments with other competent entities in each country to form teamwork represented by members from concerned entities in Council member states to coordinate and cooperate in tackling, following up and overcome any challenges encountered by commodities flow among Council countries in execution of commerce ministers' resolutions.
The Gulf Authority emphasized the significance of facilitating customs procedures to import and move commodities via member states' land, sea and air ports, to activate liaising with other relevant entities in every country to achieve this goal, coordination and collaboration among Council customs departments prior implementing any customs-related initiatives or procedures pertaining to moving commodities via different ports.
The Authority underscored the crucial role assumed by communication officers in GCC countries' customs departments in addressing any consequences incurred by commodities movement among state members and the significance of direct and bilateral communication among Their Excellency members of Customs Union Authority in this regard.
In meeting inaugural speech, H.E Ahmed Abdullah Bin Lahej pointed out that the world is currently under exceptional situation due to Corona (COVID-19) disease outbreak, which will have consequences and impacts on world and gulf economy particularly in terms of the concept of customs security, health and safety measures in customs ports, the form and mechanism of commodities movement among customs centers, the manner of processing transactions and customs role as a catalyst factor for national economic sectors under crisis and disasters.
“Corona virus pandemic represents tremendous health, economic and social challenges to countries nevertheless, we trust GCC countries customs departments' capabilities to turn this challenge into an opportunity of advancement in the near future through developing work approaches and innovating new mechanisms to protect community and readily process customs transactions to steadily gear up for advancing towards future". He added
H.E extended appraisal and appreciation to Brigadier General Khalifa Bin Ali Alseyabi, preceding cycle Presidency Representative for Omanian Customs' aptitude management of Customs Union Authority for the past year and providing requisite support to advance customs trajectory over GCC countries.
The meeting addressed a number of matters on meeting agenda that included reviewing the list of prohibited and restricted commodities within GCC countries, and last meetings minutes and recommendations of GCC customs subsidiary committee and teams encompassing unified customs law committees, customs procedure and computer, harmonized system, settling and transferring custom duties, authorized economic operator workforce, the team tasked with studying the feasibility of Council states accession to international customs agreements derived from WCO in addition to joint meetings between Technical Secretariat to combat harmful practices in international trade's representative, customs departments and representatives of the ministries concerned with funds and economy affairs in Council state members and the General Secretariat.