UAE, Saudi Arabia Customs implement Retreat of Resolve outcomes

ABU DHABI– The joint Customs meeting between the UAE and Saudi Arabia to implement the outcomes of the Retreat of Resolve held on 28th February in Abu Dhabi, ended today in Dubai, with the aim of activating the articles of the signed agreement between both countries to establish a UAE-Saudi Arabian co-ordination council, and to set a long-term roadmap as an ideal model of co-operation and integration between countries.

The two-day meeting was presided over by Ali Al Kaabi, Customs Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Customs Authority, and included the UAE team that consisted of representatives from the ministries of Economy, Finance, Climate Change and Environment, as well as Mohammed Khadim Al Hameli, Acting Director-General of Abu Dhabi Customs; Ahmed Mahooub Musabih, Dubai Customs Director-General; and Mohammad Mir Abdulrahman, Sharjah Customs Director-General.

Also included were representatives of local customs departments, public authorities for ports, borders and free zone security, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology and the UAE Commerce and Industry Chambers Union. The Saudi team was headed by Ahmed Abdulaziz Al Hiqbany, Director-General of Saudi Customs Authority , and the team consisted of department heads and specialists in the authority.

The meeting addressed joint customs work issues, which were divided into three main categories that represented the outcomes of the Al Azm Retreat, relating to the customs sector. These include joint co-operation in customs areas, facilitating movement flow through ports, and electronic connectivity and customs systems development.

The Federal Customs Authority’s statistics showed that the amount of foreign non-oil trade, through direct trade and free zones, between the UAE and Saudi Arabic reached AED414.3 billion during the period from 2011 until the third quarter of 2016.

Saudi Arabic represents the main market for re-exported trade from the UAE, as the amount during the above period reached AED235.4 billion, representing 56.6 percent of total trade. The UAE exports to Saudi Arabia during this period reached AED63.5 billion, while imports totalled nearly AED110.6 billion.

Al Kaabi said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia discussed the implementation of a selective tax agreement to combat smuggling between both countries, and noted their agreement on a unified manual for procedures to implement the agreement in ports, and to set a joint plan to combat smuggling in GCC countries.

Source: Emirates News Agency