Push for a Unified Mechanism for Exempting Parcels and Personal Consignments

Abdullah Adel Al- Sharhan, the Acting Director General of the General Administration of Customs, led the delegation that participated in the fifth meeting of the Board of Directors of the Customs Union Authority of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries on August 31, 2023, in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman, reports Al- Rai daily. During this meeting, the comprehensive and updated timetable for completing arrivals was approved. They also discussed the final status of the Customs Union in light of the outcomes of a study on the development of customs ports and adopted an executive plan for proposed solutions to address existing obstacles.

Furthermore, the meeting delved into the decisions made by the Board of Directors, the requirements during the founding phase, and recommended transferring the tasks and jurisdiction of the Customs Union Administration and the Customs Information Center from the General Secretariat to the Council of the Customs Union Authority. This transfer was to enable the Council to exercise its duties as per the bylaws and the powers granted to it in line with the Supreme Council’s decision & 42/2021. Amendments to the list of materials and tools for individuals with special needs were agreed upon, and these changes would be implemented from March 1, 2024, pending approval by the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee.

Al-Sharhan emphasized the importance of developing a unified mechanism for exempting parcels and personal postal consignments, sharing experiences to implement best practices. He also highlighted the agreement to promptly address the challenges faced by consignments subject to the mechanism of direct automatic transfer of customs duties. Additionally, there was consensus on compiling lists of common restricted and prohibited goods, as well as lists of goods with similar characteristics, including private and individual prohibitions.

In his remarks, Al-Sharhan underscored the necessity of cooperation between relevant authorities and the General Administration of Customs to implement advanced release requirements. This would streamline all procedures at the first port in GCC countries, eliminate redundant processes at inter-borders, facilitate the electronic exchange of information with GCC nations, and develop unified customs clearance procedures. Ultimately, these efforts aimed to reduce clearance times and facilitate the flow of trade.

Source- Arab Times.

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