In collaboration with local customs administrations, the Federal Customs Authority has initiated executive procedures to unify customs system across the UAE.
The move is meant to authorise common customs electronic system within all local customs administrations and border zones to contribute to cementing the security scheme, facilitate trade, simplify clearing procedures, and expedite information and data.
The Cabinet had authorised last June, the implementation of common customs electronic system broadly in all customs administrations in the state and its affiliated zones under the supervision of the Federal Customs Authority, FCA.
Ali Saeed Matar Al Neyadi, Customs Commissioner and Chairman of the FCA, said that implementing such a system contributes to achieving the Emirates 2021 strategy objectives on two key pillars. These are anchoring safe society rules and policies and building a knowledge-based competitive economy.
He said that customs electronic systems form the most effective tools in managing risk, customs control, clearing customs transactions and facilitating goods flow. Unifying the customs systems in the state is one of the key security and customs requirements of the strategy.
Al Neyadi clarified that implementing a common electronic system all over the state will contribute to fulfilling the GCC Customs Union requirements of supporting the mechanism of direct transformation towards direct customs duties among GCC countries as implemented by Emirati initiative in November 2015.
The new system will contribute to accomplishing the Al Azm Retreat outcomes between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on implementing the initiatives of Customs Union and Gulf Common Market, and tackling mutual trade obstacles between both countries. It would help to implement a (Paperless customs) initiative by activating and developing electronic integration in both countries and implementing a single window to all entities existing in interfacing zones and implementing the Authorised Economic Operator Program.
He recalled that the Federal Customs Authority had conducted a detailed study in customs systems implemented in the state by specialised subject matter experts committee in the Authority and local customs administrations.
Al Neyadi said that implementing the new electronic system will cement performance level, promote compliance with customs procedures and security measures at border ports which will benefit local customs administrations, merchants, importers, exporters and cargo agencies.
It was also sufficiently resilient to adjust with modern techniques and contemporary customs concepts including Artificial Intelligence, smart risk engine, blockchain, compliance culture in the commercial supply chain, automation, and post-clearance audits.
The FCA plans to implement the system in stages, the first of which will cover two local customs departments that possess essential infrastructure and capabilities. The entire system implementation in all local departments will take up 26 months, he added.