DUBAI - Dubai Customs has handled 688,201 duty refund transactions valued at AED4.6 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

The Smart Refund System helped toward this achievement by reducing customers’ time and cost, through simpler and more precise calculations. The system has substantially reduced the time required to refund duty deposits to traders and customers, Dubai Customs said in a statement on Saturday.

"Dubai Customs is moving steadily toward the UAE’s 50th Anniversary, fulfilling all 4th industrial revolution requirements and expectations through adoption of the latest cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence, AI, customs systems and projects," said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs.

"This places Dubai in its right position to be the smartest city in the world, and fulfilling Dubai Customs’ vision of becoming the leading customs administration in the world supporting legitimate trade. The outstanding economic performance and figures indicate the quick recovery from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic," Musabih pointed out.

He noted that the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which included stimulus packages worth AED608 billion have pushed the economic wheel forward and supported businesses in a challenging time. "This is reflected by the excellent Dubai external trade activity in the first half of 2020, which touched on AED551 billion, with more than 7.2 customs transactions." Refunded duty deposits from January to September this year amounted to AED3.5 billion, and there were 76,391 'Makasa' automated transfer claims worth AED382 million during the same period.

On his part, Mohammed Al Hashmi, Director of Claim and Refund Department, said, "Quick closing of these claims provide the companies with the liquidity they need to facilitate and manage their activities. Claims can be applied around the clock, documents can be verified digitally, and all applications can be tracked using the mobile phone. Thanks to this facility, productivity in clearing non-hazardous shipments increased 98 percent."

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.