Saudi, Dubai customs seek stronger trade ties amid coronavirus outbreak

Mutual trade between the Saudi Arabia and Dubai reached $3.2bln in Q1, 2020

Image of Saudi port used for illustrative purpose.

Image of Saudi port used for illustrative purpose.


DUBAI —Saudi Customs and Dubai Customs on Tuesday agreed to further trade cooperation and arrangements to develop customs procedures in response to coronavirus outbreak, WAM, UAE’s official news agency, reported.

In a video meeting between Ahmed Alhakbani, Governor of Saudi Customs and Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, they discussed lessons learned from the coronavirus experience which has led to coming up with innovative customs approaches and procedures.

Mutual trade between the Kingdom and Dubai reached SR12 billion in Q1, 2020, with imports contributing approximately SR2.4 billion, exports nearly SR640 million, and re-exports SR9 billion.

Saudi Customs chief Alhakbani expressed his happiness for this fruitful meeting and reiterated the two parties’ keenness to achieve more mutual trade, and to work together through thick and thin.

He talked about the procedures taken to ensure smooth work at Saudi Customs, and that all job tasks done through remote working so far were efficient. "Working on the field was another challenge because it was done with less employees, and strict precautionary measures were taken to ensure inspectors’ safety."

Saudi Arabia has launched a number of stimulus initiatives including postponing payment of customs duties on any goods imported to the local market.

For his part Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, said: "Our regular meetings with customs organizations in brotherly and friendly countries is part of our endeavors to mitigate any impacts of coronavirus on the global supply chain".

He confirmed that the advanced technological infrastructure in Dubai has helped work go undisrupted. "Dubai Customs provides best smart services efficiently, and frontline inspectors work around the clock to maintain security and insure safe and streamlined flow of shipments through different sea, land and air ports."

Dubai Customs has extended a refund of 20 percent on the customs fees imposed on imported products sold locally in Dubai markets from March 15 to June 30 as part of the stimulus package plan.

The package also includes the cancellation of the 50,000 dirham bank guarantee or cash required to undertake customs clearance activity. Bank guarantee or cash paid by existing customs clearance companies will be refunded.


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