The Land Customs Department of the General Authority of Customs started Sunday morning its customs duties by opening the way for commercial exchange procedures between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is for the import and export operations of goods and commercial shipments that are specified according to the conditions announced by the authority.
This comes after the decision issued on January 1, 2021 by the competent authorities to open the Abu Samra border crossing of Qatar and the Salwa border crossing of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which began to receive travellers, as the Land Customs Department implemented its customs procedures for receiving travellers to and from the State in coordination with its partners from the government agencies operating at the Abu Samra border crossing and within the authority's great keenness to facilitate the procedures for vehicles crossing the border and to complete the procedures for travellers in the least possible time.
Based on the travel and return policy to and from Qatar in effect in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and after coordination with the relevant authorities at the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, it has been decided to apply a number of regulatory and precautionary controls and procedures regarding the movement of incoming and outgoing goods from the Salwa border crossing of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Abu Samra border crossing of Qatar, which were recently announced on the authority's website.
Upon receiving instructions to start opening the only land port between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Land Customs Department addressed the customs departments to coordinate the return of work and make customs operations inside the border crossing ready, said Director of the Land Customs Department Murshid Shaheen Al Kuwari, adding that coordination with government agencies working at the crossing identified the work mechanism to be followed according to the directives received by the permanent committee of Abu Samra port. He explained that a large number of X-ray examination devices have been provided recently with the best international specifications.
The commercial freight movement started at the Abu Samra port according to specific requirements and procedures, including the necessity for truck drivers coming from the Salwa border crossing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to obtain a certificate attested by the Saudi Ministry of Health, confirming a negative Coronavirus (Covid-19) test with validity period not less than 72 hours before the date of entry to the Abu Samra border crossing. Drivers and trucks transporting goods to Qatar through the Abu Samra border crossing are not permitted to enter the country, and the goods will be unloaded and reloaded onto local trucks by the importer or his representative in the crossing based on prior coordination with border crossing management.
All exporters of goods through the Abu Samra border crossing to the Salwa crossing are also bound by the instructions issued by Saudi Customs, before embarking on the export or re-export of goods in order to avoid any delay or rejection of the goods upon their arrival at the Salwa crossing, and the exported or re-exported goods from the State of Qatar are transported by trucks through the Abu Samra crossing to the Salwa crossing, according to what is decided by the Saudi authorities at the Salwa port in this regard.
In the framework of completing technical equipment and customs procedures, the Information Systems Department at Qatar Customs has carefully reviewed all systems, devices and networks, and a large number of computers, network communication systems, etc. have been replaced. Also, the Operations and Risk Analysis Department has ensured that all updates of the Al-Nadeeb system are completed. In addition to that, the Financial and Administrative Affairs Department has provided all work needs by replacing seals and documentary tools, providing sterilisers, protective masks and gloves, and conducting the required general services, maintenance and others.
Cover image credit: Malay Mail
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