Sign in Register
Posted On: 10 August 2010 06:33 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Qatar overhauls customs procedures

Discuss here!
Start a discussion
Qatar aims to significantly lessen customs inspection to just 5% of total imports as it simplifies procedures through a single-window system, a move that is beneficial to merchandise. The new single window system, which is expected to be implemented either by the end of this year or early next year, will cover both goods in transit and transshipment. “One of the main goals is to upgrade levels of human and technological capacities to attain inspection of less than 5% of the total imported goods,” said Mohamed Ahmed al-Mohannadi, the director of Maritime Customs and manager of the single-window project. He said the system, which has been developed in association with CrimsonLogic, would segregate the declaration into green, yellow and red procedures, with each highlighting the gravity of the inspections needed. Importers would be able to initiate customs clearance procedures from anywhere in the world online, saving time and effort, he said. The consignment clearance would take only a few minutes once the new system is in place instead of weeks, as at present, which has led to overcrowding in the ports and hence higher costs for importers in the form of demurrages. According to sources, the new system will cover all entry points, including ports in Doha, Mesaieed and Ras Laffan. The new system will electronically link all ministries and governmental agencies, including Ministries of Economy and Finance, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Environment, Health, Business and Trade, Municipality and Agriculture, Energy and Industry, Culture, Arts and Heritage and Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. The other agencies involved are ictQatar, Qatar Airways, Civil Aviation Authority, Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Qatar Company for Ports Management. It would do away with importers’ visits to various ministries and government agencies for customs clearance. It would also ensure “providing multiple services to increase client access to accurate and reliable information in addition to import and export operations”, he said. One of the main goals of the project, according to al-Mohannadi, is “to help Qatar as an active partner in facilitating world trade through a transparent customs environment and also ensure security and safety through risk management system”. He said: “Our objective is to create a favourable environment for trade and make Qatar an effective partner by simplifying clearing processes.” The project aimed at integration with the private sector and all governmental agencies concerned, he said, adding integration would involve shipment and navigation lines and companies. The current system “Bin Naama”, launched in 2004 in line with the requirements of the GCC Customs Union and the World Customs Organisations, is unable to cope with the new developments and expansions in customs practices, hence the need for a new one, as suggested by Booz Allen Hamilton Company.