UAE recommends constitution of customs authority for GCC

A1BU DHABI — UAE has suggested the constitution of a GCC customs authority, to resolve issues of non-compliance by the member nations of the customs union.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Fri 15 Sep 2006, 10:31 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:21 PM

"At present there is no mechanism and platform where any member nation can lodge its complain against others in relation to the violation of any rule or failure to implement the conditions set for the union," said Saeed Al Marri, Deputy Director General, UAE Federal Customs Authority, who is also Head of GCC Customs Union Committee, responsible for laying the foundations of the customs union.

The UAE has been active in activating the customs union committees in its efforts to speed up the process of creating legal and administrative structure of the union, which would facilitate the greater objectives of duty free export.

Officials were satisfied with the outcome of the three-day meeting, as one official said the country strongly believes in the idea of customs union and the economic activity it can create to benefit the people of the region. "It could increase manifold the trade flow between the member nations," he said. "We met for three-days to iron out complex issues before the creation of GCC Customs Union," said Saeed Al Marri.

The Committee meeting, which was inconclusive, has agreed to meet in Riyad on October 29 to 31 to discuss the remaining items on the agenda and to come up with its final recommendations.

During the next meeting, sub-committees constituted on drugs, food and safety, protections etc. would present their reports and progress they have made in resolving the issues with the member countries.

Al Marri said that after the next meeting, it is expected that situation becomes more clear on the current level of prepardness towards the January 1, 2008 deadline for the Customs Union to kick off. He said that in past, the pace had been bit slow as GCC members failed to complete the transition period for the Customs Union which expired on December 31, 2005. The GCC leaders had to extend it by two-years. The UAE's share in the customs duties paid at the final destination during the period of January 1, 2003 - 30, June 2006, was $215 million out of total duties collected in excess of $300 million.

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