Saudi imports jump 19% to SR 587 billion
The Customs Department said yesterday that it made SR 22.25 billion in revenues last year, 13.5 percent more than the revenue of 2011. Tariff exemption given to imported products valued at SR 6.4 billion in 2012.
In its annual report, the department pointed out that the total value of goods imported to the Kingdom last year reached SR 587.8 billion, 19 percent more than that of 2011 when the amount was SR 495.5 billion.
“Nonoil exports rose by eight percent to SR 170.4 billion,” the report said. There were 3.29 million customs statements issued by the department last year with six percent increase over the previous year.
Last year also witnessed 19.9 percent increase in the number of vehicles and trucks that crossed the Kingdom’s land and sea borders to reach 18.6 million vehicles compared to 15.5 million in the previous year.
Customs officials foiled 19,171 attempts to bring in banned goods with an increase of 27.8 percent compared to the previous year, adding that it seized 87.69 million units of banned goods.
Referring to imitation goods, the report said it seized 54.86 million pieces of such goods valued at SR 763 million against 48.6 million pieces in the previous year.
The department had instructed travelers leaving the Kingdom to declare the amount of money and other valuables exceeding SR 60,000 and total value of such declared amounts reached SR 157.67 billion.
The department emphasized its efforts to develop the capabilities of its workers by organizing training programs inside and outside the Kingdom, adding that 8,400 employees benefited from such programs.
The Saudi Customs has developed and simplified the customs procedures to accelerate the release of imported, exported and transit goods. The computerization of customs operations started with the implementation of automation and advanced technologies at the Customs Headquarters and all ports.
The customs procedures of goods release have become processed electronically for all transactions such as import, export, tariff, exemption, revenue, international conventions, importers and brokers' data, vehicles customs card, passengers and vehicles tracking.
The department has established an infrastructure of a countrywide computer network to implement the automated systems at all airports, land port and seaport customs. The Fiber Optic cables were used in the Local Area Network (LANs) extensions within each department and port. Leased Digital Data lines (DDN) were used to achieve connectivity between the ports.
The Saudi Customs has achieved a major breakthrough by implementing the X-Ray container scanner technology. It has been in use at the seaports, international airports and land ports. Each X-Ray device unit can scan approximately 40 containers per hour, and it is durable to run for 20 hours per day with a capacity of 800 containers per day.