UAE Federal Customs Authority to host regional meeting in January
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Customs Authority (FCA) will host the World Custom Organization’s (WCO) regional meeting for the North Africa, Near and Middle East (NANME) region next January.
“This is the first time that the FCA is to host a meeting of this nature since it was established. The forthcoming gathering will not only enhance bilateral relations among all customs authorities and departments across the region but will also serve to exchange expertise and related technology across all member countries,” said Mohammed Bin Fahad Al-Mehairi, general manager of the FCA.
Al-Mehairi pointed out that in hosting this meeting, the UAE would consolidate its integration into the global economic system and would assume a more critical role in the NANME region. The decision came during the 18th meeting for NANME member countries held recently at the World Custom Organization headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and attended by the FCA.
Al-Mehairi noted that during the course of the meeting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) General Secretariat presented a paper regarding the procedures and processes necessary for the implementation of the GCC Customs Union and the current efforts to this end.
The 18th NANME meeting discussed the regional representative’s report, which included recommendations agreed upon during the preceding meeting. These included a suggestion to adopt Arabic as the official language in both the process of evaluation and the setting of rules of origin.
They also included follow-up regarding the establishment of a customs-training center in Lebanon according to WCO regulations and the preparation of a summary about the importance of sensitive information exchange to be referred to the Arab League.
Participants reviewed the various activities carried out by the regional bureau and previous training courses held in the region. These included training on the ‘Coordinated System’ held in Saudi Arabia, training on ‘Evaluation and Control Mechanisms’ in Tunisia, a session on ‘Dangerous Chemicals Check and Customs Administration Update’ in Jordan and courses on ‘Evaluation of Customs Items’ in Qatar.
The meeting also discussed the role of the Jordanian Customs Department in protecting heritage and cultural property and the importance of sharing information in this respect.
During the course of the 18th NANME meeting, participants also debated numerous reports produced by WCO committees and in particular regarding customs operations and permanent policy, technology and security committees. The Arab Administrative Cooperation Pact, aimed at combating customs violations was also reviewed along with a training plan for NANME countries.
Al-Mehairi concluded that the representatives of NANME customs authorities agreed to nominate a candidate for the post of Secretary General of the WCO and to support Morocco’s representative in the elections for the position of Head of Tariff and Trade Affairs.
With the objective of controlling and coordinating customs affairs in each Emirate of the UAE, the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) is responsible for drawing up customs policy in cooperation with local customs departments. It aims to consolidate legislation with a view to streamlining the working of local customs and standardize their enforcement of fraud and smuggling detection measures across the UAE. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)