*Abdullah Al-Ruqi from Riyadh
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have set nine primary entry points for goods within the stages of the single customs point for the entry of goods between them, which will be implemented before the end of this year.
Ahmed Al-Qahbani, the Governor of the General Administration of Customs, said to AlEqtisadaih that Customs Authorities in the Gulf Countries have made great strides in terms of the first entry points, which is the first step of the single customs point, where nearly nine ports have been identified so far.
He pointed out that the start of application and work in the first outlets will be before the end of 2019.
The Governor of the General Authority of Customs explained that the Chairmen of "Customs Authorities" in the Gulf Countries will hold a meeting during the current week in Riyadh to discuss the file of the Customs Union, where there is an integrated format in this file.
He referred to the role of the Gulf Secretariat Council to activate the electronic link between the GCC countries.
He explained that the Secretariat will work to develop a strategy to raise the level of dealing from the simple now to better integration electronically.
He pointed out that the electronic link includes "the exchange of information inbound and outgoing, and electronic remittances," as the first entry port collects the money and then transfers it to the Gulf country to which the consignment is sent.
With regard to free markets in Saudi ports and airports, Ahmed Al-Hakbani stressed that the General Authority for Customs is working on the preparation of new legislation to facilitate the operators of free markets in airports and ports in the Kingdom.
He pointed to the talks currently underway by Customs with one of the investors wishing to operate the free market area at King Khalid International Airport in order to enable it and activate it better.
It is noted that in the framework of following up the implementation of the requirements of the Customs Union, a team of the General Secretariat and Member States conducted a number of annual visits to some customs ports in the GCC countries to ensure their application to the requirements of the Customs Union.
Officials from the customs departments of the GCC countries were exchanged at customs ports in the member countries to exchange customs experiences among member countries.