Dubai, Dominican Customs Authorities explore cooperation, exchange of expertise

DUBAI: Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, has affirmed that DC s core objectives for the time being are strongly in line with the Government of Dubai s vision and strategic goals aiming to make Dubai the world s premier business and tourism destination, while enhancing its current position as the region s leading trading hub connecting the East and the West.

“Dubai is serving a cross-border market reaching as many as 2 billion people, due to its exceptional logistic infrastructure that has made the emirate a perfect choice for international investors, traders, airlines, and shipping companies,” he said.

Mahboob further stressed “What is most special about Dubai is the integrated public services package it offers to investors and merchants across all customs entry and exit points, which saves their time and effort and give real added value to their business transactions.”

Dubai Customs, he said, has embarked on restructuring and upgrading its customs systems since 2008, in collaboration with World Customs Organisation (WCO). Subsequently, DC managed to launch new systems-such as Mirsal 2 and Risk Engine-that were vigorously acclaimed by the WCO and other member Customs administrations around the globe. “Dubai Customs is always keen on cooperating with relevant international organisations and share expertise with all countries, in a way that serves our mission to support legitimate trade and protect global communities and their economies.” Mahboob made the statement when he received a high-level economic delegation from the Dominican Republic.

The deputation was headed by Fernando Fernandez, Director of Dominican Customs, and comprised Heriberto Minaya, Deputy Technical Manager, Dominican Customs, alongside Martin Johanson, Executive Director and other officials from DP World in Caucedo Port.

Fernandez underlined that “The visit is aimed at broadening the scope of cooperation with Dubai Customs whose outstanding successes are internationally renown.” Lauding the noticeable developments achieved in Dubai s ports, airports and free zones, he said “We are open to the entire world and seek to share expertise with Dubai in multiple areas, particularly the field of Customs.”

He stated that Dominican s main port of Caucedo has witnessed huge evolutions since DP World was assigned its management eight years ago, presently handling more than 2.5 million TEU containers. Overall, the Dominican ports serve an estimated market of 200 million populace in neighbouring Latin America.

Mahboob applauded the visit, saying: “There are many facets of customs cooperation that collectively will increase the value of trade between Dubai and the Dominican Republic, which totalled Dh110 million in 2013”.

He noted that there is a close cooperation between Dubai Customs and DP World, which runs a broad network of ports around the world, at the top of which is Jebel Ali Port, the largest port in the region with an estimated capacity of 19 million TEU by the end of 2014.

Mahboob added that the advanced technical systems applied at DC have resulted in remarkably expediting cargo clearance without compromising the security and safety of the community and the economy.

In 2013, nearly 8.5 million customs transactions were completed in all customs entry points in Dubai. 84 per cent of non-risky consignments are cleared automatically in less than two minutes without human interference, while the remaining is handled by the competent departments, namely the Customs Declaration Management, Valuation, Customs tariff and Origin, and others. “We at Dubai Customs are committed to maintain the right balance between ensuring a streamlined movement of both goods and people and protecting the community and the economy,” Mahboob said.

The Director of Dubai Customs remarked that the cutting-edge work procedures and systems are implemented to keep pace with Dubai s drive towards being Number 1 globally.

He also pointed that Dubai International Airport (DIA) was named the world s busiest airport for international passenger traffic in Q1 of 2014, with 18.36 million passengers traveling through DIA over the first three months of 2014. Dubai International outpaced other well-established airports such as London Heathrow and Hong Kong International Airport. On the other hand, Jebel Ali Port is fully geared up to accommodate the expected increase in goods and ships in the next few years, ahead of World Expo 2020.

The delegation from the Dominican Customs and Caucedo Port watched a visual presentation about Mirsal 2 and the Risk Engine. They were introduced to these systems and their work mechanism as part of Dubai Customs business operational model. They also learned about the phases of DC s recent transformation into a smart government department, delivering its full range of customs services via smart phones and tablets round the clock. The visitors toured the Customs Declaration Management Department at DC to explore automated processes of handling declarations.