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Dubai 23, January 2023: H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, confirmed the continuous growth of the United Arab Emirates' role as a global trade hub and its influential position in the world economy. He highlighted the significance of the “Economic Principles of the UAE” document approved by the UAE government, emphasizing its role as a guide for achieving worldwide Emirati leadership and establishing a sustainable national economy. The UAE serves as a free and open economic model that enthusiastically embraces international and regional economic and trade collaboration without limitations, acting as a catalyst for foreign trade growth.

He noted that Dubai Customs actively supports the strategic plans of the UAE and Dubai, achieving a remarkable performance in 2023 by successfully processing over 30.4 million customs transactions. This set a new record for the highest number of customs transactions handled by Dubai Customs, showcasing a 17.5% growth compared to the 25.8 million transactions in 2022. This success is attributed to the ongoing success of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements program launched in September 2021. Customer satisfaction for these electronic and intelligent customs services reached an impressive 98%, available 24/7. On average, Dubai Customs processes 84,000 daily customs transactions through its programs and systems.

Dubai Agenda 
Regarding the Dubai agenda, Musabih clarified that Dubai Customs aims to establish and strengthen connections with Dubai's business partners while attracting new collaborators to fulfill the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This effort contributes to achieving the targets outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), with the goal of increasing the total volume of foreign trade from AED 14.2 trillion in the past decade to AED 25.6 trillion for goods and services in the next decade. Furthermore, the objective is to add 400 cities to the map of foreign trade by 2033. In this context, Dubai Customs has held numerous meetings with partners, clients, diplomatic entities, and business councils of countries as trade partners. The discussions focused on frameworks to enhance the value of trade exchange, aligning with the UAE's goals for 2031 and the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.

Digital Services 
Dubai Customs has introduced digital initiatives and services to expedite business processes and strengthen Dubai's global trade hub status. The 'Cargo StatusTracking' project offers customers an outstanding experience by enabling them to monitor shipments from arrival to release, providing real-time oversight and comprehensive insight into customs clearance across Dubai's borders. This project aims to boost efficiency, cut costs for customs authorities and traders, and support increased returns for businesses choosing Dubai as their operational base.

This initiative empowers customers to take swift actions based on shipment status, offering rapid support to over 200,000 clients, including importers, customs brokers, shipping companies, and transport firms. It enhances transparency in the cargo clearance process, contributing to heightened customer satisfaction and striving to reduce the annual volume of inquiries to the call center regarding shipments, currently totaling 55,000 calls.

Furthermore, the “Post Audit Robotic Process Automation (PCA-RPA)' initiative is a groundbreaking project designed to automate customs audit operations through AI-driven robots. These robots extract, categorize, verify, and identify potential risks from shipment-related documents. The automation of auditor decisions across various cases is anticipated to cultivate new strategic capabilities focused on analysis, risk management, and decision-making. The project aims to achieve 100% coverage for audits of completed customs declarations in Dubai Customs annually, particularly for high-value goods, categories, and customs situations, within the next five years.

In collaboration with the Dubai Government's Finance Department, Dubai Customs has automated notifications for customs-imported transactions subject to tax between government entities. This initiative aids in generating precise tax reports and reduces discrepancies in transactions. Additionally, the government department has integrated customs clearance systems with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's electronic document authentication system. This simplifies interactions for stakeholders, requiring them to input the electronic document authentication reference number issued by the Ministry when organizing the customs declaration for import or re-export. If authentication fees are settled before completing the customs declaration, the reference number is necessary in the electronic customs systems.

Innovation 
Dubai Customs has achieved the distinction of being the first Arab and global institution, outside the United Kingdom, to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the Idea UK Organization. In the Ideas UK Awards 2023 ceremony, the government department excelled by securing the first position for the innovation of the smart bag and the second position in the Innovation category for the creation of the large vehicle scanner. Moreover, it maintained its top global ranking in the 14th consecutive Platinum Classification Index from the Ideas UK Organization for the third consecutive year.

Additionally, the department garnered the CMO ASIA award and recognition from the Asian Excellence Organization in 2023 for being the Best Innovative Institution and having the Best Innovative Design, both attributed to the giant inspection device. It also earned the prestigious ISO 56002 – 2023 for Innovation from the globally recognized company TUV. Further achievements include four new awards, including two gold awards and two gold medals, at the World Inventions Exhibition organized by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai. Dubai Customs culminated its persistent innovation efforts by securing the first place in the Global Customs Innovation Award for 2023 in the category of Innovative Value-driven Solutions. This accolade, presented by the European Customs Practitioners Network in collaboration with the Cross-Border Research Organization, acknowledged Dubai Customs for its Cross-Border E-Commerce project. Over 20 customs institutions worldwide, including Germany, Hungary, and Australia, participated in this competition. The evaluation by the expert customs committee witnessed fierce competition among global customs projects offering innovative solutions to expedite and streamline business operations. Remarkably, employees of Dubai Customs submitted a total of 6,081 new ideas and innovations.

Security Stability 
Dubai Customs, in line with its national duty to safeguard borders and contribute to enhancing the security stability is steadfast in firmly addressing all attempts of smuggling prohibited, restricted, and counterfeit goods. In the past year, the government department successfully executed 3,748 seizure reports, including 1,704 cases and 2,044 customs reports. These efforts align with the department's 2021-2026 plan for global leadership in secure customs. The department is committed to utilizing and advancing the best technologies to tackle security challenges threatening the safety of the economy and society. This involves the Intelligence Customs Management program, managing the massive volume of customs transactions and identifying suspicious shipments.

Dubai Customs also focuses on training and developing its officers and customs inspectors across all customs ports. This includes educating them on modern and innovative methods for detecting narcotics, using advanced machinery and modern inspection devices, and acquainting them with the latest technologies in drug detection and the substances used in its manufacturing. The aim is to empower them to identify prohibited substances in all forms and deal with various smuggling methods.

The 'Remote Inspection' project, launched by Dubai Customs in collaboration with Dubai South, is a groundbreaking initiative to facilitate inspection procedures and expedite processes for clients. The initiative leverages advanced technologies, artificial intelligence, and a dedicated robot to inspect shipments within company warehouses efficiently, securely, and with high precision from Dubai Customs' remote operations room. This innovative project significantly reduces time and costs, eliminating the need for customs officers to physically visit cargo warehouses for inspection. Equipped with multi-purpose high-resolution cameras for risk detection, the new remote inspection system includes quality devices such as thermal and infrared cameras, long-lasting lithium batteries with fast-charging capabilities, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These features support effective and precise inspection operations for shipments.

Recycling 694,000 Pieces:
The number of intellectual property dispute cases handled by Dubai customs in 2023 reached approximately 333 cases, involving over 15 million counterfeit goods with a total value of around AED 73.4 million. The recycling of counterfeit goods involved 122 operations, encompassing around 694,000 pieces of counterfeit merchandise.

In 2023, the government department conducted 131 workshops and awareness events on intellectual property, with 1,618 participants from various categories. Additionally, 407 trademarks and 231 commercial agencies were registered, and 8 intellectual property assets for employee innovations at Dubai Customs were recorded.

Customs Facilitations:
Dubai Customs granted invoicing facilities free zone companies, contributing to the growth of trade for companies benefiting from these facilities. The department provided opinions on 120 projects for legislation, including 42 customs legislations, 20 local legislations, and 58 federal legislations. The self-audit service was launched, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the 2023 audit plan by 39% compared to the achievement in 2022. Dubai Customs' efforts resulted in issuing classification decisions for approximately 24,000 tariff items and responding to around 1,850 inquiries regarding customs tariffs, prohibitions, and restrictions. The department supported the implementation of economic partnership agreements by issuing organized customs policies for their execution.

 

Tourism Support:
Dubai Customs enhanced its efforts to facilitate travel and tourism at Dubai airports. The department provides various qualitative facilitations for tourists and travelers. The iDeckare program aims to expedite the passage of travelers through the red channel, completing customs procedures in less than 4 minutes. The program allows incoming passengers to pre-disclose goods, personal belongings, gifts, coins, and cash amounts accompanying the traveler. The application provides information on Dubai International Airport's facilities, including restaurant locations, duty-free shops, exit gates, and Customs Dubai employee areas. The smart project enhances the efficiency of the customs inspection system at Dubai airports, increases awareness about prohibited and restricted items for travelers, and can be accessed through the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Collaboration:
Dubai Customs, in partnership with the Finance Department of the Dubai Government, has introduced the automation of customs-import transactions subject to taxation among various government entities. This initiative aids in generating precise tax reports and minimizes discrepancies in transactions.

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program:
Dubai Customs is consistently backing the Authorized Economic Operator program, enhancing the operations of affiliated companies. Recognized as a significant advancement in customs procedures within the UAE, the Authorized Economic Operator program simplifies customs clearance processes for compliant companies. As a nationwide federal initiative, the program aims to connect the country both commercially and customs-wise with the global community. It empowers participating companies with streamlined access to their goods in international markets, particularly in countries with mutual recognition agreements.

Quality Assurance:
Dubai Customs has implemented 17 quality specifications across diverse areas, encompassing ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 37000 Governance Management System, ISO 30414 Human Capital Internal and External Reporting System, ISO 26000 Social Responsibility System, ISO 56002 Innovation Management System, and ISO 1000 Dispute Resolution Management System.

175 Community Initiatives:
Dubai Customs has intensified its commitment to community support through a comprehensive initiative aligned with its social responsibility strategic plan. The initiatives span social, health, environmental, and charitable activities, aiming to address societal issues. In 2023, the department successfully executed a total of 175 community initiatives, benefiting 238,000 individuals from various societal segments. The community expressed a high satisfaction rate of 98%, as per a happiness study conducted by the department.

The initiatives encompassed diverse projects, including the 'Sawae'd Al Furdah' initiative, programs for people of determination, the 'Green Customs' initiative, as well as awareness and educational workshops for school students, health-related awareness sessions for employees, and sports initiatives commemorating international and national days. These efforts were directed toward all segments of society, including children, youth, senior citizens, people with special needs, assistance groups, and students from schools and universities.

85 Events:
Over the past year, Dubai Customs organized 85 events, engaging 31,000 participants. The satisfaction rate for these events reached an impressive 90%, according to post-event surveys. Noteworthy events included the 8th Dubai Customs Week, UAE Innovation Month, participation in GITEX Global Exhibition, UAE National Day celebrations, Intellectual Property events, monthly customer recognition programs, and Etibat initiative, fostering stronger diplomatic relations.

Specialized Courses:
Dubai Customs, represented by the Customs Training Center, conducted a total of 3,913 training courses by the end of 2023, benefitting 14,317 employees. The training sessions for each employee amounted to 24 training hours. Additionally, smart training was provided through various educational platforms, accounting for 40%.

The training programs covered a diverse range, encompassing courses in security and information technology, customer satisfaction, innovation, inspection, safety and occupational health, customs work, general administrative skills, human resources, leadership development, intellectual property rights protection, data science, artificial intelligence, career progression, and various general awareness workshops, along with institutional differentiation courses.




Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
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Posted on : Wednesday, January 24, 2024  
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