Rapid progress in Customs reform in Qatar

13 January 2013

At the invitation of the Director General of Qatar Customs, Ahmad Bin Ali Al-Mohannadi, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio MiKuriya visited Doha, Qatar on 13 and 14 January 2013 to expand cooperation between Qatar Customs and the WCO.

Sharing the Qatar National Vision 2030 that sets a goal to create a sustainable economy and advance the living standard of its people, Qatar Customs has been progressing on both the technological and human resource fronts in recent years. With the objective of a paperless Customs, it implemented a Single Window in 2011, linking 17 government agencies and an electronic payment system.

Visionary leadership by Qatar’s Customs management backed by strong political support helped to overcome, in partnership with business, resistance from inside and outside Customs. As a result the World Bank's Logistic Performance Index ranking for Qatar improved from 55th in 2010 to 33rd in 2012.

The focus of Customs’ leadership has shifted from technology to human resources. The training program has been significantly expanded to include a partnership with the Community College of Qatar to provide a 2-year program for English and college study for high school graduate Customs officers. Qatar Customs established its "Duties and Ethics of Customs Officers" in 2011 and upgraded it in 2012, including the establishment of an English version.

Secretary General Mikuriya appreciated Qatar Customs’ rapid progress embodying innovation and discussed the way forward with Director General Al-Mohannadi, in particular the conducting of an evaluation of the progress, strengthening risk management and supporting human resource development.

The Secretary General encouraged Qatar Customs to communicate its modernization efforts to the international Customs community, including sharing its experience at the upcoming WCO IT Conference in Dubai in May. The Director General intended to enhance his administration’s cooperation with the WCO and to extend support to other Members of the Customs family.