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WCO supports the UAE in its modernization process

17 octubre 2019

At the invitation of the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviño Chapa visited the UAE from 8 to 11 October 2019. The mission included high-level meetings with the UAE Customs top management during which technological developments and strategies being implemented in the Emirates were discussed.

Deputy Secretary General Treviño met with His Excellency Ali Saeed Al Neyadi, Commissioner of Customs and Chairman of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA), and discussed the importance of the use of IT to ensure that Customs remained relevant with regard to new and future challenges. They also focused on areas where cooperation between the WCO and the UAE could be strengthened, as well as the important role of the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) both for the UAE and the MENA region.

The DSG also met with His Excellency Mohamed Jumma Buosaiba, Director General of the FCA, His Excellency Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, the Director General of Abu Dhabi Customs, and His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, the Director General of Dubai Customs. During these meetings, cooperation with the WCO and the upcoming AEO Conference, to be held in Dubai in 2020, were discussed. A Licence Agreement for the use of WCO e-learning modules by UAE Customs administrations was signed by the DSG and the Director General of the FCA.

The purpose of the DSG’s mission was also closely related to strategic planning and to progress that the UAE had made in this area. The respective Strategic Plans of Abu Dhabi and Dubai Customs were presented, as well as the Strategic Plan of the FCA, which makes the link between governmental objectives and the operational achievements of the UAE’s Customs administrations.

Improvement of Customs processes, mainly through innovation, including their full automation, and special care given to customer and staff satisfaction, constitute the main objectives of the strategic plans. The Federal Services and the local Customs administrations achieved tremendous results in a very short time period after the WCO had provided an initial assessment of their Customs strategies in 2005. Progress was achieved as a result of important investments and efforts towards the completion of nationally agreed KPIs.

The mission to the UAE also included a visit to Abu Dhabi´s Khalifa Port and Dubai´s Jebel Ali port. The UAE Customs administrations presented their statistics in terms of clearance and controls to the DSG. Both ports are equipped with advanced technology when it comes to X-ray scanning, allowing them to perform better targeting and, therefore, more accurate controls.

Finally, the DSG visited the GITEX Exhibition, a large event where highly technological and futuristic solutions are presented with the aim of providing both the public and the private sector with the tools for running their operations in the future. The Customs authorities of the UAE were hosting a range of stands where smart technology, such as virtual reality and the Internet of Things, was applied to Customs procedures and the management of infrastructure, offering a snapshot of their potential for Customs in tomorrow’s world.