Ahmed Mahboob Musabih: This event is a major catalyst towards reinforcing trade compliance in the region
Dubai – 10 March 2015: The C5's Forum on Trade Compliance in the Middle East, being hosted in Dubai for the second successive year, kicked off today at the Fairmont Dubai Hotel. Held in partnership with Dubai Customs, the forum aims at introducing businesses from around the world to amendments made to customs and commercial laws in the Middle East, particularly to the laws of GCC member states, to ensure their compliance with these laws.
H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, inaugurated the forum and delivered the keynote address at the opening session.
In his address, Musabih highlighted the fact that the forum is taking place in the UAE for the second year in a row. He said: “The C5 forum is being hosted for the second consecutive year in the UAE, which reflects the prominent role of the United Arab Emirates in general and Dubai in particular on the world trade landscape, being a prime regional trading and business hub.”
Emphasizing the importance of the forum, Musabih said: “The forum comes in a time both private and public sectors are working together setting their plans for Dubai Expo 2020, which is only less than six years away. The staging of the world exhibition and the preparations leading up to it are expected to usher in a new era of development and prosperity not only in Dubai and the UAE, but also in the entire region. However, alongside these growth prospects, the mega fair will also pose security challenges that would not be easy to face, in view of the huge volume of goods, more than 20 million people, and conveyances that will be moving to the region during the exposition.”
Musabih further remarked, “The regional and international legislations regulating legitimate trade are witnessing a constant update and development in the enforced policies and procedures to make sure cargo consignments are compliant and risk-free. This is in reflection to the consecutive changes in the global economy and the rapid developments in the international business environment, which imply the formulation and issuance of new rules and procedures aimed at combating illegitimate trade, hence the need for companies and traders to adhere to trade laws gained importance. This shall guarantee the movement of goods and consignments across countries without obstacles, therefore ensuring full trade compliance.”
“With such a high level of delegates being present here today, I am sure this event will be a major catalyst towards reinforcing trade compliance in the region,” Musabih concluded.
Moreover, Mr Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice President, Commercial Services at Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, addressed the crowd during the opening session and spoke about Customs-chambers partnerships and relations in the ME. “The development of ties between Customs administrations in the GCC has definitely contributed to removing barriers facing trade movement between GCC states,” he added. Mr Nasib showcased the experience of Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce as an example.
The Director of Legal Affairs at Dubai Customs, Ms Narmin Issa, delivered a presentation on “Preparing for the Upcoming Changes in the Customs Law of the GCC States”. She highlighted the latest updates on Customs and trade regulations implemented in DC, in the light of new international treaties and free trade agreements.
“Dubai Customs is committed to implementing international Customs systems and treaties. In 2014, the TIR (International Road Transport) System, which cuts the time trucks spend at borders from days to hours, has moved a step closer in the Emirates following the signing of an agreement between Dubai Customs and the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE,” she added.
The Director of Dubai Customs’ Legal Affairs further noted that “Earlier in 2015, Dubai Customs has implemented the GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which provides for the full exemption of customs duties for products of GCC origin and the exemption of pre-set lists of Singaporean products coming into the GCC. Moreover, Dubai Customs is gearing up for the application of the signed free trade agreement between the GCC states and European Free Trade Association (EFTA).”
Mr V P Abdullah, Customs Business Process Expert at Dubai Customs, presented a working paper on “Customs Clearance: Working with Customs Authorities to Resolve Proof of Payments and Other Documentation Requirements, Post-Entry Adjustments and to Deal with Non-Tariff Barriers”.
International professionals in global trade, namely Mr Craig Phildius, Regional Export Control Attaché, US Department of Commerce, Ms Candace Goforth, Former Policy Director, Directorate of Defence at the US Department of State, as well as experts from UK, Italy, Norway and KSA, are presenting their insights and best practices on tackling the most challenging trade compliance issues in the region at the forum.
The forum, taking place on March 10-11, 2015, is bringing together delegates from Customs administrations, chambers of commerce, free zone authorities, as well as international and regional organizations concerned with trade compliance issues.
The forum features 3 workshops to familiarize participants with the requirements of commercial laws in the Middle East, including compliance with Customs procedures applied in the ME and dealing with free zones in free trade agreements.