In an exceptional achievement for Dubai Customs, transactions processed by the department grew by 23% in 2020 compared to 2019.
The sharp rise in transactions reflects the strength and resilience of the economy and the emirate’s proven capability to weather external economic shocks and turn challenges into real opportunities, said a statement.
Dubai recorded AED551 billion worth of non-oil external trade in the first half of 2020. Imports accounted for AED320 billion, exports AED77 billion, and re-exports AED154 billion. A total volume of 44 million tonnes of goods were traded through Dubai during the period, including 30 million tonnes of imports, 8 million tonnes of exports and 6 million tonnes of re-exports.
The year 2020 saw new pioneering achievements for Dubai Customs in terms development of Customs work processes and innovation of new solutions and initiatives to ensure the smooth flow of trade and mitigate the impacts of the global pandemic.
This follows the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote sustainable economic development and consolidate the UAE's global leadership, it said.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, said: “Against all odds Dubai Customs has kept pace with the UAE's successive pioneering accomplishments in 2020, the year of preparation for the next 50. Dubai’s foreign trade is gradually recovering with steady growth momentum despite disruptions from the Covid-19 outbreak. This is particularly reflected in the strong growth of customs transactions due to our use of advanced technologies that helped us maintain our business uninterrupted during lockdown and remote working period. Dubai Customs also introduced several milestone projects supporting our direction to play a major role in future trade transformations. These include the launch of the Blockchain-based cross-border e-commerce platform, which paves the way to attract more logistics and e-commerce companies.”
In terms of society protection, Dubai Customs also launched “Siyaj”, the leading security initiative which employs 24/7 integrated smart control systems to curb illegal trafficking and smuggling, he added.
Smooth remote working
Dubai Customs is reaping the fruits of successful investment in advanced technologies and smart applications over recent years. Business run smoothly without any significant interruptions during the remote and home working period. There were automatic approval and clearance of about 97% of no-risk consignment transactions in 2 minutes without any human intervention, it said.
From March 15 to June 2, employees completed 8.5 million minutes of audio and video calling using Microsoft TEAMS, shared screen for 2.1 million minutes, and sent 1.1 million instant messages. They conducted 298,000 individual and group calls.
Dubai Customs launched several intitatives to ensure a healthy and safe environment at work, including provision of 200 mobile phone disinfection devices to all department, sections and customs centers to protect staff from the spread of coronavirus.
Safe Station was one of the innovations that Dubai Customs incorporated in its back to office plan. The 21 temperature check kiosks were deployed to help monitor the health status of employees. Dubai Customs also launched the Safe Customs Inspector Corridor which is a state-of-the-art, fully-equipped PPE innovation that ensures the protection of inspection staff.
As part of the economic stimulus package announced by the Government of Dubai to alleviate the burden on businesses and help them navigate the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, Dubai Customs launched an initiative offering 80% discount on fines for customs cases and violations detected or committed before March 31, 2020.
Dubai Customs also introduced an initiative waiving late fines on renewal/cancelation of Customs representative card targeting Customs brokers and agents.
World PMO of the Year
Dubai Customs was named named the "2020 World PMO of the Year" at the PMO Global Awards organised by the PMO Global Alliance, the leading global community of project management professionals.
Dubai Customs recycled 161,753 counterfeit, IP-infringing products for 59 international brands in 2020, instead of being destroyed. DC’s IPR department resolved 255 intellectual property dispute cases in 2020.
Dubai Customs plays a major role in supporting the strategy which sees Dubai as the world’s capital of the new economy. This is done through reinforcing the companies of the future economy such as the e-commerce businesses by facilitating trade and reducing costs for them so that they can set up regional operations in Dubai, said the statement.
For that, Dubai Customs is developing the Cross Border e-Commerce Platform; the collaborative blockchain-based e-commerce platform, which caters to the needs of all stakeholders in the e-commerce supply chain.
The platform aims to increase the share of Dubai-based e-commerce businesses in local and regional distribution to AED24 billion by 2022, through augmenting the number of regional and global e-commerce companies operating in Dubai in the coming years. In order to motivate e-commerce companies to establish e-logistics distribution centres in Dubai, the government aims to reduce the total cost of e-commerce operations by 20% - including the costs of returned goods, storage, and transportation.
E-commerce sales are expected to rise 23% to $27 billion (AED100 billion) in 2022. -TradeArabia News Service