The General Administration of Customs – Abu Dhabi announced facilitation and simplification of customs inspection procedures and reduction of customs clearance time for foodstuffs through all of its customs points in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, following the activation of the agreement of governance of the process of cooperation, coordination, and workflow organization between the Administration and Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority.
Within the framework of the agreement, which was signed by His Excellency Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director General of the General Administration of Customs – Abu Dhabi and His Excellency Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, in October 2018, during the GITEX Technology Week, the two parties stressed that the bonds of cooperation and coordination between the two parties be strengthened and their strategic partnership relations be consolidated to achieve their strategic objectives, in line with the overall strategic plan of the Government of Abu Dhabi in particular and the United Arab Emirates in general, to provide more distinguished services to the customers dealing with them.
His Excellency Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director General of the General Administration of Customs – Abu Dhabi, said: “Having brought the agreement concluded with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority into operation has significantly paid off in terms of facilitation and simplification of the customs clearance procedures and reduction of the customs’ clearance time, as customers have become able to complete the customs clearance procedures through prior customs clearance before the goods arrive in the port of entry in less than 30 minutes and only 20 minutes in case of foodstuff, which greatly led to facilitating the movement of legal trade through the ports of Abu Dhabi.
Al Mansoori added: “By implementing the agreements concluded with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority and other strategic partners of Abu Dhabi Customs, the implementation of the established customs policies, supervision of the entry and exit of goods through ports, collection of customs duties has been enhanced in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in the UAE, besides securing and protecting the UAE community from entry of spoiled food of all kinds, by facilitating the control process and tightening control over foodstuff goods imported into the Emirate through customs ports.
On his part, His Excellency Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority said: “We are working with our partners in the General Administration of Customs – Abu Dhabi, within our bilateral interest, to review and develop the plans and programs aimed at improving the services provided to customers in the Emirate to facilitate the procedures related to the import and export of foodstuff and various agricultural products and materials and achieve smooth flow of entry and exit of consignments through the ports of the Emirate through the provision of services that meet the needs and requirements of the public, while ensuring the highest standards of food safety to positively reflect it on public health in the Emirate.
Al Ameri said that food products were classified into two groups. (A) and (B) based on the food product degree of hazard to human health and its compliance with the technical regulations applicable during the previous import periods, where food companies can feed the data of food products listed within category (A) through Abu Dhabi Customs System and have the customs clearance procedures completed in just 20 minutes by the inspectors of the Authority before the goods arrive in the customs points in the Emirate. As for category (B) food products, they will be inspected, their procedures completed, and released from the customs point within 30 minutes as set forth in the agreement.
Al Ameri pointed out that the agreement will contribute effectively to improve the efficiency of commodity trade in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and enhance the effectiveness of the preventive measures taken in respect of food safety and bio-security in general in the Emirate, through integrated checking and inspection and implementation of procedures to isolate food consignments and verify their safety in a timely and efficient manner within record time that ensures elimination of any challenges that may face trade and saves customers time, stressing the Authority’s keenness to build close relations with the private sector to consolidate the food and bio-security system in the Emirate, enable the investment environment in the areas of work of the Authority, and implement programs and plans consistent with the legislative structure that stimulates investment and business prosperity.