Qatar to launch global single-window customs clearance system

August 10, 2010
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Qatar hopes to launch within two months a single-window customs clearance system that allows importers to initiate customs clearance procedures from anywhere in the world online, a local daily has reported.

However, the formal launch may be scheduled by the end of the year, Qatari daily The Peninsula said on Tuesday.

“Right now training of personnel and technical work is going on,” a source close to the decision-makers in the Customs Authority, said. “We might throw the site (a reference to the online clearance system) open to importers a short time after Eid Al Fitr, but this is tentative. We are busy finalising the preparations for the (informal) launch… We are giving final touches. A formal launch might be lined up by the year-end.”

Under the new system, emails and text messages will be sent to importers to help them follow up the various stages of customs procedures.

The system will considerably minimise the time and efforts required for clearing imported goods from customs checkpoints in the country.

The aim is to adopt international best practices in applying risk management standards and simplify procedures for importers, senior customs officials said at a seminar conducted in Doha to raise public awareness about the proposed system.

“The objective of launching the new system is to create an environment of cooperation between the customs department and the private sector,” speakers told the symposium.

Unified customs procedures in the single-window system for all customs checkpoints will be a highlight of the new system, the daily said.

The system will allow for faster approvals online from government agencies involved in customs clearance. Speakers said they hoped the new system would help accelerate economic development in the country and aid world trade as well.

The ministries involved are public health, economy and finance, interior, foreign affairs, defense, environment, business and trade, municipality and urban planning, energy and industry, culture, arts and heritage and awqaf and Islamic affairs.

Others entities involved include the Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar Airways, Radio and TV Corporation, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Qatar Company for Ports Management.

Qatar in 1994 launched computerized customs clearance system and updated the clearance system to meet the requirements of the GCC Customs Union and the World Customs Organization on January 1, 2004.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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