Saudi Customs at FIATA World Congress 2019 Saudi Arabia outlines its efforts in supporting logistics and facilitating global trade
Saudi Customs participates in the FIATA World Congress 2019 (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) hosted this year in South Africa’s Cape Town, between the 1st and 5th of October under the theme “Where Technology and Logistics Meet.” This international platform is held on annual basis to discuss the freight and logistics’ challenges and developments. Saudi Customs participation as a diamond sponsor in this world-renowned event to highlight its efforts in positioning the Kingdom as a global logistics hub through offering world-class customs services in line with the ambitious goals of Saudi Vision 2030. Heading Saudi Customs’ delegation at the event, the Governor of the General Customs Authority, H.E. Ahmed Alhakbani, delivered a keynote speech on the comprehensive transformation phase the Kingdom is undergoing, to bolster the Kingdom's strategic position as a trade facilitator linking the world’s continents. Alhakbani outlined the Authority’s proactive approach in keeping up with these transformations, mainly in terms of adopting an integrated technical system, moving towards automating clearance procedures, and launching blockchain technology for shipping operations which places it among the first customs authorities in the world to adopt this advanced technology. H.E. highlighted the significant level of strategic liaison and partnerships between Saudi Customs and relevant authorities which had a notable impact, especially in establishing the single window electronic platform “FASAH” which provides over 135 services to customers. Touching on international cooperation, Alhakbani emphasized Saudi Customs’ keenness to overcome any obstacles that hinder the flow of trade through the continued coordination with the relevant global organizations and entities. As such, several agreements, most notably the activation of the Kingdom's accession to the “Transports Internationaux Routiers” (TIR) Convention agreement was signed, that facilitates global trade while ensuring the secure movement of goods between TIR members. H.E. added Saudi Customs’ signing of mutual recognition agreements MRA’s for the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, which contributes towards strengthening ties between Saudi commercial enterprises and their global counterparts. He emphasized that Saudi Customs has cemented its partnership with the private sector through securing necessary requirements and providing efficient customs procedures to motivate investors. On the side-lines of the conference, Saudi Customs’ pavilion at the exhibition attracted visitors interested in the logistics sector. Guests were briefed on Saudi Customs’ recent achievements and developments, most notably the new bonded zones and the 24-hour clearance program, which has contributed to enhancing clearance procedures and reducing the clearance time from 14 days to less than 24 hours.