Monday 27 June 2022 - 6:06:29 am

Abu Dhabi's non-oil foreign trade reached AED201.2 billion in 2020: Abu Dhabi Customs official

ABU DHABI, 21st June, 2021 (WAM) -- Rashed Lahej Al Mansouri, Director-General of the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs, has said that Abu Dhabi possesses a solid logistical infrastructure and advanced digital technologies that enhance its trade globally.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Mansouri said that Abu Dhabi's non-oil foreign trade through the emirate's customs ports achieved more than AED201.2 billion during the past year, distributed to imports which worth AED92.5 billion, exports with AED73.46 billion, and re-exports with AED35.26 billion.

He added that Abu Dhabi Customs completed more than 1,093,144 digital customs transactions during 2020. This achievement came in line with the automation of all customs services and the digital completion of customs clearance processes and transactions.

He added that during 2020, Abu Dhabi's foreign trade maintained the diversity of its global and regional markets. Hence, Saudi Arabia was Abu Dhabi's first trading partner, with trade worth more than AED44.43 billion, distributed between imports with AED11.47 billion, and re-exports and exports with AED32.97 billion, reflecting the solid strategic partnership between the Kingdom and Abu Dhabi.

Regarding the number of narcotic and drug seizures made by Abu Dhabi Customs in cooperation with its partners in 2020, Al Mansouri said that the number of narcotic seizures amounted to 515 seizures in all customs ports of the emirate, compared to 1,790 seizures in 2019. The seizures included many customs violations such as narcotics and prohibited and restricted substances.

The seized narcotic substances weighed around 24,329.4 grams, and the narcotic pills weighed 21602.5 grams, compared to 78,307.35 grams of narcotic substances and 66,986.50 grams of narcotic pills in 2019.

Al Mansouri explained that the inspectors were able to make many seizures through observing body language and the use of advanced devices to detect prohibited and narcotic substances, which reflects the high vigilance of national competencies of customs inspectors in protecting the nation and thwarting smugglers' attempts.

He pointed out that Abu Dhabi Customs relies on the latest international practices and procedures to thwart any attempts to smuggle narcotics through all customs ports of the emirate, in addition to the leading role of qualified and trained national cadres.

Regarding the importance of automating the services of the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs and how it facilitates the movement of goods, Al Mansouri said that the automation of services contributed to reducing the service time for customers and encouraged financial savings, as the need to visit the Customer Happiness Centres was significantly reduced.

He explained that what differentiates the services provided by the General Administration of Customs from others is the electronic integration with registered agencies and many approval agencies, which prevents the need for the customer to refer to these authorities to obtain approvals traditionally in addition to digitally completing customs transactions.

The official added that the authority also supports the approved economic operator project, which contributes to linking Abu Dhabi Customs with customs authorities globally, benefitting the public and private sectors through quick and easy customs procedures that enhance the movement of trade and maintain the security and safety of society.

Regarding Abu Dhabi Customs' efforts to increase customer happiness, Al Mansouri said that the authority sets out to achieve customers' satisfaction by implementing the leadership's directives to improve the services provided to them.

He added that the happiness of customers is a significant pillar in Abu Dhabi Customs, where the rate of customer satisfaction with digital customs services reached 95% during 2020.

Regarding plans to enhance Abu Dhabi Customs' leadership globally during 2021, Al Mansouri stated that the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs has a strategic plan that relies on numerous pioneering development projects that would achieve sustainable customs work based on innovation and creativity.

He added that intending to strengthen local and global partnerships, the authority has worked with the team of the Federal Customs Authority to prepare the first unified customs plan at the federal level, and collaborate with the World Trade Organisation and the World Customs Organisation to develop capabilities through applying the best global practices "The Approved Economic Operator" - Implementation of the World Trade Agreement - Risk Management and Cooperation with the Regional Office for Information Exchange - Implementation of the Common Customs Law of the GCC Member States - Commitment to Economic Agreements.

Al Mansouri concluded by saying that Abu Dhabi Customs is keen to achieve all expected results in all areas "society - economy - government affairs" in cooperation with partners from government and private organisations.

WAM/Rola Alghoul