Arab customs union by 2015 commended

Updated 29 January 2013
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Arab customs union by 2015 commended

Saleh Al Khaliwi, director general of the Saudi Arabian Department of Customs (SADC), expressed his confidence in the outputs of the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, especially the recommendations issued regarding the establishment of an Arab Customs Union by 2015.
In an open talk with a local newspaper, Al Khaliwi explained the intricate nature of the Riyadh summit, including the challenges of forming a unified customs union. He reassured that the Arab leaders were keen on successfully implementing the Arab Customs Union on its planned date, pointing out that a special committee will regularly follow up.
On the other hand, Al Khaliwi denied the entry of contaminated Chinese chairs into the Kingdom, indicating that the Saudi Customs did not record the entry of any radioactive goods. “There are modern devices available at all key customs ports that detect radioactive materials,” Al Khaliwi reassured.
Regarding the entry of counterfeit goods, he explained that the Saudi Customs is cooperating with consulting firms and specialized laboratories to detect fake products imported into the Kingdom. He also confirmed that the Batha border between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is not suffering from a congestion of trucks, because the Saudi Customs took the necessary measures and established a new customs yard. Despite the notable increase in customs’ activity in the Batha border, as the number of import containers reached 4,000 trucks, work is running smoothly. According to Al Khaliwi this a testament to the great efforts and modern procedures be used to enable the borders to withstand such an enormous capacity of trucks on a daily basis.
The Saudi Customs have created a solid infrastructure and established an orderly system, which includes a specialized courtyard for the imported shipments coming into the Kingdom and a separate courtyard for transit shipments.
Regarding the most important achievements of the SADC last year, Al Khaliwi said they have reached a record revenue, exceeding SR 22 billion in 2012, in addition to the great achievements in combating counterfeit goods and seizing illegal goods.
With regards to the third Arab customs forum, which will be launched in Mar. 3, Al Khaliwi said that preparations are underway, highlighting that the second forum was a success on the local and regional levels.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Customs celebrated International Customs Day (ICD) at its headquarters in the capital, under the slogan “Innovation for Customs Progress”, which the World Customs Organization (WCO) coined to encourage novelty in the field.
Commenting on the ICD celebration, Al Khaliwi said that slogan chosen for this year resonates deeply with the Saudi Customs, because it encourages customs officers to develop a sense of innovation.
“The WCO slogan invites us as management to work on innovation and sends the right message to customs officers to participate in this integral process as well,” he added.
During the ICD celebration, the winners of the Certificate of Merit in the public and private sectors were announced, which is issued jointly by the WCO and the Saudi Customs. In addition, selected Saudi Customs employees were honored for excellence.


Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. (SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,024,272, of which 2,561,541 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 399,479 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 277,372 in Makkah and 122,107 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,288,789 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 257,266 entered by land and 15,486 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (681,392) followed by Indonesia (447,450), India (306,470), Yemen (146,067), Malaysia (142,290), Algeria (92,752), Turkey (86,925), Egypt (85,438), Bangladesh (53,131) and the UAE (62,927).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 9,983 Saudis including 8,259 males and 1,724 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.