Saudi Customs launches Approved Economic Operator program

Updated 03 January 2018
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Saudi Customs launches Approved Economic Operator program

JEDDAH: Saudi Customs has launched the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program to enhance partnership with the private sector and encourage teamwork to facilitate trade and customs procedures.

The AEO program will improve trade procedures for exporters, importers, customs trustees, carriers, shipping agents and other trade facilities in the logistics sector. The program will facilitate trade between the Kingdom and other countries. It also has procedural and priority advantages in all customs procedures.

The program also offers security advantages, such as minimizing spot checks and sample analysis. General advantages of the AEO also include benefiting from the features offered by similar programs in other countries through mutual recognition, and the possibility of using the AEO logo in marketing.

Moreover, there will be a special account for the trading facility to deal with any challenges that face export and import operations.

Saudi Customs invited relevant parties to register through its website. Registration conditions stipulate that the facility should have a suitable three-year record for customs obligations before applying. They also stipulate the availability of suitable administrative and financial rules which allow for imposing proper customs controls on shipping documents, and a proven financial capability of the facility.

Saudi Customs declared that there is no time limit for the facility which has already been approved as an authorized economic operator, but the suitability criteria will continuously be monitored. Re-checking will be done at least once every five years or according to the results of continuous assessment and monitoring.

The launch of the Saudi AEO follows the implementation of a 24-hour customs clearance policy, which has been successful in many maritime customs outlets in its first stage. The time needed to finalize customs procedures has been reduced from 14 days to less than 48 hours.


Saudi Arabia’s journey: From 1932 to 2030 and beyond

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a plan to boost renewable energy. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s journey: From 1932 to 2030 and beyond

  • The outdated views about the Kingdom do no justice to the modern Saudi Arabia of 2018 — nor to where it’s heading
  • Saudi Arabia is rich in its youth, its leadership, and its bold plan to transform over the next 12 years in a way it has never done before

RIYADH: There are several shorthand terms for Saudi Arabia bandied around in the press: “Oil-rich,” perhaps, or “the desert Kingdom.”

Neither, of course, does justice to the modern Saudi Arabia of 2018 — nor to where the Kingdom is heading over the next 12 years.

On Sept. 23, Saudi Arabia observes National Day, in recognition of the date in 1932 on which the country was founded by King Abdul Aziz, known in the West as Ibn Saud.

It was during King Abdul Aziz’s reign that oil was discovered in commercial quantities, when in March 1938 “black gold” was struck at the site known as Dammam Well No. 7, or “the Prosperity Well.”

And prosper Saudi Arabia did. The oil boom brought untold riches to the Kingdom — yet the country became over-reliant on the energy industry, forming what Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called an “addiction” to oil.

It is the crown prince’s bold — and, say many, ambitious — Vision 2030 reform plan that aims to overcome that addiction. 

The plan, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive blueprint for the future, laying out a strategy, and clear targets, to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.

Under the spirit of the plan, a raft of changes have already taken place. Musical concerts and cinemas have made a comeback, women have been given the right to drive as of June this year, and the economy has opened up more to foreign investment. 

Saudi Arabia — despite, as some news outlets tell us, being so “oil rich” — is also embarking on a plan to boost renewable energy. As part of the Vision 2030 program, Saudi Arabia plans to meet 10 percent of its power demand from renewable sources by 2023 — and it fully expects to exceed this target. The country’s planned megacity — the $500 billion NEOM project, announced last year — will run entirely on renewables. 

It is for these reasons that Arab News is looking forward, rather than back, on this year’s National Day.

In our Saudi National Day section, we delve into myriad aspects of this changing Kingdom, from how the youth — surely the country’s most valuable resource — perceive the future of the country, to the various megaprojects underway, women’s empowerment, and the entertainment revolution being seen in country where cinemas, until very recently, were banned. 

This is complemented by a new section on the Arab News website called “Road to 2030” where you will find all the latest news, analysis and opinion about the reforms. 

As is becoming increasingly clear to the world, Saudi Arabia is no longer a “desert Kingdom,” nor will it be oil-rich forever. 

It is rich in other ways: In its youth, its leadership, and its bold plan to transform over the next 12 years in a way it has never done before.