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.


Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

Updated 19 April 2018
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Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

  • Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030
  • Movie theaters are expected to contribute more than $24 billion to the Saudi economy and create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030

RIYADH: It was a night to remember: Cinema returned to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with the first major movie screening in 35 years in a spectacular new theater in King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.
The gala screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther was attended by hundreds of invited guests in the sleek and chic complex — described by AMC cinema chain bosses as “the most beautiful movie theater in the world.”
As the guests took their seats, Princess Reema bint Bandar told Arab News: “It’s a privilege to be here. I hope everyone gets to enjoy the experience I’m having this evening.”
In an official opening ceremony before the movie began, AMC bosses joined Saudi government officials on the stage. Each placed their hand each on a large handprint, triggering a shower of glittering, colorful confetti on the audience. It was a magical moment — just like the movies, in fact.
Paul Hill, the general manager of AMC, told Arab News: “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be part of the opening It’s a historic achievement. This really will be the place to go.”
The opening was overseen by the Development and Investment Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a partner with AMC in the new cinema complex.
Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, and Adam Aron, chief executive and president of AMC Entertainment, joined diplomats and industry experts to watch Black Panther in the first in a series of invitation-only screenings during April.
“I know for sure that Saudis are very eager to be able to watch their favorite films here in their own country, as now made possible by Vision 2030,” Dr. Alawwad said before the screening.
“This is a landmark moment in the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a more vibrant economy and society. None of this would be possible without the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
The cinema will open to the public on Friday. “There are some surprises and secrets on how we are promoting it. The tickets will be sold online and there will be more information in 24 hours,” said AMC Vice President Jason Cole.
Three more screens will be added to the cinema complex by September. Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030.