GCC customs union talks open in Riyadh

GCC customs union talks open in Riyadh
Updated 03 June 2012

GCC customs union talks open in Riyadh

GCC customs union talks open in Riyadh

The director generals of customs departments of GCC countries opened their first meeting on the creation of a GCC customs union at the GCC headquarters here.
Director General of Saudi Customs Authority Saleh Al-Khilaiwi chaired the meeting, Saudi Press Agency reported. Al-Khilaiwi expressed the hope that the meeting would be a good start for completion of the Gulf union.
He recalled the decision of the GCC leaders in their meeting in Dec 2011 on the establishment of an authority on GCC customs union and also the completion of all requirements aimed at shifting the GCC from cooperation to union.
Accordingly, director generals of GCC Customs Departments recommended that the launching of the GCC customs authority begin as of June 1, 2012, following approval of its internal by-laws, he said.
He said the internal by-laws contain specific duties for a transitional phase including collection and distribution of customs revenues, preparation of list of commodities to be protected by GCC countries, completion of a study on how to deal with US products imported by countries that have signed free trade agreements with US, and unification of customs procedures among GCC countries, and determination of first entry points (ports) with foreign countries.
Completion of GCC customs union requirements needs formation of specialized work teams to ensure preparedness of first entry points as a prelude to the creation of the GCC customs union that will come into effect on Jan 1, 2015, he said.
The teams have to provide detailed reports on pros and cons encountered in any GCC ports that will enable the authority to address the situation with the concerned member counties, he pointed out.