123m fake goods seized in 2015

123m fake goods seized in 2015
Updated 19 March 2016

123m fake goods seized in 2015

123m fake goods seized in 2015

JEDDAH: The Customs Department seized almost 123 million pieces of counterfeit items at the ports across the Kingdom last year, Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, the general director of Jeddah Islamic Port Customs (JIP) has said.
“The advanced equipment and system at the ports can detect things in the containers without having to open them, thereby speeding up the inspection process. It also reduces the damage caused by loading and unloading of containers for inspection,” the official was quoted as saying by local media on Friday.
According to Al-Ghamdi, the Jeddah Islamic Port contains 11 advanced X-ray systems to examine the containers entering the port. Three of these systems are like X-ray tunnels through which a truck enters after the driver leaves the vehicle. It takes only 50 seconds to scan the goods in the vehicle.
“More than 40 containers pass through the tunnel per hour,” said Al-Ghamdi, adding that two other mobile units are also there to detect items using the X-ray technology.
He said that such devices limit the risks to the employee while inspecting hazardous materials, while containers are opened at random to make sure goods are not counterfeit.
“During the year 2015, 122,922,286 million counterfeit items were seized across all the customs ports in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Goods worth SR232,253,467 worth of goods, which is about 35 percent of the total imports and exports, passed through the Jeddah port last year. Items worth SR21,878,856 in exports, which is about 13 percent of the total value of imports and exports in the Kingdom, passed through the port, he added.
Al-Ghamdi said inspectors also use police dogs, which play a crucial role in the process as goods referred to manual inspection are inspected by these canines to make sure they do not contain any prohibited items. Dogs trained to identify explosives are also present, he said. “The JIP has more than 25 sniffer dogs to detect drugs and explosives.”
He said the “single window” project has enhanced customs and inspection procedures at the port, where it brings together a number of private and government agencies together in three buildings. Customs officials transfer specific items to these authorities, as per their specialties, to verify them and continue procedures, he said.
The buildings currently house representatives of government agencies and specialized labs, as well as other parties, including banks and handling companies, which allows customs procedures to be carried out in a professional, timely and civilized manner.
As for those who criticize the customs department for delays in cargo shipments at the ports, Al-Ghamdi denied congestion as the reason, and explained that the department seeks to strike a balance between facilitating the movement of trade for importers and exporters.
He said the JIP has about 750 employees, all of whom are Saudi nationals and qualified to carry out their jobs and responsibilities.
The port also has many international, regional and local courses for staff to enhance their technical and professional development, Al-Ghamdi added.