Qatar`s General Authority of Customs (GAC) organised the first regional webinar “Free Zones for North Africa and the Middle & Near East” most recently.
The three-day webinar highlighted how the GAC has adopted the World Customs Organisations (WCO) tried and tested framework and standards to enhance customs operations in the free zones. The event was part of the regional capacity-building plan.
The webinar discussed the importance of international customs cooperation. It was noted that the proactive role of customs organizations and institutions is crucial to supervise, regulate, organize and facilitate the movement of goods inside and outside of the free zones. The participants emphasized the importance of information and communication technology and how it contributes to security and safety.
Other topics included how free zones contribute to national economies, attract foreign direct investment and increase competition. The number of free zones is increasing regionally and internationally. They have become an integral part of the global supply chains.
Another boost for trade between Qatar and third countries is the most recent announcement of the implementation of the convention on the international transport of goods known as Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) in Qatar.
It is the only global transit system which allows goods to be transported from one country to another in sealed load compartments controlled by customs via a mutually recognised system backed by the United Nations (UN).
Moreover, the system will drive more efficient transport routes in the Gulf Cooperation Council as a majority of the countries are signatories of the convention.
The TIR system speeds up supply chains and ensures more secure delivery of goods and services. Consequently, it will simplify logistics during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and other major sporting and non-sporting events in the future.
These developments strengthen Qatar’s position as a hub for trade and commerce in the region.
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