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UAE, China sign explanatory memorandum to boost customs, trade cooperation

November 28, 2021
UAE, China sign explanatory memorandum to boost customs, trade cooperation.
UAE, China sign explanatory memorandum to boost customs, trade cooperation.

ABU DHABI — The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security (ICA) has recently signed an explanatory memorandum with the General Administration of Customs of China that includes a joint mechanism for implementing the Mutual Recognition Agreement of the Authorized Economic Operator Program.

The move aims at enhancing customs and trade cooperation; exchanging experiences, benefits, facilities, and customs information between both countries; defining joint work procedures and mechanisms for exchanging Information on mutual recognition and identification of the list of authorized operators of both countries; and measuring returns from the mutual recognition.

The explanatory memorandum was agreed upon virtually, between Suoud Al Agroobi, director of the ICA International Relations Department, and Zhang Xiuqing, deputy director-general of the Projects, Control, and Audit Department.

This comes at a time when the total volume of non-oil trade exchange reached record rates between both countries, despite the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, reaching more than AED174 billion in 2020.

The total volume of non-oil trade exchange is expected to increase in the current year at large rates exceeding those achieved in 2020, where the total volume of non-oil trade exchange between both countries in the first half of 2021 amounted to about AED103 billion, bringing the total volume of non-oil trade exchange between both countries to AED 277 billion only in 18 months.

China is the second-largest trading partner of the UAE, and the leadership is keen to expand the areas of joint cooperation, and sign trade agreements that help in the growth of bilateral trade between both countries.

Al Agroobi said, "The mutual recognition of the authorized economic operators is one of the global means used by customs authorities to enhance partnership with the private sector and reward the authorized operators who have passed the requirements of customs compliance standards set by the customs authorities for customs facilities, the most important of which is the reduction in customs clearance time and other facilities."

Al Agroobi indicated that negotiations were held with China based on the Mutual Recognition Agreement of the Authorized Economic Operator Program, which was signed in 2019 and agreement on the signature plan and implementation mechanism, in a way that enables the exporting and importing companies that are authorized under the program in both countries to benefit from the advantages and facilities of the customs and the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and information between both parties, which will remove customs barriers, shorten the customs clearance time, and increase the volume of bilateral trade.

He added, "The signed explanatory memorandum aims to define the steps and mechanism for implementing the Mutual Recognition Agreement of the Authorized Economic Operator Program in both countries, and to agree on the mechanism for exchanging customs information and statistical data of trade facilitation measures between both parties.

“It was also agreed to work on a three-month phase to ensure implementing the procedures for identifying the authorized companies and applying the agreed facilities smoothly, provided that the Mutual Recognition Agreement is applied to all lists of authorized companies of both countries, considering that the number of authorized companies in the UAE is 84. This will be followed by the signature of mutual recognition of the program based on the results of the trial phase." — WAM


November 28, 2021
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