DUBAI-Dubai Customs and the Italian Customs Agency have explored salient joint venture opportunities and sharing customs expertise for handling Expo shipments and the facilities to be put in place for exhibitors in Expo Milan 2015 and Expo Dubai 2020. The two sides agreed to offer mutual services, in their bid to build upon each other’s expertise and best practices.
These talks were held during a Dubai Customs’ two-day visit to Italy. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation, Ahmed Mahboob, Director of Dubai Customs, Abdullah Al Khaja, Executive Director of Customer Management Division, and Faisal Lutfi, Director of External Affairs Department, were among the DC deputation.
Dubai Customs’ delegation participated in business meetings with Italian officials, where they explored bilateral relations in ports and Customs industries as well as potentials for stronger mutual investments, in light of the distinguished relations tying up Italy and the United Arab Emirates across all areas.
The Dubai Customs’ visit to Italy was aimed at translating and actioning the memorandum of understanding and cooperation signed three months ago between Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) and the Italian government, represented by its embassy in the United Arab Emirates. The MoU, signed by Sultan bin Sulayem and Italy’s Ambassador to the UAE Giorgio Starace, was aimed at boosting cooperation between the Italian Customs and Commercial Privileges Agency and PCFC in Dubai, under the MoU, the two sides will devise a long-term cooperation agreement to develop strategies in areas of mutual interest.
H.E. Sultan bin Sulayem noted that the MoU was signed in pursuit to the jointly-declared statement by Italy and the UAE for boosting bilateral cooperation on the 20th of November 2012, which stipulated rolling out initiatives for mutual investment and cementing bilateral ties on economic and trade levels.
Bin Sulayem further underlined that the MoU dictated the provision of two-way customs facilitations for goods exported to both countries during the Expos. He also said that a more comprehensive cooperation agreement will be concluded for this purpose between Italy and the UAE in the near future, in coordination with concerned federal entities.
Dubai Customs’ business visit to Italy started off in Milan, where members of the delegation toured the venue for Expo 2015 and eyed the preparations underway at administrative, logistical and customs levels.
Afterwards, the DC delegation visited Rome, where they had an expanded meeting with Giuseppe Peleggi, Director General of Italian Customs, and customs intelligence, IT and external relations officials. The meeting was held at the Italian Customs premises.
The delegation learned about customs’ work mechanisms and processes in Italy, as well as the facilitations offered to customers and shipping agencies, particularly those compliant to customs laws, as part of the Authorized Economic Operator system.
The Director General of Italian Customs showcased the customs facilitations put in place for Expo Milan 2015’s exhibitors and visitors. He said they will increase the number of customs staff at seaports and airports and dedicate special routes for Expo inbound goods, giving them the priority for clearance, besides devoting a logistical equipment and commodity storehouse close to the Expo venue in order to cater for the needs of exhibitors on a timely manner.
Sultan bin Sulayem added that the visit provided a fruitful opportunity to learn from the Italian customs experience. Meanwhile, agreeing upon the exchange of information and expertise that would lead to a better facilitation of legitimate trade and combating customs violations. He also noted the Italian Customs Officials appreciation of Dubai Customs systems and work procedures, as well as the DC’s efforts in easing trade flow, countering smuggling, and preserving trademarks.
Ahmed Mahboob affirmed the keenness of both Dubai and Italian customs administrations to initiate further gateways towards bilateral cooperation in the fields of training and the adoption of Customs best practices. He further elaborated that Italy is a strategic partner of Dubai. Italy-Dubai non-oil trade levelled up to AED 21.5 billion in 2013 scoring a 7% growth compared to 2012. The two-way trade hit AED 12 billion in the first half of 2014, up by 12% compared to the same period last year.
The bilateral trade covered a wide range of products. Major Italian imports to Dubai included jewellery, leather products, petroleum oils, medicines and furniture. In terms of exports from Dubai, aluminium, jewels and synthetic fibers were on top of the list. Re-exports comprised jewels, cars and art paintings.