COVID-19 response: Dubai Customs ensures continuity of supply chain during pandemic
DUBAI -- Dubai Customs has played a pivotal role in ensuring the continuity of global and local supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Customs inspections and clearance operations at sea, air and land entry-points have been running around the clock to ensure the smooth flow of cross-border trade, as well as guaranteeing that the shipments of goods and medical supplies are delivered on time.
Dubai Customs said that this has been possible thanks to their advanced technology infrastructure, which the department has built over the years. "Customs transactions are being processed electronically through Mirsal 2, a state-of-the-art clearance system that has helped provide more efficiency in Customs work, including automatic 2-minute approval and clearance of about 97 percent of no-risk consignment transactions without any human intervention," according to Dubai Customs officials.
Officials also said that terms of customs inspections and examination of goods continued without disruption, despite the lockdown, which helped secure society and the economy against illegitimate trade activities and smuggling of prohibited and hazardous items.
The Customs Inspection Division at Dubai Customs is following an integrated strategic plan to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan is carried out in tandem with other government departments through the sharing of latest updates about COVID-19 via an operations room working around the clock.
All inspection officers at Dubai Customs are committed to following strict health and safety instructions, and they are equipped with advanced protective gear and equipment to perform their vital job at the frontlines.
Other procedures included regular health check-ups for inspectors and a Safe Inspection Passage, which is equipped with a smart thermal scanner that reads temperature aloud, a water source operated by foot, rather than hand, and full sterilization along with safety gear, including gloves, masks and full body protective uniforms. Airports, Jebel Ali and Hamriya ports were equipped with thermal cameras, and trucks coming through Hatta Border Crossing are disinfected.
Measures also include awareness and warning stickers at the airports, which target clients and passengers, and re-seating plans to ensure safety in the waiting areas.
Customs transactions processed by Dubai Customs jumped 36 percent in the first five months of 2020, to reach 5.9 million compared to 4.4 million transactions in the corresponding period of 2019.
Dubai Customs completed 5.88 million transactions reaching 99.2 percent through smart and online channels, with only 0.8 percent performed at service counters.
Customs declarations rose 42 percent in the first five months of 2020 to reach 5 million declarations, compared to 3.5 million declarations in the corresponding period in 2019.
Dubai saw exceptional growth in business registrations, at 107,000 applications, growing 95 percent from 55,000 in the first five months in 2019.
Recently, Director-General of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, honoured 146 employees who offered viable ideas and suggestions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the honoured employees through Microsoft Teams, Musabih said, "We are facing the COVID-19 pandemic with all determination and awareness, and we are confident we will get through this safe and sound, to continue our journey of facilitating global trade and protecting society from all security and health hazards".
"Innovative ideas and suggestions developed by our employees are a catalyst to boost our overall performance during this difficult time and beyond," he noted. WAM