Dubai Customs posts 23% growth in transactions in 2020

Muzaffar Rizvi/Dubai
Filed on January 16, 2021
Around 99.3 per cent of customs transactions were completed through smart and electronic channels.

Number of customs declarations grew 30% in 2020 to 13.8 million from 10.6 million in 2019, an average of 1.1 million a month

Dubai Customs registered a strong 23 per cent growth in customs transactions last year despite challenging global environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Latest data indicates that customs transactions recorded by Dubai Customs rose to 16 million last year compared to 10.6 million in 2019, reflecting the resilience of Dubai’s economy and its ability to turn challenges into opportunities. Around 15.9 million, or 99.3 per cent, of last year’s transactions were completed through the organisation’s smart and electronic channels.

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said Dubai Government has implemented strong plans and programmes to ensure quick recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

“The Dh7.1 billion stimulus package launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has enhanced liquidity, reduced the impact of the global economic situation, and ensured continuous flow of local and foreign investments,” he said.

“We are optimistic and confident that this year, Dubai’s economy will grow four per cent and external trade will improve, with all businesses now returning to normalcy,” he added.

According to Dubai Customs, the number of customs declarations grew 30 per cent in 2020 to 13.8 million from 10.6 million in 2019, an average of 1.1 million a month. The Smart Workspace Platform enables completion of a declaration in less than five minutes, and 97% of transactions receive automatic approval without any human intervention.

In yet another strong indication of investors’ trust in the national economy, business registration requests grew 37 per cent to 250,000 from 182,000 in 2019. Customs refund requests saw 875,000 applications and certificates, while there were 475,000 report and certificate requests, and 334,000 inspection booking requests.

“Dubai has time and again proved that it has world class infrastructure, it was more clearly evident from the way the pandemic situation is being managed, thereby trust in Dubai's leadership and economy is enhansed and that attracted many businesses,” Saad Maniar, senior partner at Crowe UAE told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

Around 99.3 per cent of customs transactions were completed through smart and electronic channels: 61.8 per cent for smart channels (9.9 million transactions) and 37.5 per cent for electronic channels (six million transactions), whereas physical visits to the customer service centres did not exceed 0.6 per cent (only 102,000 transactions), according to Dubai Customs.

Bin Sulayem said the growth in demand on Dubai Customs’ services during the pandemic reflects the exceptional efforts of the government department in serving the local and national community while also effectively securing our borders from any violation.

“The staggering growth of 23 per cent in Dubai Customs’ transactions was made possible by its advanced systems and reflects the organisation’s quick response to challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director-general of Dubai Customs, said the intensive investments in digital transformation to build a robust infrastructure has ensured an uninterrupted workflow. “Our smart systems helped speed up processes to achieve record numbers in 2020. It is the first time we completed 89,000 transactions in a single day on December 8, and 441,800 transactions in one single week, between December 6 and 12. This makes December the most productive month in 2020, and this trend and momentum is expected to continue in 2021,” he said.


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