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Saudi customs reveals new Carnet system to ease flow of goods among member states

Saudi customs reveals new Carnet system to ease flow of goods among member states

RIYADH: The new Carnet system to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2015 would help ease the movement of goods between Saudi Arabia and other member states, a senior official from the Council of Saudi Chambers told Saudi.

Khalid Al-Otaibi, secretary general of the CSC, made this comment during a workshop on the system at the organization’s headquarters in the capital. Local customs officials and businesspeople from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry also attended the event.

Al-Otaibi said it is a temporary admission system that allows goods to be brought more efficiently into the Kingdom. The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that allows the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment or goods going to trade fairs or exhibitions, he said.

It permits tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of goods for up to one year, eliminating the need to purchase temporary import bonds. As long as the goods are re-exported within the allotted timeframe, no duties or taxes are due. Failure to re-export all or some of the goods listed on the Carnet results in the payment of applicable duties and taxes. Failure to remit those duties results in a claim from the foreign customs service to the importer’s home country.

The Riyadh Chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Customs in May 2011 to implement the system. Currently more than 70 countries participate in the scheme.

Al-Otaibi described it as a major step in promoting international trade. He said 14 companies from seven countries including Romania, Spain, Holland and Brazil have already applied to participate.

The items covered include commercial samples such as jewelry, clothing, watches and leather products. It also covers items to be displayed or used during international exhibitions and trade fairs or similar events, such as antiques, paintings, works of art, accessories booths and professional equipment.

The other items are media and video broadcast equipment, musical instruments, equipment for seminars and meetings, presentation and test machinery, and repair and maintenance equipment used by surgeons archaeologists, zoologists, providers of entertainment, lecturers and athletes. Consumer items, used items and those meant for charity are not allowed under the scheme.

Al-Otaibi thanked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for providing technical assistance to introduce the scheme. The UAE is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council to join up. Bahrain also recently enlisted.

Dawood Abdullah Mohamed and Atiq Jumaa Faraj Nasib from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ali bin Yahya Al-Shehri from Saudi Customs also addressed local businesspeople at the meeting.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) administers the international customs conventions under which the ATA Carnet system operates. The ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) administers the ATA system and its international guarantee chain.

In every country in the ATA chain, a guaranteeing organization, approved by its customs body and the WFC, administers the system. The role of this organization is to guarantee to its customs administration the payment of duties and taxes due when ATA Carnets have been misused on its territory.