Syrians pay high price for UAE visit

Since the beginning of this year, the GCC has imposed a unified customs tariff that is levied at the first entry point for any imports into member countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Oman.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 1, 2003

Since the beginning of this year, the GCC has imposed a unified customs tariff that is levied at the first entry point for any imports into member countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Oman. This meant that a Syrian manufacturer of formica sheets, trays and kitchen cabinets, Azzouz Corp., had to pay the customs duty at the entry point at the Al Hadeesa as well as at the Al Sila border between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “Since the beginning of this year, we have been paying the fee twice. We also experience a wait of an extra two days at the Saudi-Jordanian border,” Azzouz Corp sales manager, Ziad Ziadeh, told Construction Week. “We send our own trucks from Syria to Dubai. It takes about eight days. But there have been some problem since the beginning of 2003. We have to clear our goods at the first entrance into the GCC, which is at Al Hadeesa border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. “The difficulty is that we have to again clear the goods at Al Sila border between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. We also have to pay the fee twice, which is Dhs500,” said Ziadeh. He pointed out that earlier, company’s trucks would sail through Al Hadeesa under a transit permit until they reached Al Sila border. “Now we have to wait two extra days at Al Hadeesa, and this is in addition to the two days we had to spend at Al Sila.” Not only is the firm paying double the fee, it is spending double the time to clear its products. But Ziadeh takes it in his stride. He says his products are competing effectively in the market and are being exported to 52 countries. The Gulf accounts for about 30% of the exports and is growing by about 5-8% annually.

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