Dubai’s Customs World in search of hubs in Africa

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By Ruth Brook

Dubai’s customs solutions business, Customs World, is looking to improve Ethiopia’s customs clearing as they open Dubai up to be a trade and customs gateway for countries in Africa, Asia and South America. The aim is to have customs cleared in Dubai before reaching the final destination, for a more efficient clearing process. This was discussed at the Global Business Forum (GBF) on Africa 2019.
The potential for African countries that can act as a hub for their respective regions, while mirroring the customs efficiency of Dubai, was also discussed at the forum. When choosing hubs in Africa, Customs World takes into account the country’s location, population, accessibility and the capability of their own airline. Furthermore, the organization prioritizes a country that has a trade facilitating government.
Although Nadya did not directly disclose which countries or ports would be the eventual hubs, she mentioned that talks are underway for the possibility of using the Assab Port in Eritrea. She also mentioned that “opportunity is huge” for the Berbera Port in Somaliland, highlighting its great potential.
“We provide trade solutions, we actually engage with a lot of governments around the world to reengineer their customs processes to move to the next generation. We have a platform called RIISE (Revenue Innovated Intelligence Secured Economy) because we think if you need to play with trade, the government should take the lead and customs should play a role,” said Nadya Kamali, CEO of Customs World.
Customs World is a government owned customs solutions business, established in 2002, that exports Dubai’s customs practices to the world. It is an entity belonging under Port Custom and Free zone Corporation. Customs World is a unique platform combining the different entities that are port authority, customs authority and free zone authority. It places them under one umbrella, making trade a “one man show”, according to Nadya.
The CEO emphasized that in order for this to be successfully implemented in Ethiopia, the cooperation of the Ethiopian government and security is needed.
“If I decide to put a truck in Addis Ababa and tell them to take the truck to any village in Ethiopia, I do expect that we will get the support of the government so the movement from the time the airplane lands until it clears doesn’t take more than three to four hours. Not three to four weeks,” she explained.

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