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Customs plans to modernize clearance

BusinessNews.com.lb | July 17, 2017
 The Islamic Chamber of Commerce , Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA)

The newly-appointed General Director of the Higher Customs Bureau Badri Daher has launched a plan to upgrade Customs procedures, limit expenses, and lower fees for exporters.

Customs will work on three main procedures in the next three years.

The first, according to Daher, is electronic declaration.

“Custom clearers and traders will be able to declare their shipments online. We will decide, according to a series of measures and indicators, whether these shipments will be inspected or automatically cleared,” he said.

Ports, mainly Port of Beirut, process around 1,000 containers per day.

Daher said: “Targeting ten or 30 containers would be much better and faster than inspecting all one thousand.”

The second measure is related to electronic payment.

“We are one of very few countries where traders still pay the cashier, a 90-year old procedure that is still ongoing to this day,” he said.

Traders will pay through bank transfers, he said.

The third measure is to conduct a study to determine which merchandise needs protection in order to modify taxes and fees imposed on them.

The Higher Customs Council has already started executing the plan and carried out a number of steps within the strategy.

Among these steps are hiring additional inspectors for exported merchandise and modifying the mechanism to issue and ratify the Euro1 certificate.

On the import level, Customs terminated radio examination of merchandise coming from India and Japan.

The strategy includes an additional 14 steps including the establishment of a call center to receive complaints and tips.