Oman eyes to be a logistics hub – again
On July 24th, 2019, the Directorate General of Customs in collaboration with the Royal Oman Police offered export Import Custom clearances in advance – a first in the GCC region for intentional traders in to and from Oman.
Oman or Sultanate of Oman is a frontline member country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Once a major power and influencer in the region, Oman was overshadowed by the neighbors notably by the Kingdom od Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who grew more powerful and Oak looked no longer that influential in regional politics and economy. By regional rapidly. Such initiatives will put shine back on Oman.
Oman has a relatively diversified economy but remains dependent on oil exports. Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in Oman. Other sources of income, agriculture and industry, are small in comparison and account for less than 1% of the country’s exports. Since a slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and has been placing greater emphasis on non-oil sectors fo economy namely tourism and infrastructure. Oman thus, drew a new vison for the logistics sector. Branded as the Logistics Strategy 2040 (SOLS 2040), it aims to re-establish the Sultanate as a regional and international logistics hub.
In line with the vision, the Royal Oman Police and the Directorate General of Customs collaborated and celebrated the national Renaissance Day of the country and announced the introduction of a new advance rulings program to facilitate international trade through the Sultanate’s points of entry. The program allows businesses to request a decision on clearance through the Directorate General of Customs prior to any actual import or export procedure relating to the origin, classification or valuation of the goods. The Directorate General of Customs will then study the request and issue a pre-ruling based on a specific timeframe, in addition to an official letter explaining the correct steps trading partners need to take during the import and export process.
While only time can tell how powerful this boost is to the Oman dream of becoming a logistics hub in the region, it is indeed a step in right direction and is a win-win reform in international trade in the Oman economy.