According to the Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to become a global logistics hub and the first in the region in providing remarkable customs services. To achieve this goal, the Saudi Customs has launched a number of initiatives including the Improved Clearance Program (ICP) and the Authorized Economic Operator Program (AEO).
On June 18, 2018, the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council, “the Council,” hosted an Executive Business Dialogue with the delegation from the Saudi Arabian General Customs Authority, headed by H.E. Governor Ahmed A. AlHakbani, at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Mr. AlHakbani was joined on the dais with Mr. Faisal Al-Bedah, Head of Trade Facilitation. Mr. Edward Burton, President and CEO of the Council, served as moderator of the program. The Business Dialogue served as an opportunity for the Saudi Customs Authority to engage with U.S. businesses and inform them of the streamlined customs processes.
Mr. Al-Bedah presented an overview of the Saudi Customs’ ICP and the positive impact it will have for U.S. exporters. The ICP is anchored in two pillars, the pre-arrival electronic submission and completion of inspection within 24 hours. The program uses two online portals FASAH and MASAR to streamline the customs clearance. FASAH integrates over 25 entities such as the Saudi Ports Authority, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization and offers over 100 electronic services to importers/exporters, port operators, brokers, and shipping agents. MASAR allows stakeholders to track their shipments.