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Tip-Off Leads to Successful Tracking of Counterfeit Oil and Gas Pipes

counterfeit

Tip-Off Leads to Successful Tracking of Counterfeit Oil and Gas Pipes

Cooperative efforts between the Dubai Customs’ IPR and Intelligence departments led to the successful identification and seizing of 58 counterfeit Vallourec oil and gas pipes before they enter the UAE market.

According to information released by Dubai Customs, a tip-off received by the IPR Department pointed to four specific vessel containers from an Asian country carried the counterfeit items. These suspicions were confirmed upon completion of a technical inspection revealing non-conformity with specification and quality requirements,  counterfeit trademarks branded on the steel pipes, and forged quality certificates.

“Counterfeiting has a damaging effect on business, the economy and the general population, and when it comes to oil and gas pipes, it can wreak havoc on the environment as well,” said Yousef Ozair Mubarak, Director of IPR Department.

“As soon as we received information about this shipment of fake pipes, we moved swiftly to seize and recycle the contraband to prevent any potential damage to the environment. This is our commitment towards manufacturers and rights-holders in order to provide them the best possible investment conditions in support of sustainable economic development.”

Vallourec is a French manufacturing company offering a wide range of steel  VAM® premium connections for Oil & Gas well equipment such as casing, tubing and accessories. These items are designed to withstand high temperatures and pressures to better support the petroleum industry. Compromising the quality of steel for these items, risks in worker safety and the petroleum industry are increased.

“Our control room spots and tracks any high-risk consignments of smuggled goods before their arrival to Dubai using the Smart Vessel Tracking System, which Dubai Customs developed for the purpose,” commented, Shuaib Al Suwaidi, Director of Customs Intelligence Department. “We were alerted by the IPR Department and acted accordingly to track down the suspected shipment and eventually intercepted a significant haul of illicit counterfeit steel pipes.”

 

Dubai

Dubai Trade Reports Significant Growth in 2019

Dubai trade represented significant growth and numbers throughout the first nine months of 2019, according to information released this week. Non-oil related trade volumes were reported with a 22 percent year-on-year increase compared to the same period the year before, resulting in a total of 83 million tons.

Additionally, the report highlighted export growth by 23 percent, re-exports growth by 4 percent, imports by 3 percent in regards to external trade. Volume for re-exports jumped 48 percent while export volumes jumped by 47 percent, at 12 million and 13 million tons overall for the period.

“The strong performance of Dubai’s foreign trade reflects the robust fundamentals of our economy and our ability to keep developing making ourselves ready for 2020 – the year of preparation for the next 50 years,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.

“We are confident our external trade sector will keep the momentum. Government teams are going above and beyond to develop new initiatives that will improve our trade, including the Dubai Silk Road project, which will enhance Dubai leading position as a trade and logistics hub. We are working on a virtual trade zone, the first of its kind, which will help considerably in developing e-commerce regionally and globally. Different achievements are contributing towards an exceptional hosting of EXPO 2020 and beyond.”

The report also confirmed unwavering quarterly growth throughout 2019, with the third quarter representing the highest amount of growth (seven percent) for trade activity. Supported by the region’s foreign free trade zones, there was growth reported indirect trade, customs warehouse trade, land trade (11 percent), sea trade (five percent), and air trade (four percent), further establishing Dubai as a region primed for trade growth, agility, and success in 2020.

“The strong growth delivered by non-oil foreign trade is a healthy sign of how resilient and appealing the Dubai economy is and its efforts in developing its manufacturing facilities and free zones. Jebel Ali Free Zone is a world model that delivers unique services and facilities to investors and help develop the quality of goods circulated worldwide,” added Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

“Dubai trade is agile and has strong accessibility to new markets thanks to its reliability and transparency. This helps us with our upcoming projects which we are delivering in 2020- the year of preparation for the next 50 years, based on an advanced infrastructure and the best AI applications which are expected to immensely change and disrupt the nature and structure of trade in the coming few decades.”

“Dubai Customs has recently won the innovation platinum award, with a 6-star rating from EFQM Global Excellence Award scoring 700 points, the highest among all participating organizations. Dubai Customs has become the first organization in the world to win this reputable global award based on the new rating system in 2019. Winning the EFQM award is an international recognition of our leading achievements and the advanced level we reached in customs innovation. Dubai Customs has dedicated a customs clearance channel for EXPO 2020 exhibitors and participants. In conjunction with the World Government Summit and EXPO 2020, Dubai Customs is hosting the 5th WCO Global AEO Conference between 10-12 March 2020 in cooperation with the World Customs Organization and the Federal Customs Authority” Sulayem added.

Dubai Customs Reports Export & Non-Oil Foreign Trade Growth for Q1

Non-oil trade volumes, exports, and re-exports were all reported with robust growth percentages during Q1 for Dubai, according to information released this week from Dubai Customs. Exports led the growth patterns by increasing 30 percent and accumulating AED 42 billion. Additionally, Dubai’s non-oil trade volumes were reported at 28 million tons, up from 21 million tons for Q1 in 2018. Overall, the report highlighted 7 percent year-on-year growth for non-oil foreign trade.

“This robust performance and marked growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-Year Charter.,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. “The Dubai Silk Road Strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure. In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we are committed to developing our government services so that we can become a world-class model for future governments based on knowledge, innovation and advanced AI applications.”

Credit: Dubai Customs

Breaking down the numbers even further, gold, diamonds, and jewelry traded through Dubai saw values increased by nine percent and totaling AED 90 billion. Leading the way in growth contributions, phones were reported at AED 42 billion while petroleum oils increased by more than twice as much from last year.

Credit: Dubai Customs

Among several AI-based initiatives, Dubai Customs boasts the first of its kind ‘Virtual Stock Guarantee’ initiative providing support for re-exports from free zones to external markets. Other disruptive strategies implemented consist of the Smart Vessel Berthing System and the ‘Productivity Engine.’ All three serve a unique purpose from enhanced productivity to cost reduction, all while helping Dubai remain a leader in the market.

“We are pleased to report that trade in Dubai has rebounded in the first quarter of 2019 with non-oil trade growing 7.3% year-on-year to reach AED 339 billion,” added Sultan Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation. “This strong growth has been delivered despite the challenging macro and geopolitical environment, which further highlights the strength and resilience of the Dubai economy. Importantly, we have seen significant growth in both exports (+30%) and re-exports (+7%) which reinforces Dubai’s profile as the key hub for the region. Overall, despite geopolitical headwinds, we remain excited about the outlook for Dubai, particularly with the lead up to EXPO 2020.”

Source: Dubai Customs

Global Customs Platform “RIISE” Showcased in Uzbekistan & Romania

Disruptive global customs platform RIISE was announced and released this week by PCFC subsidiary, Customs World. The in-house customs project was presented to Uzbekistani officials and received positive feedback for its automation capabilities and elimination of traditional, time consuming trade bottlenecks.

“This disruptive technical and functional CMS (Customs Management System) and the trade enabling platform takes the lessons and builds on the learnings and 100 years of distinctive experience and practices of Dubai Customs” Nadya Abdullah Al Kamali, CEO of Customs World said. “The system recognizes the threats and challenges of today and provides the levels of border integrity that governments and their communities expect in such a way that sets world benchmarks for cross border trade.”

The plug-and-play solution is equipped to meet specific needs of customers and utilizes technology such as AI and machine learning to simplify and streamline decision-making and operations. Additionally, the open-source system eliminates the need for third party license and is predicted to improve rankings on the global indexes, increase revenues, facilitate trade, secure borders and the supply chain for countries that utilize the platform.

“RIISE is built with a vision to be the number 1 partner of choice for
governments to protect their borders and facilitate trade following the standards and requirements of the World Trade Organization, SAFE and Kyoto. It is a disruptive option to a stale market currently monopolized by companies with a 1990’s mentality dumping old technology and re-branding old processes.”

Dubai Customs Adds 5.7 million Captagon Pills to Seizure List in 2019

A combination of strategic planning, cooperation, a customs K-9 Dog unit, and smart inspection technology supported efforts to thwart an attempt to smuggle 5.715 million Captagon pills at Jebel Ali & Tecom Customs Center. Dubai Customs – also known for seizing an illegal shipment of 5 million Captagon pills back in January, confirmed this latest smuggling attempt utilized bags of red lentils to conceal the pills.

“We are vigilant and well prepared to all attempts of bringing these illegal contrabands into the UAE through Dubai entry points. The high sophisticated level that Dubai Customs reached in terms of infrastructure, equipment and the skills of their customs officers have led to more control over the emirate’s entry points and borders following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,” Director General of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said.

This seizure brings the total number of Captagon pills confiscated by Dubai Customs to 10.715 million pills in less than five months. The high-levels of communication and coordination between Jebel Ali & Tecom Customs Center and the Dubai Customs Intelligence Center serves as major factor for successful confiscations of illegal shipments. Jebel Ali & Tecom Customs Center’s one-of-a-kind container detection system provided the information needed for the final determination of risk involved with the illegal shipment.

“The full X-ray container detection system, the first of its kind in the world, can process 150 containers per hour,” Yousef Al Hashimi, Director of the Jebel Ali Customs Centres Management said. “These achievements at the Jebel Ali Customs Centre Management support our preparations for the upcoming Expo 2020. We have a very advanced smart risk engine in place which we developed in-house to track all coming shipments and classify them based on their risk level” he concluded.

Dubai Customs Reports Free Zone Trade Growth

The latest reports released by Dubai Customs reveals an impressive 23 percent growth in free zone trade for 2018, reaching a total of AED532 billion. Total non-oil trade for 2018 was reported at AED1.3 trillion, confirming the strong position Dubai is steadily maintaining as an international and regional trade hub leader.

“The current growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-Year Charter. The Dubai Silk Road Strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.

“In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we are committed to develop our government services so that we can become a world-class model for future governments based on knowledge, innovation and advanced AI applications. We are currently developing a virtual commercial zone, the first of its kind in the region, which will allow investors to open bank accounts and grant e-residencies according to the highest standards of international laws and regulations,” he added.

Additionally, airborne trade saw an increase of 3.2 percent, sea trade was reported with a 3.4 percent increase, and land trade was reported at AED205 billion. Advanced communication technologies, such as phones were reported as the top commodity in Dubai, and China and India remained the region’s largest trading partners.

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is flexible and agile enough to overcome different global economic crunches. Despite a number of challenges that world trade has been through in the last decade, Dubai’s trade grew 72% from 2009 and 2018, and the volume of goods in this period grew 44%. This again reflects Dubai’s ability to attract global trade and investments and to keep up with changes, especially the rise of Asia and China as a global export hub. Dubai is a very important link in this global activity. Our international network of ports and free zones in different countries coupled with Dubai’s leading airline network have helped the emirate in its journey towards more success and progress,” concluded Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

New Customs Platform Utilizes Disruptive Technology

RIISE, a brand new platform based on recorded trends seen with Dubai Customs, is the latest and greatest customs management platform that not only increases transparency, but also fosters a cost-effective and reliable customs environment. The platform, built by Customs World, confirmed RIISE was created to provide automation and technology features including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Prediction, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and blockchain.
“This disruptive technical and functional CMS (Customs Management System) and the trade enabling platform takes the lessons and builds on the learnings and 100 years of distinctive experience and practices of Dubai Customs.” Nadya Kamali, CEO of Customs World said. “To further solidify our commitment to make this world a safer place, the system recognizes the threats and increasing challenges of today and provides the levels of border integrity that governments and their communities expect in such a way that sets world benchmarks for cross border trade”.
RIISE is built with a vision to be the number 1 partner of choice for governments to protect their borders and facilitate trade following the standards and requirements of the World Trade Organization, SAFE and Kyoto.  It is a disruptive option to a stale market currently monopolized by companies with a 1990’s mentality dumping legacy technology and rebranding old processes.”
The platform is predicted to launch during the second quarter of 2019. Once launched, Customs World will offer assistance with training, demos, and consultations.
Source: Dubai Customs

Dubai Customs Boasts Exemplary Customs Strategies

Many might recall the June 2018 Air Cargo Advance Screening Program mandating foreign shipments to be subject to providing a laundry list of pre-arrival cargo data when the U.S. is the final destination, per measures from the Department of Homeland Security. Strict screenings such as these have been implemented globally, as recently reported for Dubai Customs, which prides itself on significant progress in performance due to the advanced infrastructure as well as supportive government policies assisting in facilitating global trade efforts. The success is also paired with a proactive approach involving careful evaluation and research of trade trends.
Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, explains: “We have an integrated strategy in place to develop the external trade performance further following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, and along with the guidelines of Dubai Plan 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071. We are watching closely the changes taking place in the international trade and we will turn challenges into opportunities by entering new markets and expanding our existing ones.”
More recently, however, Dubai Customs reported several cases where significant smuggling attempts were stopped because of the diligence and seamless communication strategies in place. One report identified 922 successfully prevented smuggling attempts, of which 38.5 percent were drug contrabands. Even more interesting is the time frame the attempts occurred: between January and September of 2018.
“Thanks to our inspectors’ vigilance, we are closely in full control of all checkpoints,” explains Ibrahim Al Kamali, Dubai Customs’ director of Passenger Operations. “Our inspection officers receive the best training on body language and different types of drugs, and how to distinguish fake brands from genuine ones.”
“There are challenges facing customs authorities in countries that have strategic locations,” Musabih points out. “Dubai is not an exception. It’s strategically located between East and West, and it has spent billions of dirhams to develop its infrastructure, ports and airports.”
“The Emirate has also provided an unprecedented host of services and products, including the iDeclare application which significantly reduces passengers’ time needed to declare different belongings. These advanced services will facilitate passengers’ entry into the country.”
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Dubai Customs Thwarts 922 Smuggling Attempts in 9 Months

Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih revealed they have thwarted 922 smuggling attempts including 355 drug contrabands (38.5%) from January to the end of September 2018.

“We facilitate trade and traffic of passengers without compromising security of borders and entry points, and with the growing number of passengers and air shipping size in the last years we continue to have full control on all our checkpoints” Musabih explained.

“There are challenges facing customs authorities in countries that have strategic locations. Dubai is not an exception. It’s strategically located between east and west and has spent billions of dirhams to develop its infrastructure, ports and airports. The emirate has also provided an unprecedented host of services and products including the ideclare application which significantly reduces passengers’ time needed to declare different belongings. These advanced services will facilitate passengers’ entry into the country, especially for visitors of EXPO 2020” he added.

                  25KG marijuana  

Inspection customs officers at Dubai International Airport thwarted an attempt to smuggle 25.5 kg of marijuana which were concealed carefully inside loud speakers in the passenger’s suitcase

Lyrica pills

Inspection officers’ vigilance and effective training has also led to thwarting a smuggling of 6720 Lyrica pills which were skillfully concealed in bags of nuts.

275 cases of customs duties evasion

Ibrahim Al Kamali, Director of Passenger Operations at Dubai Customs revealed they checked around 30.2 million suitcases between January and the end of September.

“Dubai International Airport deals with large number of passengers annually. Around 74.5 million passengers used the airport in the first ten months of 2018, which means 248,000 passengers a day. These passengers hail from different backgrounds and they all deserve a good and warm welcome” he said.

During the first 9 months of 2018, 3 counterfeiting and 275 customs duties evasion cases were recorded.

“Thanks to our inspectors’ vigilance we are closely in full control of all checkpoints. Our inspection officers receive best training on body language and different types of drugs, and how to distinguish fake brands from genuine ones” Al Kamali added.