The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) joined the international customs community on Wednesday 26 January 2022 in celebrating the International Customs Day, held this year under the theme "Advanced Digital System". During the ceremony held today, the Authority presented its most prominent digital projects aimed at developing its customs procedures. H.E. ZATCA Governor Eng. Suhail bin Mohammed Abanmi and their excellences former customs governors Saleh bin Ali Al-Barrak, H.E. Mr. Saleh bin Manea Al-Khalewi, Mr. Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Haqbani attended the ceremony.
In his speech during the ceremony, Eng. Abanmi discussed this year's theme of the World Customs Organization (WCO) that focuses on the role of technology and the age of the open data. Eng. Abanmi also highlighted their importance to the development of the customs system, indicating that the theme of the WCO comes at a time when the Kingdom is directing its efforts to promote the concept and practices of open data to improve the transparency, encourage research and innovation and boost economic growth.
Eng. Abanmi further said, "ZATCA's celebrations with the international customs community reflects a new phase following the merger of the General Authority of Customs and the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) under its new name ZATCA. It is the step that ushered in new opportunities for a promising future for all fields under the Authority's operations, including customs operations."
Eng. Abanmi noted that the celebration of the International Customs Day is of particular importance this year. This year's theme emphasizes the role of digitization in the development and sustainability of the customs system, which is ZATCA's top priority to improve its services and the efficiency levels of its customs procedures. This is most apparent in all the steps it took to promote customs digitization and develop the open data ecosystem.
During the ceremony, ZATCA demonstrates its most prominent digital projects in the field of customs, including the Open Data Platform Initiative, launched earlier by the Authority. The project aims to provide reliable commercial and logistic information including the duration of the expected customs clearance, peak times, customs port activity, and the import and export data.
The Authority also reviewed the Unified Customs Portal Initiative as a digital solution that allows for the exchange of information between importers and the relevant government agencies and customs clearance agencies.
As a step to acknowledge the former Authority leaders' efforts that contributed to the development of the customs operations throughout its history, ZATCA recognized their work during the ceremony. ZATCA Governor awarded the shields of honor to their excellences as a gratitude for their meritorious services in achieving many Saudi Customs gains their various stages during the past years.
The ceremony also witnessed the acknowledgement of the efforts of the public and private sector recipients of the WCO certificates, awarded by WCO for their efforts in contributing to the realization of this year's International Customs Day theme concept.
It is worth noting that ZATCA has recently massive technological achievements and initiatives. The initiatives support its adoption of innovative concepts and modern technology, within a new perspective that optimizes modern technology, provides a new experience adopting the automation in clearance of goods and speeds up the clearance procedures at customs border ports.