Arab Union of Customs Executives

Dr. Mamdouh Rifai participates in the advanced workshop held to consider the electronic certificates of origin in the Agadir Member States

The Arab Union of Customs Brokers, headed by President Dr. Mamdouh Al-Rifai, participated in the activities of an advanced workshop on electronic certificate of origin in the member countries of the Agadir Agreement, organized by the technical unit of the Agadir Agreement in cooperation with the World Customs Organization and the participation of senior officials in the customs department and ministries of foreign trade in Agadir countries (Egypt - Tunisia - Jordan - Morocco) from 28 - 29 October 2019, in the Republic of Tunisia.

The workshop aims at identifying the procedural requirements for issuing electronic certificates of origin and the guidelines of the World Customs Organization in this regard, as well as the current procedures for issuing certificates of origin and future plans to digitize certificates of origin in each country of Agadir, as well as to identify the pilot experiences in some countries such as the Korean and Saudi Arabia experiences both in the electronic certification mechanism, and the verification.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Mohamed Tolba, Director of Commercial Relations at the Technical Unit of the Agadir Agreement. He pointed out that the subject of the workshop is one of the most important issues on the international scene, as this comes within the global trend to digitize the stages of issuing certificates of origin in order to get rid of bureaucracy in terms of commercial dealers and eliminate Manipulation and forgery of certificates of origin, and to facilitate intra-trade.

He stressed that the recommendations- the results of the workshop, will be presented to the customs managers of Agadir during their next meeting to take the necessary decisions and order the issuance of certificates of origin electronically by Agadir countries. He added that there are three main topics: Institutional Building - E-Commerce Facilitation - consider Awareness and Experiments

Dr. Mamdouh Al-Rifai, during the workshop, pointed out that issuing electronic certificates of origin comes within the framework of keeping pace with the developments that arise in the international arena, it is a necessary system for Arab countries in order to facilitate the trade process and increase trade between Arab countries.

 He explained that this system will benefit and reduce the traditional burdens faced by the Arab economic trader or the Arab countries, on the one hand, the process of electronic issuance will reduce the traditional burdens faced by exporters during the process of issuing certificates of origin, which is to reduce the amount and momentum of papers and documents provided to the concerned authorities to issue the certificate of origin, reduce the time taken to issue the certificate of origin, eliminate manipulation and forgery in the certificate of origin procedures, consider confidence and transparency among economic dealers, and try to explain seals and signatures on the certificate of origin, which cause many problems for both the exporter and importer, on the other hand will improve the environment and climate of exports in the country, increase foreign investment, and will help establish a strict statistical system of exports and eliminate the parallel economy.

 It is worth mentioning that during the activities of the workshop, the Federation gave a presentation on the experiences of some Arab countries in issuing electronic certificates of origin and their impact on economic dealers, for example, "the pilot experience witnessed by the Saudi Arabia."

The president praised the customs cooperation among the member countries of the Agadir Agreement as it is the most prominent in the Arab region and the customs authorities of the Agadir countries play an active role by facilitating customs procedures and overcoming any obstacles facing the trade exchange.

In this regard, Rifai stressed that the Union is ready to provide technical support to the customs of the Agadir countries and the technical unit, whether through the provision of experts or the preparation of programs and provide studies that help countries to adopt the system of issuing certificates of origin electronically, which will benefit the economic trader and facilitate trade procedures.

At the closing session of the workshop, Dr. Mohamed Tolba, Director of Trade Relations handed over a shield given by the Technical Unit of the Agadir Agreement to Dr. Mamdouh Al-Rifai, and thanked the experts from the Arab Customs, Korean Customs and the attendees from the Member States of the Agadir Agreement and all those who contributed and cooperated with the technical unit of the Agreement and all the attendees. He assured that recommendations and outputs of the workshop will be presented to the customs managers of Agadir countries during their next meeting.