International trade facilitation measures are a much-needed thing for making the export and import of goods and services across borders much easier. It is also an essential feature for the economic growth and development of the country.
Oman, also known as Sultanate of Oman, is one of the oldest independent Arab countries in the Middle East. It is considered as the upper-middle-income country by the World Bank with a relatively small oil-exporting sector compared to its GCC neighbours. The logistics sector not only plays a vital role in its economic growth but it is also viewed as a critical facilitator for various businesses to thrive.
Today, Oman is looking to establish itself as a regional and international logistics hub and is therefore actively involved in empowering trade facilitation services that will enhance the nation’s economic development while also ensuring its advancement in meeting its objectives to evolve into a logistics destination.
New advance rulings programme for international trade facilitation
Realising the importance of international trade facilitation and to meet its ambition to become a logistics hub regionally and globally, Oman has drawn up a new initiative for the logistics sector. In line with the initiative, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the Directorate General of Customs have announced the introduction of a new advance rulings program to facilitate international trade through the Sultanate’s points of entry.
Branded as the Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy 2040 (SOLS 2040), the rulings programme allows businesses to obtain advance rulings through the Directorate General of Customs to import and export goods in relation to the classification, origin or valuation of the cargo, prior to any actual import or export procedure. Upon receiving the request, the Directorate General of Customs will study it and then issue a pre-ruling for a specified period of time, provided that the export and import conditions are the same as stated in the request. An official letter providing guidance for businesses on how best to manage goods during the import and export process will also be provided along with it.
The advance rulings programme, a boon for the trading community
The introduction of the new rulings programme is just one of the many initiatives that will significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Oman’s customs services. It will improve trading outcomes by easing customs procedures, and help to sustain the growth of the supply chain. The trading community can look forward to reduced trade costs and improved and faster clearance times.
The advance rulings programme will also help the country to facilitate international trade by expediting the clearance process at all points of entry, provided that the importing and exporting criteria are fully met by the trading party and the advance rulings have been obtained from the Directorate General of Customs.
With this advance rulings programme for international trade facilitation, the Sultanate of Oman demonstrates its commitment to facilitate the expeditious movement of goods at its entry points, thus keeping in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement while providing the trading community with seamless and systematic goods movement procedures that will enhance its position on the global stage as a logistics hub.