Murshid Shaheen al-Kuwari
Murshid Shaheen al-Kuwari, director of the department, said the Customs operations resumed at Abu Samra soon after receiving instructions in this regard. He explained a large number of screening devices have been provided to ensure that the work is carried in line with the highest international standards.
The GAC resumed its Customs procedures for receiving travellers from both sides in co-ordination with its partners in government agencies operating at Abu Samra on January 9.
During a tour to the Customs facilities there, Abdul Rahman al-Obaidli, head of the passengers section at GAC, said all the necessary procedures were being followed at the border. “Once directives were received to open the port for travellers, the Land Customs Department carried out the required works covering all administrative and technical aspects," he said.
In less than 24 hours, the employees were contacted and familiarised with the work mechanism there. The number of employees and their distribution in different shifts were determined in keeping with the expected volume of work. Other procedures were co-ordinated with state agencies operating at the border according to the directions of the government, he explained.
He added that the Information Technology Department carefully reviewed all systems, devices and networks. Network communication systems and other facilities were replaced, while the GAC’s electronic system (Al-Nadeeb) was installed at the border.
The Financial and Administrative Affairs Department provided all business needs by replacing seals and providing sanitisers, protective masks and gloves. It also provided general services and carried out maintenance works, he informed.
Al-Obaidli thanked the GAC chairman for his support in providing all the needs of the Land Customs Department at Abu Samra, all the Customs departments for their quick response as well as other government agencies that helped the GAC resume operations.
Explaining the procedures at Abu Samra, he said Customs officials receive vehicles and passengers and ensure that they meet the health standards and also undergo the procedures of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). After this, a thorough inspection of the vehicles is carried out to ensure that they are not carrying prohibited items and then allowed to enter.
The GAC official added that the procedures are completed quickly, not exceeding five minutes.
He said the department works in co-ordination with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to implement all relevant Covid-19 instructions issued regarding the entry and exit of travellers. The department, according to him, also ensures that the adequate quantities of protective equipment such as masks, gloves and sanitisers are distributed among the employees and workers responsible for the inspection process as well as those in charge at the entry and exit gates.
Abdullah al-Nuaimi, head of the Land Customs security department, said the presence of Customs security personnel at the internal entrances and exits was strengthened according to the new work instructions. According to him, there is co-ordination with the relevant MoI department regarding the work mechanism and the application of Customs procedures.