UAE’s Aramex wants gulf customs rules amended to aid e-commerce
Current regulations only allow small shipments
March 3, 2014 4:35 by Reuters
Customs rules governing trade between Gulf Arab states need to be adapted to the needs of the region’s e-commerce industry, Hussein Hachem, the chief executive of Dubai logistics company Aramex, said on Monday.
The current regulations only allow small shipments, such as parcels sent by online retailers, to be cleared by customs if these are transported by air, which is expensive, Hachem told reporters.
“The GCC customs union law does not address e-commerce,” he said, referring to the free trade zone run by six oil-exporting countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
“What we are calling for is an update.”
Hachem estimated the market for online purchases in the GCC is worth $15 billion a year.
“Ten per cent of my revenue is being generated by online transactions,” he said, adding that the market segment was growing at 25 per cent a year.
Aramex made a net profit of 278 million dirhams last year on revenue of 3.3 billion dirhams.