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Dubai Customs shares insights on Smart Refund System with Abu Dhabi Customs  



Dubai Customs was paid a visit by Abu Dhabi General Administration of Customs, in line with the MOU of mutual cooperation signed between the two in 2011. The visiting delegation was mostly interested in learning about the Smart refund System, which provides a centralized platform to streamline and simplify the operation of Customs refund and claim procedures.
Mohammed Al Muaini, Director of Inland Customs Centres Management and Head of the MOU execution committee, and Ms Ghaneema Ibrahim Ahmed, Director of Customs Refunds and Makasa Department, received the delegation, comprising Saleh Al Shamsi, Director of Al Ain Customs Operations and Head of the MOU team in Abu Dhabi Customs, Abdullah Mohammed Al Khamiri, Director of Customs Affairs, and Ahmed Al Attas, Acting Audit Manager.
Al Muaini pointed that Dubai Customs is the first Customs administration in the GCC to provide an online refund facility. “We would be more than happy to put our leading experiences in Customs process development at the disposal of any private and government agencies,” said Al Muaini.
The Director of Customs Refunds and Makasa Department Ghaneema Ibrahim Ahmed said that Dubai Customs is committed to embracing innovative development initiatives, in line with its vision of becoming “The leading Customs administration supporting legitimate trade” and its mission of “Protecting the society and sustaining economic growth through compliance, facilitation and innovation”.
“The innovative Smart Refund System was developed internally in Dubai Customs. It is able to handle up to 1,800,000 refund claims per year, or about 5000 per day, bringing many benefits to clients and Dubai Customs,” she added, “With this holistic refund system, Dubai Customs is able to focus resources on high-risk areas while increasing the productivity of the clearance process for low-risk shipments, which constitute nearly 98 per cent of local goods transactions. The automated refund process can be consistently applied to all imports and exports, and is significantly faster and more accurate, with refunds approvals 86 per cent faster than before.”
Importers and exporters now enjoy a much faster refund process, due to the process time decreasing from 3 weeks to 3 days and some claims are approved within minutes using automated clearance process.
In her presentation, Ms Ahmed underscored that “Customs enjoys 50 per cent improved staff productivity through the upgraded infrastructure, increased Customs refund revenue by 71 per cent, a more structured and controlled working environment, enhanced professionalism, and improved inter-department coordination. The new system also results in a substantial increase in government revenue and promotes free and fair trade.
“The system is an intelligence-enabled risk management framework with systematic application of refund procedures and practices that provide refund officers with the necessary information and tools to address risks, while ensuring compliance throughout the refund process,” Ms Ahmed added.
The new system, she said, supports various functionalities including 24/7 online claim submission. The system also is meant to help Dubai Customs calculate refunds in a more accurate and simplified manner, thereby reducing revenue leakage and significantly minimizing the refund time.
Members of the Abu Dhabi Customs delegation applauded the Smart Refund System and reaffirmed the importance of joining hands and taking coordinated measures between Abu Dhabi and Dubai Customs to bolster national economy and make the UAE the destination of choice for trade and business.