As a part of the Sultanate’s efforts to enhance efficiency, competitiveness and transparency of logistics services and to ensure fast flow of goods via various maritime ports of Oman, the Ministry of Transport recently issued a circular urging the shipping industry to adopt international best practices in maritime shipping operations. The circular mandates shipping lines and their agents to share data with the customs Bayan Single Window system through an electronic data interface. This is required to expedite goods reporting to Customs.
The ministerial circular No (4/2020) states that as from the first of June 2020 all shipping agents and agents must submit goods manifest documents listing details of cargo contents for the use of Customs at least 48 hours before the arrival of the vessel to the targeted maritime port in Oman. In case the sailing time is less than 48 hours, the manifest shall be submitted immediately upon the departure of the vessel at the last port before reaching its final destination in Oman. The circular also mandates shipping lines to issue an arrival notice including charges due to customers two days before vessel arrival.
The circular further mandates shipping lines and agents to provide a list of types of service fees in the country of origin and in the targeted destinations including related fees for full container loads and less-than-container load (LCL) shipments. These lists must be sent to the Ministry of Transport in order to enhance monitoring of the market fees, and to reduce their differences and variation, which may affect the final cost of the imported products.
The Ministry of Transport emphasized that the implementation of the circular will not only facilitate swift conduct of pre-arrival risk analysis and cargo clearance process by the Directorate General of Customs, but it will also facilitate trade, reduce logistics cost and shorten lead times of the private sector supply chains.
The Ministry of Transport also calls for shipping agents and freight forwarders to provide their services daily and around the clock, including official holidays. This will ensure the continuous operation of logistics services in the Sultanate and it will facilitate smooth clearance process of international shipments.