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Goods clearance time at Aqaba Port to go from eleven to two days

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 06,2018 - Last updated at Mar 07,2018

Around 50 per cent of the goods entering Jordan are for transit, according to Jordanian officials (File photo)

AMMAN—Reducing the clearance time of goods in the country will not only lead to a substantial cut in costs for businesses, but will also increase the competitiveness of Aqaba Port, experts said on Tuesday.

One day earlier, the government decided to reduce the time needed to clear goods coming to Jordan for transit or reexports from 11 to 2 days.

“This is a very good decision that will help all businesses in various sectors. We are very happy about the decision,” President of the Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) Adnan Abul Ragheb told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

“When the process is smooth, more businesses from across the region will rely on Aqaba Port. This decision will make the port more competitive as there will be less time for clearance in Aqaba when compared to other ports in the region,” Ragheb added.

The industrial sector, which exports to several markets in the Gulf and Iraq, will greatly benefit from the decision, he added, noting that there will also be a reduction in costs.

For his part, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani stressed that the Cabinet’s decision will help businesses and reduce costs.

According to Momani, around 50 per cent of the goods entering Jordan are for transit.

“When the time needed for clearance was 11 days, it entailed additional costs as businesses needed to store the goods for several days. This is also meant to help boost the competiveness of Aqaba Port,” he said.

Khaled Habanka, a member of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, told The Jordan Times that importers will spend less money on renting warehouses to store commodities as the process will be made faster.

“This is a very good decision by the government. Aqaba Port is already a gateway to Iraq and neighbouring countries and reducing the time for clearance will make traders not only in Jordan but in neighboring countries rely on Aqaba Port,” he said.

Jamal Rifai, representative of the services sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, echoed similar remarks. “Importers can now start the process of clearance when the goods leave the port of origin,” he said.

“For example, it takes around a month for cargo to arrive from Hong Kong to Jordan by the sea and importers cannot start the clearance process until the goods arrive. After this decision, importers can start the process when the good leave Hong Kong, and by the time the goods arrive, many procedures will already be completed. This will save time and money and effort,” Rifai said, adding “Aqaba Port will certainly become more competitive.”

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