Hesham ElSamra

Collaborateur senior

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Hesham ElSamra

Collaborateur senior

Read More

22 juin 2023

United Arab Emirates joins Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement: Federal Decree No. 90 of 2023

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In a significant move towards strengthening regional economic integration, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a crucial step by acceding to the Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement. Under the provisions of the Federal Decree No. 90 of 2023, the UAE has solidified its commitment to enhancing customs cooperation with its Arab neighbours. This milestone decision marks a crucial chapter in the UAE’s ongoing efforts to foster economic collaboration and streamline trade across the Arab World and will be applicable from 24 May 2023.


The Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement, initially established in 1950, aims to facilitate trade and economic integration among Arab League member states. The agreement seeks to harmonize customs procedures, enhance cross-border trade facilitation, and promote mutual cooperation in combating customs offenses and illicit activities. By joining this regional framework, the UAE aligns itself with other Arab nations in their collective pursuit of economic development and cooperation.

Key Provisions of Federal Decree No. 90 of 2023.

Federal Decree No. 90 of 2023 enshrines the UAE's accession to the Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement, outlining key provisions and obligations that the country will adhere to as a member state. The decree highlights the following essential aspects:

  • Harmonization of Customs Procedures: The UAE commits to aligning its customs procedures with those of other Arab League member states. This harmonization aims to simplify and standardise customs regulations, reducing trade barriers, and promoting seamless cross-border movement of goods.
  • Trade Facilitation Measures: The decree emphasises the UAE's commitment to enhancing trade facilitation efforts. This includes implementing modern customs technologies, simplifying documentation requirements, and streamlining customs clearance procedures. These measures will contribute to reducing trade costs, enhancing competitiveness, and encouraging greater trade flows within the Arab region.
  • Customs Information Exchange: The UAE will actively participate in information exchange initiatives among member states. Sharing customs-related data and intelligence will enable the identification and prevention of customs offenses, smuggling, and illicit trade activities.
  • Joint Border Operations: The decree emphasises the UAE's intent to collaborate with other Arab states in conducting joint border operations. These joint efforts aim to enhance security, combat smuggling, and promote legitimate trade by ensuring the efficient movement of goods across borders.
  • Capacity Building and Training: The UAE will actively participate in capacity-building programs and initiatives offered by the Arab Customs Cooperation Council. These programs will focus on enhancing the skills and capabilities of customs officials, further improving customs administration, and fostering mutual understanding among member states.

Impact and Benefits

The accession of the UAE to the Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement carries several benefits for the country and the wider Arab region:

  • Enhanced Regional Trade: By aligning customs procedures and reducing trade barriers, the UAE can expect increased trade flows and greater market access within the Arab region. This collaboration will create new opportunities for businesses and stimulate economic growth.
  • Strengthened Security Measures: Through information exchange and joint border operations, the UAE can improve its security measures and combat illicit activities such as smuggling and customs offenses. This collective effort bolsters the region's security and safeguards legitimate trade.
  • Improved Business Environment: The harmonisation of customs procedures and the simplification of trade processes will create a more favourable business environment for both domestic and foreign investors. This streamlined system will attract more businesses to the UAE and enhance its reputation as a trade hub.
  • Economic Integration: The UAE's participation in the Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement demonstrates its commitment to regional economic integration. This accession bolsters economic ties with fellow Arab League member states and contributes to the broader goal of an integrated Arab economy.


The United Arab Emirates' accession to the Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement, as outlined in Federal Decree No. 90 of 2023, marks a significant milestone in the country's pursuit of regional economic integration and trade facilitation. By aligning its customs procedures with those of its Arab neighbours, the UAE aims to promote seamless trade, strengthen security measures, and foster a more conducive business environment. As the UAE cements its commitment to the Arab region, this accession sets the stage for deeper economic collaboration and enhanced cooperation among Arab League member states.

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