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News: GCC Customs

The GCC Summit recently held in Doha on 21, 22 December 2002, approved the application, from 1st January 2003, of a unified customs tariff of 5% on goods imported to GCC countries. Customs duties are presently charged by Member States at varying rates ranging between 4 to 12%. In a step expected to consolidate the establishment of a free trade area, the Summit further approved the cancellation of customs imposed on the exchange of goods between GCC Member Countries.

It was reported that this decision was made to expand trade between the GCC and the European Union, its major trading partner.

1. Profile

The GCC was established in accordance with an agreement concluded in 1981 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. These countries declared that the GCC  is established in view of the special relations between them, their similar political systems based on Islamic beliefs, joint destiny and common objectives. 

The geographic proximity of the these countries and their general adoption of free trade economic policies are factors that encouraged them to establish the GCC. 

The objectives specified were the achievement and enhancement of coordination in the different  areas between the member countries and their people and the adoption of similar systems in economic and financial matters, commerce and customs, education and culture, social affairs and health, information and tourism, legislation and administration, science, technical, industrial, mining, agriculture, the establishment of joint project in these areas and the encouragement of private sector activities for the general benefit and welfare of their people. 

2. Legislation

In 1982 the GCC countries concluded the joint Economic Agreement granting specific privileges and advantages to nationals of member countries to perform economic and trading activities in other member countries. This was followed by similar other agreements to encourage economic relations, trade and practice of professions in the member countries.




Laws of the Arab Gulf Coordination Council (GCC)


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