For more than a year, professionals in the road transport of unaccompanied luggage and private shipments have been encountering problems at the port of Beni Ansar in Nador.
These problems manifest themselves in the form of restrictions and abuses when passing through Beni Ansar, imposing considerable additional costs on professionals on their return from abroad, due to the refusal of the Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes ( ADII) to issue clearance authorization for unaccompanied baggage and special shipments to multiple companies.
After having denounced this situation, a meeting finally took place on May 11 at the headquarters of the ADII in Rabat, in the presence of representatives of the union of the General Union of Transport Professionals (UGPT) and the Democratic Organization of Professionals and drivers of the international transport of goods and consignments (ODTL). Lahcen Lahlou, Director of Simplification and Information at ADII, Ismail Farhat, Head of the Simplification of Procedures and Investment Department, and Abdessamad Bouzidi, Acting Head of the Procedures and Methods Department, were also present, as indicated in the minutes of the meeting.
The agenda for this meeting focused on speeding up the processing of requests to benefit from the simplified procedure for the international transport of unaccompanied baggage, as well as on the difficulties related to the customs control of this baggage.
In response to these concerns, the ADII recalled the reasons that motivated the decision to suspend the granting of these licenses. According to the Administration, it is necessary to regulate and oversee unaccompanied baggage transport operations in order to combat fraud and the abuses that accompany them. In addition, the ADII underlines the difficulty of dealing with the alarming growth in the number of requests in this area, given the limitations of the port infrastructures dedicated to it, and the lack of the necessary customs human resources.
Accordingly, the granting of these licenses has been suspended pending a full review of the proceedings in question. The objective is in particular to ensure real-time monitoring of these operations thanks to the “Badr” computer system, to define a load limit for the vehicles used, to prohibit the loading of goods above the capacity of the vehicles , and to clarify the responsibility of the carrier while reinforcing the control of compliance with the procedure in force to deal with any infringement.
In this context, the two professional representations were invited to present their proposals to the administration within a week, which they did, as confirmed by Mohamed Amine Kassmi, regional secretary general of the ODTL at the ‘Orient and the Rif.
For their part, the professional representatives of the UGPT (General Union of Transport Professionals) and the ODTL (Organization of Logistics Carriers) complained about the difficulties encountered by the carriers, in particular with regard to the excessive duration of the passage through the ports of Tanger-Med and Nador, the differences in the application of procedures between the two ports, as well as certain cases of abuse related to obtaining licenses and authorizations.
In addition, it was emphasized that the fluidity of customs clearance operations depends on strict compliance with the simplified procedure put in place to facilitate and speed up the customs control of unaccompanied baggage.
” A large part of the difficulties mentioned arise from non-compliance with established procedures, in particular the failure to present a route document containing an accurate declaration of the contents of the goods transported.“, underlined the unions in this joint report with the ADII.
With regard to the cases of abuse, the representatives of the trade unions indicated that the administration had expressed its will to examine them rigorously and had invited the representatives to provide precise information on this subject.
With this in mind, the professional representatives have undertaken to make carriers aware of the importance of compliance with procedures and to establish communication with the administration concerning the cases mentioned.