The Office of the Maritime Agent for Wooden Ships, affiliated to the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in Dubai, stated that it has supervised the organization of the entry of about 1700 wooden ships into the ports of the Emirate of Dubai since the beginning of this year, in accordance with the procedures specified in the field of security and safety, in coordination with the concerned government agencies in This sector.
The head of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, told Emirates Today that “the office is in charge of supervising wooden ships and organizing all operations related to them during their stay in the waters of the Emirate of Dubai, as well as taking care of the interests of those ships and making sure From the safety and protection of seafarers working on it, and ensuring their rights during their time in the emirate.
Bin Sulayem added that “despite the restrictions imposed by the (Covid-19) pandemic, the office has succeeded since the beginning of this year in organizing the entry of about 1,700 wooden ships through the Hamriyah Port, Deira Port and Dubai Creek, carrying more than 86 thousand tons of Goods and consumables coming for the purpose of trade, in addition to exporting more than 173 thousand tons of goods from Dubai to various destinations in the world.
He emphasized that the office was keen to facilitate many services for these ships, which include handling cargo, ensuring their safety and protection from damage during unloading and loading operations, and during their stay at the docks, in addition to many other facilities and services.
A business destination
Bin Sulayem referred to the efforts made by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation to enhance and consolidate the security and maritime safety aspects of ships, as part of its continuous endeavor to develop the trade and business environment in the emirate and make it a regional center that attracts various trade sectors in neighboring countries.
He pointed out that Dubai is one of the most important global and historical trade destinations for wooden ships that carry various types of merchandise and commercial goods from many countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Bin Sulayem indicated that the office is working to develop the existing trade sector through wooden ships, by proposing legislation and regulatory decisions, that would regulate and develop wooden ship operations, in cooperation with the competent authorities in the country, in addition to coordinating with the concerned government agencies in all aspects related to Maritime safety of wooden ships, and coordination with them in cases of marine accidents or any emergency matters.
Safety and Security
Regarding the safety and security procedures followed, Mahmoud Amin, the Executive Director of the Shipping Agent Office, said, “The office works to ensure that wooden ships adhere to safety and security requirements, and provides rescue tools for seafarers and fire-fighting equipment. The office is also responsible for forming a joint work team in cases of accidents and crises. And disasters, to ensure the maritime safety of wooden ships in the waters of the emirate, and to improve the level of services provided.
Amin added that «the shipping agent’s office is working to apply smart technologies in transactions, such as the (electronic reservation) Booking System, through which the dates of entry of wooden ships to the Emirate of Dubai and the mooring sites are determined, which reduces the waiting period in the anchorage area, thus organizing the berths and increasing their capacity. Absorptive ».
He explained that among the other smart systems also used is the NAU application that specializes in linking foreign wooden shipowners with merchants in the country electronically, as shipowners determine through the system the type of goods that will be transported, the available space, carrying capacity and prices, while the system allows merchants in Country Information about vessels that will depart for Dubai that are available to transport goods to the target destinations.
Amin pointed out that the Office of the Shipping Agent for Wooden Ships in Dubai has worked to standardize the communication channel concerned with wooden ships, so that they communicate with the office to take care of their affairs and respond to everything that could facilitate their practice of trade in the Emirate of Dubai, in addition to fulfilling all the requirements for entry and exit of wooden ships and their crew, And finalizing the procedures related to them with the concerned government departments.
He explained that «the office is exclusively responsible for dealing with wooden vessels during their presence in the waters of the Emirate of Dubai, to receive the fees, wages and expenditures owed to the concerned government agencies from ship owners or operators, and to pay them to the parties owed to them on their behalf, in addition to monitoring the work of seafarers during the mooring period. Ships in ports and harbors until their departure, in addition to his efforts to protect the rights of local shipowners, and take care of ships for foreign owners.
Since its launch in July 2020 until now, the Office of the Shipping Agent for Wooden Ships in Dubai has contributed to the development of the business of wooden shipowners, by reducing the time and transactions required to clear their goods, unifying the entity they need to deal with, as well as providing them with multiple commercial options as providing opportunities. Long-term contracts for their services.
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