MUSCAT: Instances of customs-related smuggling jumped 62.5 per cent to 520 cases in 2021, up from 320 a year earlier, according to the annual report of the Directorate General of Customs (Royal Oman Police).
The spike is attributed to improved surveillance, detection and monitoring efforts, as the modern risk management and customs declaration systems adopted by authorities.
Trade volumes (imports and exports) have been surging as well in recent years.
According to data furnished by the Directorate General of Customs, the volume of trade exchange amounted to RO 33.8 billion in value during 2021, compared to RO 28 billion in 2020. Seaports handled 74 per cent of the total volumes, with Sohar Port handling the lion’s share in this category.
The Sultanate of Oman registered a trade surplus of RO 6.39 billion in 2021, compared to a trade surplus of RO 2.04 billion in 2020, the result of resurgent oil prices and also higher crude oil exports.
In terms of customs revenue, seaports generated 47.56 per cent of total customs revenues, followed by land ports with a 45.56 per cent share, and airports with a 6.88 per cent contribution.
Total merchandise exports witnessed an increase of 33.7 per cent, reaching RO 20.1 billion in 2021, compared to RO 15.03 billion in 2020.
Hydrocarbons and petroleum fuels were the highest commodities exported from the Sultanate of Oman with a total value of RO 12.7 billion, followed by plastics and related products valued at RO 886 million, and vehicles and spare parts amounting to RO 698 million in value.
Merchandise imports increased by 5.47 per cent to RO 13.7 billion in 2021, compared to RO 12.99 billion a year earlier.