ROP Customs sets up presence at Al Mazunah Free Zone

MUSCAT, AUG 14 – The Directorate General of Customs of Royal Oman Police has commenced the provision of services to investors, traders and operating companies at Al Mazunah Free Zone, Salah al Alawi (pictured), Director-General of Al Mazunah Free Zone, announced yesterday.
These services are provided at the customs area developed by the free zone in line with criteria specified by ROP Customs for gates, customs inspection, and electronic weighing systems, and so on. The customs’ representatives at the free zone will complete all the phases of clearance of imported and exported goods.
Al Alawi pointed out that having the Royal Oman Police operating at the customs’ area in the free zone will help facilitate the speedy movement of goods in and out of the free zone.
“Offices of the Ministry of Manpower and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry have also been opened at the free zone to offer their services to companies operating in the zone,” Al Alawi said, adding: “With regard to cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the free zone has been authorised to operate under the procedures of the ‘Invest Easy’ initiative.”
Al Alawi hailed the valuable cooperation of the Royal Oman Police in facilitating all police services to the investors in terms of approvals, visas, residence procedures, among others. Additionally, Al Alawi informed that during the first half of the current year, the free zone attracted 15 new companies.
“A few companies have already started construction of stores and the leased sites. Moreover, the free zone has experienced an active and growing commercial movement in 2016 as the volume of exported goods surpassed 28,000 tonnes, and more than 15,000 vehicles and machinery. Meanwhile, during the first half of this year, the number of containers exported from the free zone exceeded 1,300 with more than 26,000 tonnes of goods and more than 6,000 vehicles and machinery,” he said.
With regard to the completion of the infrastructure at Al Mazunah Free Zone, Al Alawi said the tender procedures are in the final stages hoping that the tender will be announced before the end of this year. This shall include construction and establishment of various required public facilities.
It should be noted that Al Mazunah Free Zone was established under Royal Decree No 103/2005 to operate under the management of PEIE. The zone is currently completing infrastructure work, in line with the international standards of the free zones. The strategic location of Al Mazunah Free Zone on the border of the Sultanate and Yemen makes it the Gulf gateway for transit trade to Yemen and Eastern Africa. Al Mazunah Free Zone aims at attracting local and international investments to increase the volume of trade exchange, attract advanced technologies and create job opportunities.
General incentives are offered to investors, including 30 years of tax free operations, customs’ exemptions, 100 per cent foreign ownership and no minimum capital requirements. Other incentives include the Omanisation ratio in the free zone being only 10 per cent, along with assistance for procedures for non-GCC investors to obtain visa and residency permits. Al Mazunah Free Zone also offers other incentives, including easy access of individuals and investors to the free zone, without entry visas being required for Yemenis and facilitation of employing Yemeni workforce without work visa being required; among other incentives.