The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil and State Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Al-Faris, said that the Supreme National Committee for Strengthening the Food and Water Security System discussed facilitating the procedures for entering foodstuffs through the country’s seaports and regulating them to achieve the global import rate.

Chairing the third committee meeting held on Wednesday at Seif Palace in the presence of committee members from the relevant authorities, Al-Fares added in a statement to local media that the committee focused on the problem in the entry of foodstuffs through the Shuwaikh, Doha or Shuaiba seaports. He explained that the committee aims to reform the current system of dealing with foodstuffs and the procedures in which they enter the country, as the committee summoned representatives of the concerned government agencies, namely the Ports Corporation, the General Administration of Customs and the General Authority for Food and Nutrition.

In addition, the official stated that the committee also tackled modes of processing the entry of foodstuffs and developed a plan to overcome obstacles and difficulties that take a long period of time to enter the ports for many reasons. Several reasons are the lack of places to store goods in the port or the unavailability of refrigerated areas to store and preserve materials. Another contributing factor is the time it takes the regulatory bodies to inspect the merchandise. He also talked about a special team working to solve this problem. The team will conduct a field visit to the mentioned ports, summon all those parties and deal with them directly. They will then evaluate the steps in addressing the issue from an administrative, financial or technical point of view.

Al-Fares stressed that all these matters will be put into an integrated plan, pointing out that the committee will continue this approach to work on addressing the infrastructure, as it started today with the issue of ports and will continue with this approach during the upcoming meetings with all concerned parties. In addition, the committee will review and discuss all the problems facing the different sectors of the country regarding the strengthening of the food and water security system.

On the other hand, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers issued a statement that the Supreme National Committee for Strengthening the Food and Water Security System discussed in its entirety the measures taken by concerned authorities to face the challenges to facilitate raising the efficiency of the method in releasing various foodstuffs imported from abroad by inspecting them and speeding up the pace of work, as well as mechanizing them to ensure their speedy entry into the local market and safe consumption. He also said that the committee also discussed the current status of the automated linkage systems and emphasized the need to intensify efforts to shorten the procedures through the electronic link, and facilitate the process of immediately releasing goods without violating the supervision of competent authorities, whether the customs or security.

He stated that the committee eventually assigned a working group that would analyze problems and obstacles reviewed by the concerned authorities, develop appropriate solutions for them, and submit these solutions to the Supreme Committee to prepare for the decisions and executive procedures finalized with relevant government agencies.

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