After two years of negotiations, the Dubai Computer Group (DCG) and Dubai Customs have reached a landmark agreement that will see IT products exempted from Customs duty effective January 2012.
The local IT trade industry association, which comes under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the decision to exempt Customs duty on IT products follows two years of constructive engagement and negotiations with the Dubai Customs and Dubai Government officials.
The DCG also says that the exemption of duty on IT products will bring the Dubai IT channel on par with the neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar where this policy is already in place.
In addition, the IT body says the decision will not only boost IT trade in the region, but will also promote Dubai as an ‘excellent’ business city and destination in the Middle East.
Shailendra Rughwani, president of DCG, said that the association expects local business, as well as IT sales to other countries from Dubai to increase as a direct result of this policy.
Rughwani said the IT channel and all those involved in this industry should welcome and take advantage of this decision.
“From the DCG’s perspective, we would like to thank the Dubai Government, Dubai Customs, and all the officials that were involved in making this policy come to realisation. We feel once implemented, as per the Dubai Customs announcement from January 2012, this is going to boost the IT channel and industry in Dubai,” he said.
He added that by exempting duty on IT products, the Dubai Government is enhancing the confidence of the channel and demonstrating that it’s keen on promoting and growing the IT sector in the country. “This will surely heighten the confidence in the Dubai channel. This plan will give an opportunity to IT resellers in Dubai to increase their profitability as the channel has over the last couple of years been working on very low profit margins,” he said.
Rughwani pointed out that the Dubai Customs has already fed information into their Customs systems regarding the products that will be exempted from duty and will be active from January 2012.
Rughwani said he is upbeat this policy will advance the Dubai channel as the IT industry will be one of the few sectors to have been exempted from duty.