According to the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report 102017, the head of the Israeli Customs Directorate has announced that its services will be offline January 10- 14, 2018. The down-time is needed for the installation of a new computerized system: Shaar Olami (Global Gate). The new system aims to improve the level of service in customs and provide rapid transit of goods to and from the State of Israel. This will enter into force on Sunday January 14, 2018. The GAIN report states:

According to the plan, the switch over to the new system will take place along 4 calendar days during which time the current system will be offline as follows:

1. Wednesday January 10, 2018 (current system will be switched off).

2. Thursday thru Saturday, January 11-13, 2018, the system will be offline.

3. Sunday January 14, 2018 (mid-day – the new system will be switched on).

No customs service will be available during the transition period to the new system. Authorities note that urgent cargoes that arrive during transition period will be cleared under special customs’ emergency procedures.

Details about the emergency procedures will be published at a later date. According to authorities, the new Global Gate System will deploy state-of-the-art technologies, concepts and interfaces between members of the trade community as well as new internal procedures and policies aimed at improving and accelerating customs procedures while facilitating trade and law enforcement efforts. The project will allow the rapid integration of Israel Customs into the international trend of simplifying foreign trade procedures according to standards set forth in international conventions and agreements such as the Kyoto Convention and the World Trade Organization.

Following the entry of the new system, a number of changes will take place in customs procedures including the following:

  • Importers will have the ability to grant power of attorney to others (custom and clearance agents e.g.) to carry out customs procedures.
  • Affidavit and other documents transferred in digital form and can be digitally signed by the importer.
  • Importers will be required to use “smart card” for customs operations, including completing and submitting online forms and files.

Further details will be provided to the global freight forwarding community as these are published by the Customs Directorate.

U.S exporters should work closely with importers to schedule their shipments accordingly.