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Sunday, April 30, 2017
Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications is drafting new regulations governing all modes of transportation in the Sultanate. The proposed Multimodal Transport Law aims to provide robust legal underpinnings for the growth of the domestic transportation and logistics sector — an industry tipped to evolve into one of Oman’s economic mainstays, according to a senior official of the Ministry.Hanan al Rahbi, Director-General of Planning and Studies, said the new law is designed to offer, among other things, comfort to foreign investors and players that their investments and operations in the Sultanate are protected by a robust legislative framework. According to the official, the great majority of goods freighted anywhere in the world are subject to different modes of transportation as they make their way from the point of origin to end-users across the globe. Thus, while goods may be shipped in container by sea, they are transported onward by road or rail from the port of discharge to markets inland. This ‘multimodal’ nature of transportation and logistics is not comprehensively covered by existing laws and regulations in the Sultanate — a shortcoming the new law aims to address, she noted.“The most important facet of the new law is the clear definition of the roles for each party involved in a multimodal transport contract,” Hanan said. “We must highlight the responsibility of each party involved, from the carriers and freight forwarders to the receivers. A clear distribution of all duties is the main purpose of the new law,” she added in comments published in a recent edition of ‘Compass’, the newsletter of Oman Global Logistics Group (OGL), the transport and logistics arm of the Omani government.Proper regulation of goods carriage and logistics processes across all available transport modes promises to give assurance to foreign companies about the safe movement of their merchandise across Oman’s borders, the official said. “Better control and management of multimodal transport will make Oman much more attractive to the rest of the world,” she further stated.A draft of the Multimodal Transport Law, said Hanan, was presented to representatives of major transport and logistics companies, as well as industry stakeholders, at a workshop hosted by the Ministry last month. More than 50 executives, representing among others the Royal Oman Police Customs, ROP Traffic Department, Oman Global Logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ithraa and private players, were in attendance. Commenting on a timeline for the rollout of the legislation, the official added: “We plan to see the Multimodal Transport Law issued by the end of this year or early in 2018.”
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