Border Cruiser

Crossing points in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

West Bank

Taybeh

Taybeh is located south of Tulkarm, officially opened by the Israelis at the end of 2005. The crossing serves the cities of Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqelia and part of Jenin. It is used for both imports and exports between West Bank and Israel. The crossing officially opens from Sunday to Friday, and closes on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Currently, there is no official Palestinian presence at the crossing. The crossing is divided into two main sections: one for movement of goods and the other for the movement of persons, particularly laborers. The crossing is equipped with a scanner machine with capacity of around 5 trucks at once and a containers' crane, in addition to 4 small forklifts and one big forklift. Barta’a is used as an alternative crossing for people who own businesses or are citizens there.

 

Tarqumia

Tarqumia is located northwest of Hebron district in the south of the West Bank. The crossing is located about 150 meters west of the present Tarqumia checkpoint and officially opened by the Israelis at the end of November 2007. The crossing serves the cities of Hebron and the southern cities of the West Bank. It is used for both imports and exports between West Bank and Israel. The crossing officially opens from Sunday through Thursday from 06:30 - 16:00 for outgoing truckloads and from 06:30 - 19:00 for incoming truckloads and outgoing empty trucks. On Fridays, the crossing opens from 07:00 - 08:30 for incoming truckloads of animal feeds only, and closes on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Currently, there is no official Palestinian presence at the crossing, noting that it is over a kilometer east of the 1967 border.
Goods are transferred in an open area that is divided into 4 exporting lanes, and it is equipped with two scanning machines, 7 small forklifts and 1 large forklift, and a large crane. Gilo Tunnel, Husan- Betar Illit-Wadi Fukin and Tsur Hadassah are currently used as alternative trade routes.

 

The Commercial Crossing opening hours are Sunday - Thursday 8 AM – 5 PM, Friday 8 AM – 2 PM

 

Betunia

Betunia is located southwest of Ramallah; it was defined as a trade crossing by the Israeli Authorities in 2002, used for both imports and exports between West Bank and Israel. The crossing serves the cities of Ramallah, Northern Cities and Suburbs of Jerusalem located within the vicinity of the West Bank. The crossing officially opens from Sunday to Friday, and closes on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Currently, there is no official Palestinian presence at the crossing. It is located within the West Bank and not at the 1967 border. The crossing is equipped with only 2 forklifts, and it has an inspection area which is divided into four main sections according to the types of products including manufactured products and agricultural crops, cement, sand and aggregates, and chemical products. The inspection process is done manually since there are no scanners at the crossing. The crossing is controlled by the Jerusalem District Police but, the loading an unloading process is done by a private company. It is important to note that Betunia Crossing is the only crossing that imposes charges for the back-to-back process. These charges depend on the type of truck; Van is charged NIS 20, Truck is charged NIS 30, Semi-trailer is charged NIS 45, and full-Trailer is charged NIS 90. It shall be also noted that rejected trucks pay these charges only if loading and unloading took place. Some routes such as Atarah, Rantees, and Nialeen and Jaba’a, are used as alternative trade.

 

 

The Commercial Crossing opening hours are Sunday - Thursday, 7 AM - 4:30 PM, and Friday, 7 AM – 12 PM

 

Al Jalameh

Al Jalameh is located north of Jenin, the crossing serves the Jenin and Nablus cities. It is used for both imports and exports between West Bank and Israel (mainly agricultural produce). The crossing officially opens from Sunday to Friday, and closes on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Currently, there is no official Palestinian presence at the crossing. The crossing is equipped with 4 small forklifts, and a mobile scanning machine with a capacity of around 5 truckloads at a time.

 

The Commercial Crossing opening hours are Sunday - Thursday 8 AM – 5 PM, Friday 8 AM – 2 PM

 

Gaza Strip

 

Biet Hanoun

Biet Hanoun crossing is the only access point for Gazan workers and traders with valid permits to enter Israel. It’s also the crossing for access for medical referrals as medical referrals require passage through Erez crossing for treatment in Israel. Access for humanitarian organizations through Biet Hanoun crossing requires prior coordination with Israeli authorities to enter and leave the Gaza Strip. Biet Hanoun crossings open six days a week with exceptional closure for security reasons and national Israeli holidays.

 

Al-Montar

AL-Montar crossing was the main commercial crossing for Gaza strip as most goods imported into the Gaza Strip and all exported goods passed through Al-Montar, it was also used for the entry of international humanitarian relief supplies. Al-Montar crossing closed since 11 June 07. Al-Montar grain conveyor closed since March 2011. Al-Montar cement lane has been completely closed since 29 October 2008.

 

Sufa

Sufa crossing borders Israel and is situated northeast of Rafah crossing. In the past, this crossing point was open for some Palestinians working in the agricultural sector. However, since 30 May 2004 the crossing has only been used for importing construction materials, notably gravel. Sufa crossing Closed since September 2008 (exceptionally opened from March to April 2011).

 

Nahal Oz

Nahal Oz was used for importing fuel (including benzene, diesel and gas) and has been closed since January 2010.

 

Karem Abu Salem

Karem abu Salem Crossing is located in the southern Gaza Strip, near the Israeli-Palestinian-Egyptian border, 3.6 km from the Rafah crossing. It’s the only operational commercial crossing between Gaza Strip and Israel for importing goods from (or VIA) Israel and exporting good to the outside world. Karem Abu Salem opens five days a week for the movement of authorized goods only (Construction materials, Fuels, Gas and other Commodities).

 

Rafah

Rafah passenger crossing is the point of access for Gazans travelling to, or overseas through, Egypt and is located on the Gazan border with Egypt. Rafah border crossing is partially operational ( since June 2013) for the movement of a number of authorized travelers, Palestinian medical and humanitarian cases only. On few occasions Rafah crossing was used for transfer of some goods such as humanitarian relief goods and construction materials.

 

Table of Content

Customs export procedure at crossing points

Shipping through Sha’ar Ephraim, Tarqumia, Betunia, Al Jalameh crossing points

Export documents required

Customs export procedure at crossing points

 

1. Exports via King Hussein Bridge

  • Custom declaration must have been submitted to Israeli Customs Service at least 1 day in advance
  • Undergo inspection process at the “Mosa Alami” crossing in Jericho
  • Transfer goods to Jordanian trucks (coordination between Palestinian and Jordanian trucks and Jordanian and Israeli army). It is the Palestinian exporter responsibility to ensure that trucks are coordinated and that documents are all in order. This is done with the help of Israeli custom agent at the bridge.
  • Jordanian customs officer enter customs information into computer: green = immediate relase, yellow = documents require validation, red = physical inspection is required
  • The shipment is cleared to go through any of the three crossing points (Aqaba, Omari or Queen Alia airport). All exports documents are re-checked at crossing point
     

2. Exports via Israeli ports

  • All goods have to be loaded on trucks, and the drivers should submit all documentations once they pass the first checkpoint at the Commercial Crossing (CC);
  •  Goods must be palletized with a maximum height of 160 cm due to the limitation on the security scanner. The weight of the pallets has to be reasonable as well due to the forklifts carrying power limitations;
  • The driver must stamp the customs Bayan from the customs office at the border, which includes invoice, packing list, COO, and any other certificates needed (according to the commodity of the shipment);
  •  If the truck holds a Palestinian license plate, an Israeli truck waits on the other side of the border in order to perform the back-to-back transfer of goods;
  • Goods are issued an export certificate and sent 24 hours in advance to the storage area at the port (Maman) in order to perform security checks and load the products into special cargo pallets;
  • Meanwhile, the customs broker prepares the following:
  1. Organizes the loading/stuffing of goods into the cargo plane with the cargo line and Maman;
  2. The shipping dates to the final destination and the cargo number;
  3. The export formalities in terms of documentations and certifications;
  4. Trucks cargo within the airport area;
  5. Books and arranges security checks;
  6. The shipment has to arrive to the airport at least 24 hours prior to departure to avoid delay  and ensure enough time to perform all needed procedures;
  7. the cargo is loaded onto the plane.

 

For the detailed step-by-step process, click here (hyperlink going to p.22 of the Trade corridor II report)

 

Shipping through Sha’ar Ephraim, Tarqumia, Betunia, Al Jalameh crossing points:

If the products originate from the West Bank:

  • Goods are first transported from warehouse to the nearest commercial crossing
  • Security officers conduct thorough search of goods (2-4 hours).
  • Goods are transferred to Israeli shipping truck, exports documents and certificates (see required documents below) are checked
  • Goods are given an export certificate and are released for port of exit, the Haïfa or Ashdod sea ports or Ben Gurion airport
  • Goods are sent to a bonded area at exit port. They must arrive at least 3 days prior to departure of vessel
  • Goods are inspected in storage area, transported to departure gate, unloaded from truck, thoroughly checked again and loaded onto vessel.
  • When loaded onto vessel, customs broker produces the export declaration form (description of goods, value, weight, name of exporter, shipper, origin and destination countries), which is given to destination country customs official.

If the products originate from Gaza:

  • Strawberries or Flowers are first transported from warehouse to Yanai-Asata or Cokhav-Akdarot commercial crossings. Other products are sent to Karni commercial crossing. In the three crossing points:
  • Security officers conduct thorough search of goods (2-4 hours).
  • Goods are transferred to Israeli shipping truck, documents and certificates are checked
  • Goods may remain in Palestinian shipping truck, but driver needs to attain license from Israeli Mol, and the truck will be chaperoned by Israeli convoy until they reach exit (5-10 days to obtain license and convoy unit)
  • Goods must arrive at exit port at least 3 days priori to departure of vessel
  • Goods are inspected in storage area, transported to departure gate, unloaded from truck, thoroughly checked again and loaded onto vessel.
  • When loaded onto vessel, customs broker produces the export declaration form (description of goods, value, weight, name of exporter, shipper, origin and destination countries), which is given to destination country customs official

Export documents required

General export documents:

1. Commercial invoice

The commercial invoice is a record or evidence of the transaction between the exporter and the importer, with the terms that both parties have agreed upon in advance. Once the goods are available, the exporter issues a commercial invoice to the importer, who has to sign a copy and return it to the exporter.

No specific form is required. The commercial invoice must be submitted in the original along with at least one copy. In general, there is no need for the invoice to be signed. In practice, both the original and the copy of the commercial invoice are often signed. The commercial invoice may be prepared in any language. However, a translation into English is recommended.

This document should include as many details as possible. The minimum data generally included are the following:

 

  • Information on the exporter and the importer (name and address),
  • Date of issue
  • Invoice number
  • A full description of the goods (name, quality, etc.)
  • Unit of measure
  • Quantity of goods
  • Unit value
  • Total item value
  • Total invoice value and currency of the payment (the equivalent amount must be indicated in a currency freely convertible to Euro or toher legal tender in the importing Member state)
  • The terms of payment (method and date of payment, discounts, etc.)
  • The terms of delivery according to the appropriate Incoterm
  • Means of transport

 

2. Packing List

Prepared by the producer/exporter, the packing list provides information on the imported items and the packaging details of each shipment. It generally include:

 

  • Information on the exporter, the importer and the transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of the freight invoice
  • Type of packaging (drum, crate, carton, box, barrel, bag, etc.)
  • Number of packages
  • Content of each packages (description of the goods and number of item/package)
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurement of the packages

 

Mistakes in the packing list can cause a delay in clearance at the port of destination; customs authorities have the right to delay the clearance of the shipment until the importer makes a packing list reflecting the real content of the container. The packing list is unnecessary only when all information contained in it is clearly stated in the invoice.

 

3. Certificate of Origin

The certificate of origin is necessary for exporters to benefit from preferential tariff treatment. The document is available at the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance and at the Chamber of Commerce and has to be endorsed by the Ministry of Finance. Template in Arabic:

http://www.ptfp.ps/userfiles/file/Forms%20and%20Applications/Certificate%20of%20Origin.pdf

 

Finance and at the Chamber of Commerce and has to be endorsed by the Ministry of Finance. Template in Arabic:

http://www.ptfp.ps/userfiles/file/Forms%20and%20Applications/Certificate%20of%20Origin.pdf

 

The certificate must be typed in English, include the exporters signature, stamped by the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance and be sealed.
The EUR.1 form is also used when exporting to the EFTA countries and the same procedure applies.

 

  • Substitutes for EUR.1:
    • Invoice Declaration: The EU agreement states that for products whose total value does not exceed 6,000 Euro, an invoice declaration to prove the origin can substitute the EUR.1.
    • Approved Exporter: The EU agreement also states that any exporter who has frequent shipments to the EU can be granted the status of "Approved Exporter". This translates into the possibility of substituting the EUR.1 certificate with an invoice declaration.
  • Certificate of Origin for the United States: Form A
    Exporters must also provide Form CF7501
    http://forms.cbp.gov/pdf/CBP_Form_7501.pdf (guide on how to complete it http://forms.cbp.gov/pdf/7501_instructions.pdf) and Form CF316. Both documents can be obtained at the forwarder or the clearing agent.
  • Certificate of Origin for Canada
    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/b239-eng.pdf
    Certificate has the form of a declaration, which needs to be presented to the Canadian Customs Authorities only upon request. The exporter must fax it to the Canadian importer within the time limit stated by the Canadian Customs Authorities. The declaration that the goods originated in the WBGS is to be completed and signed by the exporter.
  • Certificate of Origin for Arab countries
    The document is available at the Chamber of Commerce. Three copies need to be completed: one for the Chamber of Commerce and two for the exporter.
    The certificate should include the rule of origin, the name of the products, the name of the exporter/producer, the registration number of the company and the place of origin of the raw materials. It also has to be stamped by both the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Economy.
    NB. The Chamber of Commerce requires the commercial invoice, the corporate registration and the Foreign Trade Dealing registration, to stamp the certificate of origin for the Arab countries.

 

4. Any other documents as per the consignee requirements

Shipping documents required:

 

  • Customs declaration and/or MAKASA clearance bill form from the Ministry of National Economy
  • CIF or FOB insurance form
     

An insurance certificate is required for the goods while in transit. The most common form are the "Free On Board" (FOB) and “Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF). The FOB form indicates that the importer receiving the goods must pay for insurance when goods are shipped. The CIF form indicates that the exporter has to pay for the insurance up to the port of arrival. The shipping company provides insurance for the cargo.

 

  • Bill of Lading/Air WayBill
     

The Bill of lading is a document issued by the shipping company to the operating shipper, which acknowledges that the goods have been received on board. The Bill of Lading serves as proof of receipt of the goods by the carrier obliging him to deliver the goods to the consignee. It contains the details of the goods, the vessel and the port of destination.

 

A number of different types of bills of lading can be used. "Clean Bills of Lading" state that the goods have been received in an apparent good order and condition. "Unclean or Dirty Bills of Lading" indicate that the goods are damaged or in bad order, in this case, the financing bank may refuse to accept the consignor's documents.

 

The AirWay Bill is a document, which serves as a proof of the transport contract between the consignor and the carrier's company.

 

A single air waybill may be used for multiple shipments of goods; it contains three originals and several extra copies. One original is kept by each of the parties involved in the transport (the consignor, the consignee and the carrier). The copies may be required at the airport of departure/destination, for the delivery and in some cases, for further freight carriers. The air waybill is a freight bill, which evidences a contract of carriage and proves receipt of goods.

NB. The IATA Standard Air Waybill is a specific type of Air Waybill used by all carriers belonging to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

 


Both the Bill of Lading and the Airway Bill contain the following information:

 

  • Name of the ship/carrier
  • Name of the beneficial L/C bank
  • Description of the goods (General description)
  • Indication of Full Container Load (FCL) or Less Container Load (LCL) clauses
  • Pre-paid freight or freight collect clauses
  • Product labels and trademark stamps

 

Shipping marks are important to the safe and speedy transfer of the products. Marks, complying with legal requirements, assist carriers and Custom Authorities to identify the goods.

Common shipping marks are the identification of the importer, the number of the packing case, the port of destination, gross and net weight, outside measurements of the case, the country of origin and cautionary marks if careful handling is needed. However, rules applying to shipping marks can vary according to the country of destination.


Labeling requirements vary according to the country of destination. Normally, detailed rules are applied to foodstuff, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, textile and garments. The importer provides details on labels according to the requirements in the country of destination.

 

Additional documents required for specific products and specific countries:

 

Agricultural Products

  • Certificate of origin, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Export License, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Phytosanitary certificate, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture

 

Pharmaceutical Products

  • Five years registration certificate issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Sales certificate issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Medical products certificate issued by the Ministry of Health

 

Animal Products

  • Certificate of origin, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Export license, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Veterinary certificate, by the Ministry of Agriculture
     

Processed Food Products

  • Export License, issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Health certificate, issued by the Ministry of Health
     

Chemicals Products

  • Export License, issued by the Ministry of Health

 

Other general Palestinian and International certifications needed for basic export standards

 

To export goods to the U.S.: All companies have to register their facility on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s website: http://www.access.fda.gov/.

On the page, click on the first box entitled “FURLS Food Facility Registration Module”.  

Here is a guide on how to register:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM332657.pdf

 

You will need to provide the following information:

 

  • Facility name, address, phone number, and emergency contact phone number
  • Parent company name, address, and phone number (if applicable)
  • Name, address and phone number of the owner, operator, or agent in charge
  • Email address for the contact person of the facility or, in case of a foreign facility, the U.S. Agent for the facility
  • All trade names the facility uses
  • Applicable food product categories, as listed on the registration form
  • Name, address, and phone number of a foreign facility’s U.S. agent, and phone number of the facility’s emergency contact if it is someone other than the U.S. agent
  • Assurance that FDA will be permitted to inspect the facility at the times and in the manner permitted by the FD&C Act
  • Certification that the information submitted is true and accurate and that the person submitting it is authorized to do so

 

Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) – especially for locally animal processed food for EU market and in particular UK: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/blankcved.pdf

Permit from Veterinary Institute (especially for animal produced food) – a prerequisite for import and obtained from Israeli Department of Feeds and Quality

Product Analysis Certificate (especially medicine products)

Palestinian Quality certificate for countries that have signed an agreement with Palestinian Standard Institute (PSI). PSI Contact information: http://www.psi.pna.ps/ar/index.php?p=home

International quality Certificate such as ISO 22000, HACCP, GMP, Globalgap etc., depending on the imported countries regulations

 

Costs and time

 

To make an online simulation of the cost and time needed to export your product, from WBGS warehouses to beneficiaries countries, click here (hyperlink to the new portal E-guide http://eg-paltrade.demo.blue.ps/v1/)

 

The following expenses are applicable to each pallet or container that leaves the exporter warehouse to either the Ashdod Port/Airport via any of the CCs or via the Aqaba Port/Amman Airport via KHB and then to the final destination.

This section provides a price comparison matrix for at least two products that are destined to two destinations via the Israeli and the Jordanian route. The calculations are based on an average number of 15 pallets, an average transportation distance, an average waiting and travelling time, storage, loading/unloading, etc.

 

Transportation Cost (NIS)

Truck Route

West Bank Commercial Crossing

KHB 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  1.  

Ben Gurion Airport

West Bank Warehouse

  1.  
  1.  

 

  1.  

 

  1.  

King Hussein Bridge (KHB)

 

 

  1.  
  2.  

 

  1.  

 

  •  

400-700 per pallet

400-700 per pallet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

  1. The prices are calculated according to the distance and time (Please refer to Trade Corridors “Comparison Study”)
  2. The prices from warehouses to Ashdod/Haifa ports depend on the CC procedures and length of time spent there;
  3. Long waiting time at the CC generates a high cost in transportation fees.
  4.  Estimated average cost from anywhere in Palestine to either Ashdod or BG Airport is around 2,200-2,500 NIS;
  5. Ashdod Port costs can sometimes include loading/unloading to containers, trucking containers to security check, and transporting containers to the port;
  6. The prices are also based on the number of pallets transported, especially from Gaza;
  7. Sometimes trucks spend around 6-8 hours transporting goods and this might double or even quadruple the prices.

 

Commercial Crossing Cost

Fees for loading/unloading per pallet vary between 30, 45, 65, or 120 NIS + VAT depending on the truck size (small car, medium sized, big, or large long lorry), and there are no fees for security checks.

These fees apply only to Betunia crossing (Israel issues a bid for private Palestinian companies since the crossing is not recognized as a legal border).

 

King Hussein Bridge Cost (Israeli Side)

  1. Crossing fee: 209 NIS per truck;
  2.  Loading/unloading: 29.5 NIS + VAT per pallet;
  3. The clearing agents (customs forms) cost varies but is an average of 300 NIS + VAT.

 

King Hussein Bridge Cost (Jordanian Side)

  1. Labor cost: 22-25 JD;
  2. Stamps (custom declaration): 10-12JD;
  3. Transit fees to Aqaba Port/QAIA – customs formalities: $150 (Sometimes customs have to accompany certain goods);
  4. The clearance fees vary but are an average of 40JD;
  5. Bank guarantee fees: 5JD for the first 5,000JD and 1 JD for each 1,000 extra;
  6. Overnight fees on the Jordanian side: 40-50JD.

 

Gaza Crossing Fees

Crossing fees

 

Fees details

Cost (NIS)

1

Entry fees at the Palestinian side

20

2

Unloading/loading at the Palestinian bay

500

3

Entry fees at the Israeli side

250

4

Unloading/loading at the Israeli bay

500

 

Sub-total

1,270

 

Containerization of goods

 

5

Extra cost (goods charge in container at Israeli ports)

1,000

 

Total cost

2,270