The authorities in Saudi Arabia are speeding up the release of imported publications, the CEO of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) has revealed. According to Esra Assery, the commission has taken all the necessary measures to expedite the release of foreign publications after completing censorship and related procedures.
The process, Assery told the Saudi Gazette, will enhance accessibility for readers in the Kingdom by cutting the time spent by consignments in warehouses to about 30 days. It will also help to prevent piracy and fraud.
The commission CEO believes that the Kingdom is one of the first regional countries to provide a direct release service for the private sector following the approval of amendments to the executive regulations of the Law of Printing and Publications. These were given the go-ahead by Acting Minister of Media Majed Al-Qasabi, who is also the chairman of the Board of Directors of GCAM.
Assery pointed out that applications can be made for the immediate release of foreign publications via the commission's electronic licensing platform. It is expected that around 300,000 titles will be made available in this way in the first year of operation.
The move is also expected to boost Saudi distribution outlets that have suffered from unfair competition on the part of the Arab publishing houses.