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RECOMMENDATION OF THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL
FOR A SIMPLIFIED CUSTOMS CONTROL,
BASED ON THE DUAL-CHANNEL SYSTEM,
OF PASSENGERS ARRIVING BY SEA
(5th JUNE 1972)

THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL,

HAVING REGARD to its Recommendation of the 8th June 1971 for a simplified Customs control, based on the dual-channel system, of passengers arriving by air;

HAVING REGARD to the wish expressed by the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), to see the dual-channel system also adopted for the control of passengers arriving by sea;

DESIRING to contribute to the efforts to improve the flow of passenger traffic at international seaports;

CONSIDERING that this aim can be achieved by introducing a simplified procedure, based on the dual-channel system, for the Customs control of passengers, their baggage and their vehicles;

CONSIDERING that such a system can be adopted - in particular for the control of passengers making short sea voyages (such as those using regular ferry-services) - without reducing the effectiveness of the control and that it enables Customs authorities to deal efficiently with an increasing number of passengers without a corresponding increase in the number of staff;

CONSIDERING that the harmonization of the features of this system, as between the various countries, is essential to its smooth operation;

RECOMMENDS that Members of the Council and members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies, and Customs or Economic Unions introduce, at suitable international seaports, in close co-operation with the port authorities, shipping companies and other agencies concerned, the dual-channel system outlined below for the clearance inwards of passengers, their baggage and their vehicles :

1. The system shall allow the passengers, whether or not travelling in their vehicle, to choose between two types of channel :

(a) one (green channel) for passengers having with them no goods or only goods which can be admitted free of import duties and taxes and which are not subject to import prohibitions or restrictions; and

(b) the other (red channel) for other passengers.

2. Each channel shall be clearly and distinctively marked so that the choice between them can easily be understood by passengers. The basic distinctive marking shall be :

(a) for the channel referred to under 1.(a), green, in the shape of a regular octagon, and the words "NOTHING TO DECLARE" ("RIEN A DECLARER");

(b) for the channel referred to under 1.(b), red, in the shape of a square, and the words "GOODS TO DECLARE" ("MARCHANDISES A DECLARER").

In addition, the channels should be identified by an inscription including the word "CUSTOMS" ("DOUANE").

3. The texts referred to in paragraph 2. shall be in English and/or French and in any other language or languages deemed necessary.

4. In the case of passengers travelling in their vehicle, and where the marshalling of vehicles into the proper lanes and the clearance procedure will be facilitated thereby, the driver of each motor vehicle may be provided with red and green stickers bearing the markings referred to in paragraph 2.(a) and (b), and instructed to attach to the windscreen of the vehicle :

(a) the green sticker where the motor vehicle itself and any goods it contains, including goods belonging to, or carried by, passengers in the vehicle, can be admitted without Customs formalities and are not subject to import prohibitions or restrictions; and

(b) the red sticker in other cases.

5. Passengers must be sufficiently well informed to choose between the channels and where appropriate between the red and green stickers. For this purpose it is important :

(a) that passengers be informed about the functioning of the system and about the description and quantities of goods they may have with them when using the green channel. This may be done by means of posters or panels at the seaport or by means of leaflets available to the public at the port of embarkation, on board ship or distributed through tourist agencies, shipping companies and other interested bodies;

(b) that, where the red and green stickers referred to in paragraph 4 are to be used, the driver of each vehicle should be provided with the stickers before arrival at the port of destination;

(c) that the route to the channels be clearly indicated.

6. The channels shall be located beyond any baggage delivery area so that passengers have all their baggage with them when choosing the appropriate channel. Moreover, the channels shall be situated in such a position that the passenger-flow to the exits from the seaport is as direct as possible.

7. The distance between the ships, or the baggage delivery area, and the entrances to the channels shall be sufficient to allow passengers to decide which channel to choose and to move into the channel without causing congestion.

8. In the green channel passengers shall not be subject to any Customs formalities but the Customs may make spot-checks; in the red channel passengers shall accomplish all the formalities required by the Customs.

POINTS OUT that a system involving the use of only one lane, but under which vehicles displaying the red sticker, or those selected for spot-checks, are directed to a designated parking area, may be regarded as meeting the requirements of the dual-channel system.

POINTS OUT that the dual-channel system is not necessarily incompatible with the application of other controls, e.g., exchange control and control of international motor vehicle insurance certificates, unless the relevant regulations require full control of all passengers and their baggage or vehicles;

REQUESTS Members of the Council and members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies, and Customs or Economic Unions who accept this Recommendation to notify to the Secretary General :

(a) their acceptance and the date from which they will apply the Recommendation;

(b) the seaports where the dual-channel system is applied and the types of maritime traffic to which it is applied in these ports.

The Secretary General will transmit this information to the Customs Administrations of Members and to the Secretary General of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO). He will also transmit it to the Customs administrations of the members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies and to Customs or Economic Unions which have accepted this Recommendation.

* The Customs Co-operation Council is the official name of the World Customs Organization.