Customs administrations urged to facilitate flood relief for Pakistan
Brussels, 4 August 2010
The World Customs Organization (WCO) has called on Customs authorities around the world to facilitate humanitarian assistance destined for Pakistan following the devastating monsoon rains which have caused severe flooding in many parts of the country that have led to loss of life, displacement of people, and destruction of infrastructure.
According to news reports Pakistan is experiencing its worst floods in 80 years and millions of people have been affected. The BBC reports that this is the beginning of a disaster that is still unfolding, and Jan Vandemoortele, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan, has said that the needs and challenges are immense.
“Ensuring rapid delivery of relief consignments destined for stricken areas of the world is accepted international best practice, and the global Customs community is ready to play its part whenever and wherever disaster strikes to ensure goods move across international boundaries efficiently and expeditiously,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya.
The WCO issued its call as a means of mobilizing the Organization’s 176 Member Customs administrations to do all they possibly can to assist Pakistan by ensuring that the clearance of relief consignments, at any stage of their transportation, whether at exportation, during transit or at importation, is done speedily.
Three WCO instruments play a key role in facilitating the movement of relief consignments: the Revised Kyoto Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures; the Istanbul Convention on temporary admission; and the Recommendation of the Customs Co-operation Council to expedite the forwarding of relief consignments in the event of disaster.
World Customs Organization