WCO COVID-19 Project

In June 2020, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the financial support of the Government of Japan, the World Customs Organization (WCO) launched the “Project to Improve the Capacity of Developing Countries’ Customs Administrations to Respond to the Impact of COVID-19”, also known as the WCO COVID-19 Project. The Project is aimed at supporting WCO Members (especially least developed and developing countries) in dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and other disruptive events and at enhancing their response thereto. The overall purpose is to ensure the security, stability and continuity of global supply chains, while facilitating and expediting the supply of emergency relief goods around the world. The Project provides tailored support to WCO Members in three ways: (i) via capacity-building activities in different formats; (ii) through a technical solution, namely the Customs e-declaration smartphone application and related hardware; and (iii) by the development of the “WCO Guidelines on Disaster Management and Supply Chain Continuity”, an instrument compiling best practices and recommendations to strengthen Customs’ disaster preparedness.

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WCO Guidelines on disaster management and supply chain continuity

WCO Guidelines on disaster management and supply chain continuity [es] [ru]

In order to help Customs administrations increase their capacity to address the challenges stemming from disruptive events, the COVID-19 Project developed the “WCO Guidelines on Disaster Management and Supply Chain Continuity” which were subsequently approved by the WCO Council at its 138th Session in June 2021. The Guidelines were built upon existing WCO instruments and tools, such as Chapter 5 of Specific Annex J to the Revised Kyoto Convention and the “Resolution of the Customs Co-operation Council on the Role of Customs in Natural Disaster Relief” (2011), as well as upon WCO initiatives in the area of natural disaster relief and other guidance material developed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guidelines provide a set of guiding principles and recommended practices covering the three phases of the disaster management cycle: preparedness, response and recovery. In order to assist Customs administrations in evaluating their preparedness to face future disruptive events, the WCO COVID-19 Project has recently produced an ad-hoc Self-Assessment Checklist which is annexed to the Guidelines.

Project activities