COVID-19: WCO Secretariat shares guidance with Customs on efficient communication strategies during a crisis

24 April 2020

In view of the global health emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretariat has published a “WCO Guidance on how to communicate during a crisis” to assist its Members in reacting to communication challenges posed by the global crisis. The document has been published on the WCO’s COVID-19 dedicated webpage and Members and partners are invited to share any best practices in this specific area to further enhance the document.

“During this time of crisis, an effective communication strategy is essential for protecting public health and strengthening cooperation with stakeholders,” said WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya. “Customs administrations must instruct, inform, encourage self-protective behaviour, update risk information, build trust in officials and dispel rumours, while at the same time ensuring the integrity and continued facilitation of the global supply chain,” added Dr. Mikuriya.

In this fast-moving and uncertain situation, although we cannot control what is happening we can still control the way we communicate both internally and externally. By following some general steps, we can ensure that those in charge of communicating messages rely on accurate information, understand the objectives of the messages being sent, have enough empathy to create trust, and are equipped to effectively plan and communicate to targeted audiences during this time of heightened public concern.

Countries are coping with the pandemic in creative, diverse and inspiring ways, and WCO Members and partners are invited to share their experience and strategies in communicating effectively during this crisis. Best practices can be sent to:

The WCO Secretariat is committed to assisting and supporting its Members during this uncertain time, and invites administrations to stay up-to-date with the WCO Secretariat’s response to the COVID-19 crisis on its dedicated webpage as well as on social media.