WCO Communique regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

09 March 2020

On 30 January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the current outbreak of COVID-19 constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Facing this global challenge, it is expected that the movement of relief goods (supplies, medicines and equipment etc.) across borders will increase dramatically in the coming weeks.

Given the rapidly evolving situation, the World Customs Organization (WCO) is closely monitoring recent developments with the WHO and strongly encourages WCO Member administrations, working in close collaboration with their public health and safety agencies, to ensure the smooth movement of relief goods and personnel while applying appropriate risk management. Members can refer to the Resolution issued by the Council in June 2011 on the role of Customs in natural disaster relief and the Updated WHO advice for international traffic for further guidance.

Moving forward, the WCO and its Member administrations will continue to work with relevant international organizations to monitor the situation and will utilize all relevant WCO working bodies to address the implementation of appropriate measures while sharing best practices.

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