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COVID-19 - WCO updates

On 30 January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). On 11 March 2020 the WHO characterized the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic.

Facing this global challenge, it is expected that the movement of relief goods (supplies, medicines and medical equipment) across borders will increase dramatically in the coming weeks. Moreover, as the WHO notes in its 29 February 2020 Updated WHO recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 outbreak, “… restrictions may interrupt needed aid and technical support, may disrupt businesses, and may have negative social and economic effects on the affected countries.”  It is critical that Customs administrations continue to facilitate, not only relief goods, but goods in general, to help minimize the overall impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our economies and societies. Customs administrations are strongly urged to establish a coordinated and proactive approach with all concerned agencies to ensure the integrity and continued facilitation of the global supply chain.

This section of the WCO web-site is designed to compile information about the instruments, tools, initiatives and databases that can be utilized in the efforts to address the various COVID-19-related challenges faced by our Members and their stakeholders worldwide.

Message of the Secretary General on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019)

WCO and Partners Communication regarding COVID-19


Joint statements with partner organizations

Letters to Members

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 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 by enhancing Customs’ disaster preparedness.

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WCO Members’ practices in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

NEW! - 4th edition - What Customs can do to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Below you can find Member Customs administrations’ practices to prevent and fight the spread of COVID-19, while safeguarding supply chain continuity. Members are invited to share with the Secretariat information on the measures introduced to facilitate the movement of, not only relief supplies, but all goods, while applying appropriate risk management. Examples of enhanced coordination and cooperation with other government agencies and the private sector will also be highlighted in this section, as well as measures to protect the health of Customs officers.

North of Africa, Near and Middle East

West and Central Africa

East and Southern Africa

South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean


Far East, South and South East Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Islands