In a joint statement, issued today, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO and WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya say effective trade facilitation – based on international standards – will play a central role in enabling business continuity and renewed economic growth.
The statement calls for a coordinated customs response to the COVID-19 crisis – including through active participation in multilateral efforts and an open dialogue with neighbouring countries.
“We call on Customs administrations and other government agencies to keep trade flowing by maintaining the continuity of the international supply chain and simplifying and facilitating the Customs processes for essential medical equipment, medicines and food supplies – as well as key support personnel – so as to ensure an effective response to the pandemic and to protect lives throughout the world,” the leaders state.
ICC and the WCO have also agreed to coordinate efforts in response to COVID-19 and are partnering to explore potential opportunities aiming to keep trade flowing worldwide and to support strong recovery of the global economy.
ICC is working work at both global and local levels to: shape public policy responses to both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19; forge vital partnerships between the private sector, governments and international organisations; and provide practical tools and resources to enable businesses continuity and enable enterprises to take effective action to limit the spread of the virus.
To support its members and relevant stakeholders, the WCO has created a dedicated section on its website and included several existing and newly developed instruments and tools relevant to the integrity and facilitation of the supply chain in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.