The ICC Business Recommendations highlight some of the key challenges business and governments must overcome, include real business case examples and contain a set of policy recommendations to ensure the smooth and efficient delivery of relief shipments following natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
After a natural disaster, the private sector often steps in to provide much-needed financial assistance and in-kind goods and services to facilitate the movement and customs clearance of relief shipments. Natural disasters often disrupt daily business, ports of entry and the ability of governments and departments, most often Customs Administrations, to operate as usual. This leads to the untimely delivery of relief supplies, or in some cases, shipments that are not able to be cleared in the country. The underlying issues are often linked to a lack of contingency planning and trade resumption planning, as well as the absence of an internationally-recognised and accredited system of marking and identification for humanitarian relief shipments for quick and efficient detection.
The relevant United Nations bodies and agencies and international organizations such as the World Customs Organization and World Trade Organization have not yet fully engaged with the business community in working together to resolve these issues and develop tangible solutions.
In its Business Recommendations ICC calls for a collaborative approach to incorporate the treatment of humanitarian aid shipments under a coordinated border management framework; to promote good governance by standardising operating procedures across relevant parties; and to encourage the implementation of existing best practices and while engaging the private sector to improve the Customs treatment of humanitarian relief shipments.