ICC-WCO Joint Statement
In late 2019, the first outbreak of what has now become known globally as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported. On 11 March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak was categorised by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic.
The speed with which the pandemic crosses borders demands an urgent and agile response in relation to the international movement of goods in general and essential medical equipment and food supplies in particular. The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) call 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.