Addressing the bureaucratic impediments to import emergency relief goods

A session by IMPACCT Working Group

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Ms. Virginie BOHL, Coordinator a.i. of the IMPACCT Working Group

Mr. Norikazu KURAMOTO, Head of the ROCB Asia-Pacific, World Customs Organisation

Pauline CASPELLANARCE, Regional Disaster Law Adviser (Southeast Asia), IFRC

Maritza DELGADO, Programme Officer, International Telecommunication Union

Juan GALVEZ, Team Lead - Global Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Excellence, IFRC

Constantin CIUTA, Senior Customs Expert, UNCTAD


When affected by disasters and crises, governments face a dual challenge: protecting their borders from prohibited goods and safeguarding against the tax-related misuse of the humanitarian channel, whilst also ensuring the speedy importation of disaster relief goods and to deliver assistance to people in need.

Unfortunately, despite UN resolutions, international instruments and recommendations, very few governments have sufficient preparedness measures in place to manage the importation and customs clearance of goods associated with a natural disaster or complex emergency.

The lack of customs and other cross-border facilitation procedures often results in delays for the delivery of humanitarian assistance as well as costs for humanitarian operations. In parallel, the humanitarian community generally has a poor understanding of the role of customs authorities and other border control authorities during disasters. Therefore, the IMPACCT Working Group represents a network of strategic partners coming together to develop collective and coordinated approaches and tools to support national coordination mechanisms related to customs and importation processes for disaster relief goods and equipment.

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