World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has issued a joint statement pledging to work together to facilitate trade in essential goods such as medical supplies, food, and energy.
WCO Secretary General Dr Kunio Mikuriya and WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said the two organisations would work closely together to minimise disruption to cross-border trade in goods – in particular those essential to combat the COVID-19 pandemic – while safeguarding public health.
Both organisations pledged to establish a coordinated approach to support initiatives that facilitate cross-border trade so that essential goods can quickly reach those most in need, including in least developed and land-locked countries. WCO and WTO members have already been invited to increase transparency by sharing information on new trade and trade-related measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and governments consider new measures to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, we urge Members to ensure that any new border action is targeted, proportionate, transparent and non-discriminatory,” they declared.
WCO and WTO will further explore ways to coordinate their efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic aimed at keeping trade flows open for the safety of populations around the world and a strong recovery of the global economy.