Joint WCO-OTIF-OSJD statement on responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on cross-border railway transport
The heads of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and the Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD) issued a joint statement on 15 May 2020 agreeing to coordinated efforts for the continued facilitation of railway supply chains and to mitigate the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our societies.
As a result of COVID-19’s impact on the railway industry, some railway companies are confronted with challenges in preparing and collecting paper-based documents required for Customs procedures in international railway transport. In this context, the heads encourage Customs administrations to facilitate railway transport by temporarily accepting electronic documents and deferring the requirement for paper-based documents until a later stage, if necessary, as stipulated in the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC).
WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya, OTIF Secretary General Wolfgang Küpper, and OSJD Chairman of OSJD Committee Tadeusz Szozda expressed their readiness to support their respective Members in the implementation of relevant instruments, tools and programmes in order to ensure the continuity and facilitation of international railway transport.