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Joint WCO-IRU statement on responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on cross-border transport

The heads of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) Secretariats issued a joint statement on 11 May 2020 and jointly called on Customs administrations worldwide to ensure coordinated cross-border interventions in cooperation with other national border agencies and implement international standards such as the TIR Convention, as appropriate, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and agreed to coordinate efforts.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto expressed their readiness to support their respective Members in the implementation of relevant instruments, tools and programmes.

The text of the joint statement is below.

WCO and IRU joint statement on responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on cross border transport

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, while above all a public health crisis, presents the world with unprecedented economic challenges. Trade has dramatically declined, supply chains are disrupted and the restrictions to cross-border and transit freight transport that have been put in place could aggravate the pandemic’s economic impact.

As each economy depends on the efficiency of transport, including road transport, especially in this critical time, and bearing in mind the gradual lifting of confinement measures, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) jointly call on Customs administrations worldwide to:

  • Ensure coordinated cross-border interventions in cooperation with other national border agencies and implement international standards such as the TIR Convention, as appropriate;
  • Use the TIR system, and its IT tools, wherever possible, which allow secure transport under Customs control with limited physical checks and less contact between people at borders, thus reducing the risk of spreading the virus and protecting Customs officers and drivers;
  • Designate priority (green) lanes for commercial vehicles to reduce border waiting times and introduce other measures to ensure supply chain continuity;
  • Avoid closing borders to the international transport of goods, particularly for relief goods and personnel and essential goods; and,
  • Avoid unnecessary checking of commercial vehicles at borders.

The WCO and IRU express their readiness to support their respective Members in the implementation of relevant instruments, tools and programmes and will work together to coordinate their respective efforts.

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FAQ

What is EORI number and what is used for?

  • The EORI number serves as a unique identifier for subsequent communication with the customs authorities of all Member States of the European Union.

How do I get the EORI number?

What documents do I submit at the first export, import?

  • EORI ID number.
  • Verified copy of Business Register listing and VAT registration number.
  • The power of attorney for representation in the customs procedure must be signed by the statutory body according to the extract from the Business Register.

What must be on the invoice?

  • Delivery terms according to INCOTERMS (who pays for the transport and its price to be divided into CZ, EU and third countries)
  • Number and type of packages
  • Gross and net weight
  • Mode of transport and license number of the means of transport, in the case of a piece consignment a license number of a car that arrives at the local customs office
  • Customs office of exit from the EU

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