Japan supports WCO Project to Build the Capacity of Developing Countries Customs Administrations Respond to COVID 19
The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, and the Japanese Ambassador to Belgium, H.E. Mr. Makita Shimokawa virtually exchanged Notes Verbales on 4 June 2020, on the Government of Japan’s financial support of the WCO’s project to improve the capacity of developing countries’ Customs administrations respond to the impact of COVID-19” (COVID-19 Project).
The COVID-19 Project will develop WCO Guidelines for Customs administrations on business continuity and incident response in dealing with various disruptive scenarios represented by COVID-19 and other similar emergency situations on the basis of collected best practices. This project will also promote relevant WCO instruments and tools, in particular to WCO developing Members including Least Developing Countries (LDCs), through various assistance measures including national and regional training, considering each country’s individual situation and particular needs.
In order to ensure the timely dissemination of information and expertise, the project will also contribute to further upgrading the dedicated WCO web-site, which compiles information about relevant WCO instruments, tools, initiatives, databases and national practices that can be utilized in the effort to address the various COVID-19-related challenges faced by our Members and concerned stakeholders.
“During this time of crisis, the Customs administrations around the globe are urged to continue advocating for and realize the facilitation of not just relief supplies but of all goods being traded in order to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Mikuriya. He further added that “the Government of Japan’s support for the COVID-19 Project can ensure that Customs administrations stay operational and are equipped to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our societies and economies.”
H.E. Mr. Makita Shimokawa stressed that Japan recognizes the criticality of the WCO and Customs administrations in the efforts to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and highly appreciated the WCO activities to address this global challenge under the leadership of Secretary General Mikuriya. He went on to express his expectation that the project would support prompt actions of the WCO to help its Member Customs administrations fight the pandemic, while further ensuring a coordinated response and strengthened cooperation, not only with the WCO, but also with its Members.