Project PurposeIn a changing and increasingly complex world, many governments are facing more pronounced challenges such as increasing incidence of natural disasters, threats to peace and security as well as disease and environmental related illness. When affected by disaster, governments are charged with the responsibility of ensuring timely importation of necessary emergency relief goods as well as correctly applying tax exemptions and protecting their borders from dangerous or illegal traffic. This period is further pressured by the increasing number and diversity of international actors independently responding to emergencies. A lack of readiness by national and international actors and systems in the prioritization, receipt, assessment, approval and release of relief consignments often leads to processing bottlenecks and delays in aid reaching crisis-affected people. Instilling predictability in the end to end process of importing emergency relief places governments, Customs administrations and aid providers in the best place to effectively respond to large-scale emergencies. UNECE have highlighted to the Importation and Customs Clearance Together (IMPACCT) working group, coordinated by UN OCHA, that UN/CEFACT trade facilitation recommendations are an effective channel to promote this agenda. With the introduction of a specific recommendation for the importation of emergency relief, we aim to: • Promote to Member States the added value of enhancing their existing capacity and mechanisms to manage a large influx of relief aid in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Governments can ensure that crisis-affected people can receive the humanitarian assistance that they need as quickly as possible. Improved facilitation measures for humanitarian readiness and response will also help governments deliver to the 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG11 which prescribes integrated policies that build resilience to disasters. • Promote the importance and relevance of this work to a wider range of stakeholders including non-traditional national actors, private sector, non-government organizations and regulatory bodies.
Project ScopeThe recommendation will provide clear, accessible and concise best practice guidelines in enabling efficient clearance facilitation measures for humanitarian readiness and response. Although these will be consistent with existing relevant frameworks and legislations, they will go further to represent what leadership in this field looks like rather than be restricted to legal obligations.
Project DeliverablesThe project deliverables are: • Deliverable 1: Recommendation on Readiness for emergency relief importation (final name of the recommendation to be determined at a later stage) • Deliverable 2: Guidelines on general principles • Deliverable 3: Guidelines on immediate response and readiness
Exit CriteriaThe exit criteria will be: • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 1: Internal and external review logs showing how comments have been addressed. Final recommendation draft text ready for publication • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 2: Internal and external review logs showing how comments have been addressed. Final guidelines draft text ready for publication • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 3: Internal and external review logs showing how comments have been addressed. Final guidelines draft text ready for publication
Project Team Membership and Required Functional ExpertiseMembership is open to UN/CEFACT experts with broad knowledge in the area of: Emergency relief In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituency to participate in the work. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics and the policy on Intellectual Property Rights
Geographical FocusThe geographical focus of the project is global.
Initial ContributionsThe following contributions are submitted as part of this proposal. It is understood that these contributions are only for consideration by the Project Team and that other participants may submit additional contributions in order to ensure that as much information as possible is obtained from those with expertise and a material interest in the project. It is also understood that the Project Team may choose to adopt one or more of these contributions “as is”. List any initial contributions: • UN OCHA “New Way of Working” 2017: https://www.unocha.org/sites/unocha/files/NWOW%20Booklet%20low%20res.002_0.pdf • World Humanitarian Data and Trends, 2018: https://www.unocha.org/sites/unocha/files/WHDT2018_web_final_singles.pdf • UN OCHA “Humanitarian Access” 2017: https://www.unocha.org/sites/unocha/files/OOM%20Humanitarian%20access%20final%20French_Apr2017_1.pdf • Tampere Convention on Telecommunications Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations (2005): https://vosocc.unocha.org/GetFile.aspx?file=68519_Tampere_Convention.pdf • Revised Kyoto Convention on the Harmonization and Simplification of Customs Procedures (Chapter 5, Specific Annex J) (1999): https://vosocc.unocha.org/GetFile.aspx?file=68575_Annex_J5_Revised_Kyoto_Convention.pdf • Istanbul Convention on Temporary Admission, Annexes B.9 and D (1990): https://vosocc.unocha.org/GetFile.aspx?file=68515_Istanbul_Convention.pdf • Resolution of the Customs Co-operation Council on the Role of Customs in natural disaster relief (2011): http://www.wcoomd.org/en/about-us/legal-instruments/~/media/A0C1DEE96F944E08BCD48FFDD1A7D4B7.ashx • Recommendation of the Customs Co-operation Council to expedite the forwarding of relief consignments in the event of disasters (1970): https://www.ifrc.org/docs/idrl/I237EN.pdf • Guidelines for the Domestic Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance (IDRL) (2007): https://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/41203/1205600-IDRL%20Guidelines-EN-LR%20(2).pdf • Model Customs Agreement: https://vosocc.unocha.org/GetFile.aspx?file=68518_UN_Agreement.pdf
Resource RequirementsParticipants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat.
Project Proposal Files