In addition to devastating human losses and suffering, the Covid-19 pandemic has a profound impact on the global economy and economic operators across regional and international value chains. Not only is the pandemic provoking both demand and supply-side shocks, it is also disrupting trade linkages, and the movement and release of goods between countries. Public authorities tend to increase controls on imported goods and consignments to prevent the virus from spreading, or to impose export restrictions on essential goods for national health and food security reasons. Bottlenecks and delays at the border may also emerge due to a general lack of prescribed emergency cross-border formalities and/or insufficient readiness and capacity of border regulatory agencies to apply and enforce expedited checks and controls to release priority consignments during a pandemic.
[Facilitating and expediting the cross-border movement of goods is critical for two reasons. First, in the short term, to ensure rapid international distribution of essential goods such as medical equipment and food products during the health crisis. Second, and in the intermediate term, to mitigate the impact of pandemic-driven disruption on global economic activity and cross-border movement of goods by reducing disruptions to supply and consumption of goods.]
Developing and installing a framework of standard operating procedures during a pandemic crisis, will help facilitate effective and efficient border controls on movement of goods. It will allow to continue to comply with regulations while expediting movement of essential goods. UN/CEFACT is an effective channel to promote this agenda. With the introduction of a specific recommendation for standard operating procedures for release of priority products during a pandemic crisis we aim to:
- Promote to Member States the necessity of adopting specific measures and operating procedures in order to facilitate and expedite joint controls of essential goods and to ease cross-border trade flows during and in the aftermath of a global health crisis. Improved trade facilitation measures will also help governments deliver to the 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG8 pertaining to decent work and economic growth, SDG11 which prescribes integrated policies that build resilience of communities, as well as SDG 17 contributing to growth of exports of developing countries. In particular, implementation of trade facilitation measures may also contribute to WTO Member States’ compliance with the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
- Promote the importance and relevance of this work to a wider range of stakeholders including the private sector, regulatory bodies and non-government organizations.
Project ScopeThe project will provide clear, accessible and concise best practice guidelines in enabling efficient control, clearance and release facilitation measures and standard operating measures during a pandemic. 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: White Paper on response to pandemic-related flow disruption (final name of the recommendation to be determined at a later stage) • Deliverable 2: Recommendation on response to pandemic-related flow disruption (final name of the recommendation to be determined at a later stage)
Exit CriteriaThe exit criteria will be: • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 1: Draft ready for publication. Internal and External comment logs demonstrating that all comments have been taken into consideration • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 2: Finalized draft. Comment log showing that all comments have been resolved.
Project Team Membership and Required Functional ExpertiseMembership is open to UN/CEFACT experts with broad knowledge in the area of: International trade procedure, disaster recovery 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 ContributionsList any initial contributions: • UN/CEFACT project on Disaster Recovery Relief
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