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Model Customs Facilitation Agree

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					            Model Customs Agreement




                                                 May 2008


Disaster Preparedness Planning Training Course
Model Customs Agreement ???


Agreement between the United Nations and
 State or Government concerning
 measures to expedite the import, export
 and transit of relief consignments
 and possessions of relief personnel in the
 event of disasters and emergencies
               What is proposed?


A bilateral agreement between UN and State
Applicable during the major disasters within the framework of a
UN relief operation

Concerning practical measures to expedite the import, export and
transit of relief consignments and possessions of relief personnel



How do we go ahead …..
What are the immediate needs…
  Identify needs                      Need for
   for international            disaster relief items?
       assistance



                              Send relief consignments


    Need for disaster        Need for Technical
                             (specialized)
management expertise?        expertise and assets?




                                   Send Military and
Send international experts   Civil Defence Assets (MCDA)
     Movement of relief consignments and
         possessions of relief personnel

Identified needs
for international                      Donor Countries
    assistance


            Customs Facilitation Procedures
         Entry        Exit    Entry       Exit

 Country of           Country(ies)         Country of
importation            of transit          exportation
Major Problems ---Custom Facilitation Procedures

“….We the team arrived in the morning in customs point but
nobody appeared till noon…”

“…When the team arrived in the country, the relief consignments
were held up in Customs for a week or more (telecoms for two
weeks)”

“... the expeditious clearance of supplies ... has been delayed by
local Customs officials. ...”
Basic Features of Model Customs Agreement

 • internationally recommended measures
 • procedures are simplified, not abolished
 • clearly defined sphere of application
 • UN certification of participants
 • no new privileges and/or immunities
 • compliance with national regulations
 • concluded in advance of an emergency
   (preparedness)
 • Customs clearance outside official working hours
   and designated places
 • Waiving of economic restrictions, duties and taxes
      Cont.. Basic Features of Model Customs
                          Agreement


•   No charges for Customs attendance
•   Advanced submission of documents
•   Simplified documents and inspection procedures
•   Applicable to all countries
•   Negotiated with a country once with single UN agency
•   Valid for all UN agencies and their implementing partners
•   Can be concluded in advance of a country’s involvement in a
    disaster (whether donor, transit, recipient)
  Model Customs Agreement



NEPAL CASE STUDY
             Model Customs Agreement

• Signature ceremony on 31 May 2007 between Nepal
  Government and the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator
•   The meeting after signature ceremony, OCHA Nepal and
    Government stakeholders formed an Ad-hoc Committee to draft
    the list of activities (Implementation Plan) and to endorse this
    Plan by Nepal Government,

Later, OCHA LSU/UNJLC proposed a three-phase approach:
1. Creation of an Implementation Plan
2. Creation of an Emergency Response Plan
3. Preparation of the Training Programme
           EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN
              (Who will do what? When? Where? How?)


• List of authorities involved          • Communication flow

• List of customs clearance             • List of prohibited
  documents                               items
                                        • Appeals committee
• Procedure to re-export relief
  materials                             • Dissemination plan
• Transit and release time              • Glossary
  tracking mechanisms


     TO BE ACTIVATED IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A
                     DISASTER
           TRAINING PROGRAMME




1. General Customs Awareness
2. Customs and Humanitarian Aid
3. Nepal Specific Customs Agreement
        Lesson Learnt during the Process
Problems faced:
1. Involvement of large number of stakeholders makes
    difficult for holding the meeting in the given time and
    venue,
2. No dedicated focal persons assigned - OCHA needs lot of
    time (beginning stage).
3. Participation of junior staff in the meeting makes difficult
    for major decision (government); no or less time from
    Head of Office,
4. Ignorance on the International Conventions... among the
    Gov staff
5. Customs officials are less/no unaware on the process of
    Model Agreement,
     Lesson Learnt during the Process
Opportunities:
1. Ministry of Home Affairs is the focal point for
   Disaster Management issues. The officials in this
   Ministry are trained, exposed to the International
   forums on disaster responses, and understood the
   spirit of Model Agreement,
2. OCHA presence in Nepal,
3. Good progress on the process for implementing the
   M. Agreement, --finalizing the Implementation Plan
4.    Support from OCHA LSU & UNJLC is involved,
For more information
        OCHA Nepal
     Mr. Ram Luetel
       luetel@un.org
    Tel. +977 15548553


   OCHA LSU, Geneva
   Ms. Virginie Bohl,
       bohl@un.org
   Tel. 41 22 917 17 92