Emergency Services Branch (ESB) in collaboration with OCHA Southern Africa assisted the Mauritius Revenue Authority during the “Get-Airport-Ready-for-Disaster” (GARD) Workshop, which took place from 15 to 18 February, in drafting an operational guide for the importation of emergency relief consignments. The objectives of the guide are:

– provide information on customs facilitation measures for the importation of emergency relief consignments to all the customs officers of the MRA

– implement customs facilitation measures for the importation and/or transit of international emergency relief consignments and facilitate the process

– provide an operational guide for humanitarian actors that are importing international emergency consignments into Mauritius or transiting international humanitarian relief aid through Mauritius

ESB in collaboration with OCHA Southern Africa met with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and the Malawi Revenue Authority in Malawi to discuss the current draft disaster management bill and to consider the inclusion of customs facilitation provisions for the importation of emergency relief consignments. ESB was asked to provide comments and make recommendations. At the occasion, ESB also introduced the current revision of the Annex J-5 on disaster relief of the Revised Kyoto Convention with the World Customs Organisation and discussed the possibility for Malawi to become a pilot country for the implementation of ASYREC, the new software automated customs processing of humanitarian relief, which had been developed by UNCTAD. The ASYREC project is a result the Focus Task Force of the Consultative Group for Emergency Preparedness and Response, which was established in 2015.