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Uninterrupted movement of goods urged

Uninterrupted movement of goods urged

ISLAMABAD: A policy brief by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development outlined a ten-point action plan to help industries involved in the movement of goods keep free-flowing trade afloat during the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath.

The measures cover maritime transport, customs ope­­­rations, transit, transparency and legal issues, as well as technology to enha­nce paperless trade processes.

The UNCTAD action plan suggests tearing down barriers to trade and transport and ensuring the free flow of goods, good and essential supplies.

As countries adopt radical measures to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control, international trade and transport systems are under tremendous stress, it notes. Early evidence shows that international trade is collapsing, threatening access to goods and critical supplies.

The plan calls for policies that ensure uninterrupted shipping; keep ports open; protect international trade of critical goods and speed up customs clearance and trade facilitation; facilitate cross-border transport; ensure the right of transit; safeguard transparency and up-to-date information; promote paperless systems; address early-on legal implications for commercial parties; protect shippers and transport service providers alike; and prioritise technical assistance.

It also emphasises the need for people involved in the movement of trucks, ships, and planes to be given the status of critical personnel.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2020

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