19 May 2020
Measures adopted by the Customs Administration of Burkina Faso to prevent and/or combat the COVID-19 pandemic
1. Measures to facilitate the cross-border movement of relief consignments and essential supplies
1.1. An expedited procedure for the issuing of import licences has been adopted and a hotline to the Ministry of Health has been set up for rapid checking of the import licences concerned (Customs can already check them electronically, and the hotline was set up, where appropriate, as an emergency resource).
1.2. There are simplified, rapid release procedures for Customs clearance of the categories of goods considered necessary for treatments and basic needs. These have been precisely defined (using the HS codes) and programmed into the Customs Administration’s computer system.
1.3. The general documentary requirements for import have been downgraded by reducing them to the essentials.
2. Measures to support the economy and ensure supply chain continuity
2.1. Physical inspections have been simplified and speeded up where possible and effective. When physical inspections are carried out, imported products relating to health are given priority and processed quickly.
2.2. The memoranda of understanding concluded with traders regarded as reliable (importers with a satisfactory record of compliance and accorded expedited Customs clearance in view of their past history of compliance) have been extended to other operators, while the list of goods eligible for the preferential treatment granted to basic necessities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended.
2.3. The procedure for temporary admission of any equipment required by organizations providing emergency help in the fight against the pandemic has been accelerated.
2.4. Where necessary, and on an instruction from the Minister of Finance, special exemptions on imports of medicines and other medical products are granted to the Generic Medicines and Medical Supplies Purchasing Centre (CAMEG) and the Ministry of Health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Measures to ensure protection for Customs Administration personnel
3.1. A memo has been sent to Customs officers and a notice to licensed Customs brokers and users concerning the precautionary measures associated with COVID-19.
3.2. The Mutual Fund for Customs Administration Officers has put out a briefing note on the establishment of a crisis management system at the Customs Medical and Social Centre, the distribution of protective masks, gloves and hand gel to Customs officers, and the availability of two telephone numbers to take responsibility for any sick persons.
3.3. Customs services are supplied with hand-washing facilities, soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, gloves, protective masks and thermometers, and they have been ordered to practise social distancing.
3.4. The work in Customs services is done by teams working in rotation, to ensure that the processing of commercial transactions continues uninterrupted and that there is adequate Customs presence and checking to protect revenues and the country’s borders in general.
3.5. Officers have their temperatures taken before entering their workplaces.
4. Measures to ensure protection for the public
4.1. It is mandatory to put on a mask before entering Customs service premises; there are hand-washing facilities at the entrance to all
Customs services, temperatures are checked, and there is strict enforcement of social distancing in service premises.