As part of the operation to curb the propagation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guinea- Bissau Customs Administration has, on an exceptional basis, put into effect a number of measures of which the most important are as follows:
1. Measures to facilitate the cross-border movement of relief consignments and essential supplies
1.1. An accelerated procedure, with reduced escort costs, has been set up on an exceptional basis for goods imported by land.
1.2. Imports of products to be used in combating COVID-19 (gloves, aprons, alcohol- based hand sanitizers, Thermoflashes (infrared thermometers), etc.) can be collected and regularized later, in view of the emergency.
2. Measures to support the economy and ensure supply chain continuity
2.1. The Treasury has been asked to work until 14:00 to enable users to pay Customs duties and taxes so that they can collect their goods.
2.2. Containers can be inspected at a home address, in the presence of the Customs Service, even outside the statutory service hours, without payment of overtime.
3. Measures to ensure protection for Customs Administration personnel
3.1. Distribution of personal protection items: gloves, Thermoflashes, hand sanitizers, etc.
3.2. Alcohol-based hand-sanitizer dispensers have been installed at every entrance.
3.3. A memo making the wearing of a mask mandatory has been issued.
3.4. The way services operate has been reorganized: all directors and service heads are required to be present; 50% of active staff per entity must be present; a work-team rotation system has been set up.
3.5. Important meetings (cash flow committees, for example) are held by video- conference. Other meetings considered necessary are held in the meeting room with a limited number of participants practising social distancing (of 1 metre).
4. Measures to ensure protection for the public
4.1. The population has been locked down from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the past month.
4.2. As part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has made it mandatory to wear a mask. Only key workers are authorized to move from place to place. The municipal markets are open until midday so that the public can buy food.
4.3. Individuals and families that have been in contact with people who have tested positive are required to stay in isolation.
5. Other measures
5.1. The working hours of services (teams) have been extended beyond those laid down by the Government, to facilitate the detailed processing of declarations and enable perishable goods, medical products and basic necessities to be cleared.