October 21, 2021

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COVID-19 VACCINE: Customs, Aviation Unite for Seamless Global Distribution as Ghana takes delivery

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COVID-19 Vaccine delivery at Kotoka International Airport, Ghana

As the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine takes the centre stage in the global distribution chain, the World Customs Organization, WCO and the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, have collaborated with the view to achieving a seamless procedure in handling cargoes of the vaccine air freighted to their various destinations earth-wide.


The Secretary-General, World Customs Organization, WCO, Dr Kunio Mikuriya, in a joint statement with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, urged each suffering states to take cognizance of the additional layer of guideline jointly agreed the “Principles for Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information”, PLACI, which aligned Customs Authorized Economic Operator and Aviation Security Regulated Agent on cargo management.

Dr Kunio Mikuriya said, “WCO and ICAO Members are encouraged to make the best use of advance cargo information for risk assessment as well as to align partnership and security programs to ensure secure and efficient air cargo supply chains.”

According to the statement, “With the new Joint WCO-ICAO Guiding Principles for Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI), another layer is being added to the multi-layered approach to Aviation Security in order to detect Improvised Explosive Devices/Improvised Incendiary Devices (IED/IID) in air cargo”.

These PLACI principles the statement further said, “should not be used as a standalone method of Aviation Security (AVSEC) screening or air cargo security control, but rather to perform an additional assessment of the potential Aviation Security risks represented by a consignment”.

Dr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary-General, World Customs Organization, WCO,

“These Joint Guiding Principles comprise several key and specific principles to meet the needs and capabilities of both regulators and industry and provide guidance for the risk analysis process.

Furthermore, the new guideline was said to have “combined with intelligence and other information, PLACI consignment data which enables regulators to perform an initial assessment of the potential risks posed by a consignment. The results of the initial assessment may also indicate the need for additional action”.

“In addition, the new Joint WCO-ICAO Guidelines on Alignment of the Customs Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and AVSEC Regulated Agent/Known Consignor (RA/KC) Programs seek harmonization and alignment between the WCO AEO and the AVSEC RA/KC Programs, capitalizing on synergies and thus increasing efficiency, while also reducing duplication of efforts by regulators and burdens on trade”, the joint statement espoused

It however enunciated that, “these Guidelines aim to assist WCO and ICAO Member states wishing to assess the similarities between their Customs and AVSEC security programs, with the intention of further aligning them.

The two global bodies expressed optimism that, “this collaborative work should ultimately lead to simplification of procedures and eradication of duplicate security requirements and controls, to the benefit of the authorities and the airline industry.”

Salvatore Sciacchitano, President ICAO Council

Ghana takes delivery of C-19 Vaccine
Today, Wednesday, 24th February, Ghana received the first vaccine shipment from COVAX, the World Health Organization’s global initiative to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The delivery may mark a turning point in helping out a COVID-19 vaccine rollout that so far has favoured wealthier nations.

Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, in a statement on Twitter on the vaccine successful delivery to Ghana, enthused, “today marks the historic moment for which we have been planning and working so hard.”

Henrietta Fore’s statement said further, “With the first shipment of doses, we can make good on the promise of the COVAX Facility to ensure people from less wealthy countries are not left behind in the race for life-saving vaccines.”

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