Recent disasters have clearly shown the critical role that customs officials can play in facilitating speedy and effective international relief operations. The IFRC, together with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), are planning a series of regional seminars to discuss best practice related to customs and humanitarian relief.
The first of these regional seminars will be held in Bangkok in April 2012. It will bring together relevant experts within the Asia Pacific region, including customs officials, national authorities, and representatives of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and NGOs. The seminar will provide a forum to foster better understanding of the relevant international norms and systems, the key challenges, and the steps all can take to improve collaboration.