Humanitarian assistance and relief in the event of disaster may require the affected State to import the goods and equipment indispensable to satisfy the needs of the population. Severe problems may arise in this phase, precluding the chance to provide immediate aid: customs delays, lack of exemptions from custom duties, charges, restrictions, and ordinary customs procedures are all potential obstacles to prompt and effective assistance. A considerable body of law has been developing to address these issues, yet the existing international legal instruments are considerably heterogeneous, varying in scope and content. The purpose of this study is to analyze the trends followed within such a complex legal framework regarding the application of waivers to ordinary customs barriers and practices for relief consignment, at the same time assessing whether international trade law applies in these circumstances. The legal position of intergovernmental organizations will be taken into account in the light of the privileges conferred upon them by their constitutive agreements. The study concludes with some considerations on the feasibility of an international legal text prescribing the obligation for all States to adopt every measure necessary to facilitate access of relief goods and equipment to territories struck by disaster.
Customs obstacles to relief consignments under international disaster response law / G. Adinolfi - In: International disaster response law / [a cura di] A. De Guttry, M. Gestri, G. Venturini. - The Hague : T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, 2012. - ISBN 978-90-6704-881-1. - pp. 533-550