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Taxation and Customs Union
News announcement20 May 2022Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union1 min read

EU and its international partners call for Russia and Belarus’ participation at the WCO to be suspended

The EU, EU Member States, and their international partners at the World Customs Organization (WCO) have today issued a Joint Statement condemning in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unjustified aggression in Ukraine with Belarus’ support, and reiterating the damage that the invasion of one WCO Member by another has caused to the climate of trust and cooperation on which the WCO is based.

The Joint Statement also calls for action in five areas, namely:

  • to limit, restrict or otherwise effectively suspend the participation of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in the work of the WCO
  • to replace any Russian or Belarusian Chairs and Vice Chairs of WCO working bodies, including the Policy Commission, Finance Committee and Audit Committee
  • to limit/suspend the participation of representatives of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in all World Customs Organization’s working bodies and their access to the World Customs Organization premises and activities
  • to suspend all World Customs Organization’s-supported funding programmes for the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus
  • to seek to discontinue providing access to information on enforcement or terrorism to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus

With this joint statement, the sponsoring countries – accounting for 60% of the world’s GDP and 40% of world trade – give yet another strong signal that the international customs community is not indifferent to the injustice, crimes and destruction caused by Russia’s unjustified war and to the serious harm that it has inflicted on international cooperation among customs authorities, and to their coordinated efforts to facilitate secure and legitimate trade.

It is expected that more WCO Members will declare their support for the Joint Statement over the next few weeks. Concrete action to implement these objectives will have to be achieved with the cooperation of other WCO Members.

The Joint Statement is available below in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

20 MAY 2022
Joint Statement to the World Customs Organization on the aggression against Ukraine



Publication date
20 May 2022
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union