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15 Jun 2020    Other/ in Press
Häberli, Christian


Responding to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on food value chains through efficient logistics

Blog post by Christian Häberli for the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition by FAO

The Covid-19 fallout on agrifood trade is so far quite limited! The WTO Secretariat has established a new Website “Covid-19 and world trade” (https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/covid19_e/trade_related_goods_measure_e.htm). For perhaps the first time, it consists not only of government notifications (actually, extremely scarce). Most measures listed in the field of merchandise trade were actually notified or found by other organisations and in internet searches. By 12 June 2020, and of a total of 199 Covid-related entries, only six trade restrictive measures concern foodstuffs, in the form of export bans or quotas, or export licensing (in order to ensure local food availability). As many measures are actually facilitating trade (tariff waivers, VAT elimination, exemption from weight control of food transporting vehicles). All measures are temporary, and at least one has already been lifted (adjournment of new export licensing).

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Responding to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on food value chains through efficient logistics