Covid 19 – Confiscation of medical supplies by airfreight

Due to shortage of medical supplies there’s a risk that local government can confiscate – seize a shipment at supplier’s warehouse, or at an origin or transit airport. Therefore all air shipments that contain medical supplies from China, Hong Kong are now requiring 100% pre-payment of goods as well as freight, and in some cases a disclaimer has to be signed by the buyer.

There are no special guidelines on this subject as we are aware of, and regulators or governing parties have not responded on this issue as to our knowledge. As per info obtained from charter carriers, agents and brokers around the world, the only way to reduce the risk of confiscation at origin airport or in-transit, is to prove that goods are destined for a government organization such as Ministry of Health or other related ministries to the public safety, and it is not for private consumption. An official letter by the government is needed to accompany the specific cargo along with the AWB and commercial docs – but does not guarantee the safe arrival of goods at destination and a disclaimer by consignee might still be required. That can also be valid if the commercial transaction is with a trader – however the letter has to be issued by the government. Export customs declaration at origin, commercial invoice, packing lists, and AWBs have to clearly mention next to the commodity of the goods, that it is “Humanitarian aid“ on behalf of XXX government etc.