Laws and policies for receiving regional assistance.
Compared to other aspects of regional preparedness and and response, there is much more legal regulation about receiving regional (international) assistance. This has been an area of focus for the IFRC and National Society partners for more than a decade through the International Disaster Response Laws Rules and Principles (IDRL) Guidelines and supporting tools.
- Seven of the country laws had some form of mandate on receiving international assistance – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
- The most detailed sets of such provisions were in the Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines frameworks, (although the Indonesian regulations do not regulate interstate assistance).
Examples for peer sharing
- Cambodia – a chapter of the 2015 DM Law is devoted to the question of receiving and coordinating international assistance. The law also requires more detailed rules to be made in the form of a decree.
- Myanmar – Article 5 gives the National Committee responsibilities to recommend on sending, accepting and transiting international humanitarian relief. It also has much more detailed regulation in the Disaster Management Rules (Chapter X). A whole chapter in the Rules covers “Communication and Collaboration with Assisting International Actors.”
Tax exemptions for imported relief items
ASEAN MS laws can also make it easier for international assistance to arrive in their territory when they need it by using tax exemptions on imported relief items. These were provided for in the laws of Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Viet Nam, although not automatically without further government action.
The types of tax relief on incoming humanitarian assistance during disasters are quite general in nature. These are:
- Cambodia – the DM Law provides for tax exemption on humanitarian goods (Chapter 10, especially Article 31);
- Indonesia – the regulation allows for tax relief, but a government decision is needed in each case or for each period.
- Myanmar – the NDM Law gives tax exemptions for “food, relief items and rehabilitation materials” during disasters (Article 32).
- The Philippines – the DRRM Act provides for tax exemptions for humanitarian assistance under certain conditions (Article 18).
- Viet Nam – the Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Law 2013 allows tax exemption on humanitarian goods as well as facilitated entry and exit of relief personnel (Article 41).