Whenever vehicles are used to transport goods belonging to the Red Cross Movement, it is strictly forbidden to transport:
- weapons of any sort
- any personal items or other freight not directly related to the operation requiring transport services
- people, be they Red Cross personnel, military, or beneficiaries. An exception would be providing urgent transport to the nearest medical facility, but this must, as far as possible, be agreed with a security or fleet manager beforehand and captured in an incident report upon return.
Any observed breach of these rules must be immediately reported in an incident report.
All incidents involving British Red Cross staff or property must be reported – refer to the British Red Cross or applicable National Society’s incident reporting procedure for information on how to do this.
Where British Red Cross delegates are seconded into another organisation such as theor , or where they are working under the umbrella of another organisation such as a , this organisation’s incident reporting procedure must also be followed, in parallel to that of British Red Cross.
Use of military transport means
As per the Movement guidelines on the use of military and civil defense assets (MCDA) in disaster relief:
“Military assets should only be used as a last resort, where there is no civilian alternative and only the use of military assets can meet a critical humanitarian need.”
No armed escort is allowed for shipments undertaken for the Red Cross Movement, unless:
- There is extremely pressing need (e.g., to save lives on a large scale).
- It represents no added security risk to beneficiaries.
- No one else can meet the needs.
- Armed protection is for deterrence and not firepower.
- Parties controlling the territory are in full agreement with armed escort.
- Protection against bandits/criminals is needed.
- Authorisation is given in advance, at the specified level – typically secretary general or senior director within the HNS and ICRC/IFRC in Geneva.
All military actors run the risk of not being perceived as neutral and jeopardising the Red Cross Movement’s commitment to neutrality and impartiality. Absolute rules in terms of using military resources are:
- Never use armed military transports.
- Never use the assets of a party involved in an armed conflict.
- Never use military assets simply because they are available.
Use of the RC emblem on transport not owned by Red Cross
Red Cross-owned fleet will always bear a Red Cross emblem. The decision on which emblem (, , British Red Cross or ) to use will be made in discussion with the lead Red Cross Movement partner and the HNS – this applies to both Red Cross-owned and Red Cross-rented vehicles.
Where fleet is rented, the emblem must be clearly visible on the rented vehicle (truck, small vehicle, boat, or plane).
On road vehicles, flags should be used at the front of the vehicle. The emblem, in whatever form, must be removed and retained by the Red Cross logistics or transport manager immediately after the vehicle is no longer serving the Movement.
Based on the above conditions, where the Red Cross agree to use military assets for transportation, vehicles must visibly carry the emblem.
Read the next section on Transport documentation here.
Download full section here.
Stock that is not used by its owner should be donated or disposed of, depending on the context and on the quality of the items. In either case, the stock movement must be recorded like any other, and the value of stock transferred must come off the inventory. Stocks owned by the British Red Cross are written off, i.e. taken off the logistics balance sheet.
The British Red Cross has determined the following priority order, through which asset/inventory disposal must be executed:
- Donation to
- Donation to Movement
- Donation to local partner
- Donation to another humanitarian actor
Donation to staff is strictly prohibited, though staff and volunteers are permitted to bid on items which are on sale.
There are various reasons to write stock off:
Before donating stock, make sure that:
The prospective receiver wants the items -> ask: “Do you want the items?”
The prospective receiver can safely use the items -> ask: “Can you provide guarantees that you have the means to use and control the items safely?”
A donation can be made to a partner organisation or to a separate project within the same organisation, though it is then more of a transfer.
In all cases, the process to follow is the same:
The donation certificate:
- Must include at least an estimate of the total value of the donated items.
- Must be approved as per the approval matrix: the higher the value of the items donated, the more senior the approver – follow guidance in the Registering assets section of the Assets chapter.
- Must be signed by the stock owner (programme manager) and the receiving organisation/partner.
Finance must be informed of the value of the donated or transferred stock so they can reallocate the values accordingly. Ideally, the total value of donated stock must be communicated to finance on at least a yearly basis, through a donation report.
When receiving donated stock, the donating partner or programme must raise the donation certificate, and the receiver of the donation must record the quantity as an inbound stock movement. The total value of received stock must be reported on a similar basis as the donated stock. See stock donation tracker format. The format must be used for recording asset and stock donations – see the Assets chapter for more details on asset donations.
Disposing of stock
Disposing of stock means destroying it and should be a last resort. Where stock is disposed of, this must be done in a safe and legally compliant way.
The process to follow is:
The disposal certificate must:
- include at least an estimate of the total value of the disposed items
- be approved as per the approval matrix: the higher the value of the items disposed of, the more senior the approver – follow guidance in the Registering assets section of the Assets chapter
- be signed by the stock owner (programme manager) and the receiving organisation/partner.
Finance must be informed of the value of the disposed stocks, so they can write its value off accordingly. Ideally, the total value of disposed stock must be communicated to finance on at least a yearly basis, through a donation report.
When disposing of food items, medical supplies, dangerous goods or chemicals, it is recommended to liaise with the appropriate local authorities to understand the rules that apply. Where destruction is required, it must be documented by a destruction certificate, signed by the disposing of the stock and the authority overseeing the destruction. Note that authorities usually charge a fee for destruction.
If stock is returned to the UK damaged or if items in stock in the UK or in any of the global stock write-off form, in which the logistics officer must justify the reasons for the write-off and propose options for dealing with the stock which could include:warehouses expire (e.g., water purification drops, first aid kit), they must be written off in a
- Donating items (e.g., to shops or UK operations). If items or equipment are in good condition and have resale potential, contact the eBay manager in retail who will consider them for posting on eBay.
- Recycling or disposing items. Radios, satellite phones and electronics need to be disposed of properly and the TA should contact IT or a supplier to dispose of items properly.
The logistics officer documents different options, stating the preferred option in the recommendation section and gets this signed off by the head of logistics.
When the form is signed, the logistics officer gets this agreed or written off by finance and actions the agreed outcome.
Note: additional funds will need to be requested for higher value asset write-offs, as they are deducted from logistics management’s budget.
Recording a stock loss or theft
An incident report must be completed when stock is stolen or lost to damage, destruction or bad management, where the total value of the loss is above £100.
The incident report must be raised by the warehouse staff in charge of the stock, with proposed follow-up actions reviewed by the Logistics delegate and approved by the logistics coordinator. The incident report must specify the estimated value of the total loss.
Where the incident report is raised to report on stocks held in SOPs for more details on these procedures., Bulwick or in the ’s , the incident report must be prepared by the logistics officer, reviewed by the logistics manager and approved by head of logistics and international finance. See
The quantities declared as lost must be reported on the stock card and report, with reference to the incident report.
Read the next section on Health and safety in the warehouse here.