Opening of the first Regional Customs Laboratory

13 November 2014

Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the opening ceremony of the Asia/Pacific Regional Customs Laboratory (RCL) in Kashiwa, Japan on 12 November 2014. It was held in conjunction with the WCO Regional Seminar on Customs Laboratory and Chemical Analysis.

The Secretary General praised the Asia/Pacific region for its other innovative approach in establishing a regional hub for the network of Customs laboratories, sharing expertise and information. In the same manner as the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) and its network with Regional Training Centres (RTCs), he wished great success to this newly created platform for regional cooperation which is especially important for accurate analysis of goods, classification and effective enforcement activities. The Director General of Japan’s Customs and Tariff Bureau, Yutaka Miyauchi, emphasized the importance of the Customs Laboratory in revenue collection, protection of society and trade facilitation while asking for regional support for this new regional structure. The Director General of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and WCO Vice-Chair for the Asia/Pacific region, Dato’ Khazali Ahmad, welcomed this fresh initiative by Japan Customs  benefiting the region, especially Customs chemists, classification specialists and enforcement officers, and pledged his support for the RCL on behalf of Members of the WCO’s Asia/Pacific region.

Secretary General Mikuriya then delivered a commemorative speech in which he put into context the significant contribution made by Customs laboratories within the changing environment in which Customs administrations operate.

Earlier that day he spoke at the WTO Research Center of Aoyama Gakuin University, where representatives of Customs, business and academia had gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Japan's accession to the WCO in 1964.