WCO International Seminar on Countering New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

06 October 2016

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the Korea Customs Service and the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for the Asia /Pacific Region, organized a global “Operation CATalyst Debriefing Seminar” in Brussels, Belgium from 30 August to 1 September 2016.

The Seminar was attended by 50 participants from 34 Member administrations, seven RILOs and three international organizations including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), EUROPOL, and the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF). The Seminar benefited from sponsorship by the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Korea).

The proliferation of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in terms of their range, potency and availability is alarming, resulting in a global public health and safety threat.  As the distribution networks of NPS involve multiple countries, Customs administrations play a crucial role in intercepting NPS at the borders. Targeting this rapid proliferation of NPS across the globe, Operation CATalyst was initiated to promote responses, and consolidate efforts among the international Customs community against this threat. The Operation was concluded on 30 November 2015 with successful results.

The Seminar objectives consisted in reviewing the achievements of Customs enforcement efforts, examining the challenges and difficulties, and to discussing the way forward. The participants discussed global Customs strategies and reaffirmed their commitment to deploy appropriate Customs measures to counter NPS. The Seminar also aimed to enhance global collaboration and information exchange, and to promote enforcement responses and proactive control measures.

The WCO, in cooperation with the Korea Customs Service, will continue to provide support to Members and collaborate with international bodies in countering NPS smuggling and trafficking.



1. Welcoming speech by WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya;  

2. Keynote speech by Director General of Investigation and Surveillance Bureau Kwang-ho Kim, Korea Customs Service;

3. Closing speech by Director of WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate Ana Hinojosa;

4. The audience during the Seminar at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium;

5. Group photo of the participants.