WCO Operation CATalyst 2 Briefing Seminar in combating New Psychoactive Substances held in Seoul, Republic of Korea

17 November 2017

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the Korea Customs Service (KCS) and the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO AP), organized the WCO “Operation CATalyst 2 Briefing Seminar” in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 7 to 8 November 2017.

The Seminar was attended by 107 participants from 42 Member administrations, 10 RILOs and 4 international organizations including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL, Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force (JAITF) and WCO Asia and Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB AP) and several domestic law enforcement agencies. The Seminar benefited from sponsorship by the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Korea).

In response to the rapid proliferation of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) across the globe, the WCO implemented “Operation CATalyst ” in cooperation with KCS and RILO AP.  Following the conclusion of the operation in November 2015 with fruitful results, a Debriefing Seminar was held in Brussels in August 2016 in which the outcomes of the Operation were shared.  Reflecting the recommendation and suggestions from the participating Members during the occasion, the KCS presented a plan to implement Operation CATalyst 2 during the 36th Session of the WCO Enforcement Committee.

The objective of this Briefing Seminar was to share updated trends in NPS trafficking and new challenges and best practices, as well as to discuss the operational plan for Operation CATalyst 2. Participants were engaged in active discussion to promote proactive measures against NPS and to facilitate information exchange and collaborative efforts during the Operation. The WCO Secretariat, in cooperation with KCS and RILO AP, will continue to provide support to Members and collaborate with international bodies in countering NPS smuggling and trafficking.