Advanced support to the Albanian Customs Laboratory in analysing solvents and chemicals

02 July 2019

A WCO National Workshop on the modernization of the Customs Laboratory in Albania was held at the Customs Laboratory in Tirana from 24 to 28 June 2019.  The Workshop was facilitated by a WCO Technical Officer and a WCO Accredited Trainer in Customs Laboratory matters from the Greek Customs Laboratory.

The Director of the Customs Laboratory of Albania, Mr. Arber Misja, emphasized the importance of his Customs Laboratory obtaining accreditation under ISO 17025 to enhance its technical competences.  He thanked the representatives from the WCO Secretariat and the Greek Customs Administration for facilitating the high level technical discussion on the modernization of the Customs Laboratory of Albania.

The Workshop focused on the classification and analysis of solvents and chemicals using Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry GC/MS with a view to achieving the uniform interpretation and application of the Harmonized System in the context of the WCO Strategic Plan Goal 2 i.e., “Promote fair, efficient and effective revenue collection”.  By introducing actual analysis practices applied in the Greek Customs Laboratory, comprehensive analysis methods were explained and demonstrated utilizing the technique of Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry for the determination of the content of aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene and xylenes) in solvents and other chemicals.  This included samples’ preparation, instrument’s configuration and calibration and processing and evaluation of the analysis results.  Furthermore, classification was also explained among EU Combined Nomenclature Codes of light and medium oils of heading 27.10, providing an in depth analysis of the classification of aviation fuels and kerosene in terms of the HS as well as the EU Combined Nomenclature.  Correct distinction between these petroleum oils and other organic products such as solvents is important for their correct classification in the HS leading to fair, efficient and effective revenue collection.

During the Workshop, the fundamental principles of the General Interpretative Rules, various HS classification techniques, especially relating to chemicals, and typical examples of the provisionally adopted HS 2022 amendments were also explained.