First WCO Workshop on Modernization and Standardization of Customs Laboratories Held

20 January 2020

The WCO Secretariat organized the first WCO Workshop focusing on modernization and standardization of Customs Laboratory, which was held at the WCO Headquarter in Brussels on 15-16 January 2020 during the 35th Session of the Scientific Sub-Committee (SSC), the only global body which brings together experts in the field of Customs laboratories and technical areas.

Representatives of Customs laboratories from eight Member administrations, i.e., Bulgaria, Canada, China, the EU, Japan, Korea, the Russian Federation and the US, and two international organizations, i.e., International Olive Council (IOC) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), made presentations during the Workshop.

The Workshop dealt with a variety of subjects that would be extremely important and useful to all Member administrations for modernization and standardization of their Customs laboratories, which included challenges, future actions and updates on the analysis techniques/methods being used for the purposes of HS classification, identification of trade in controlled goods or drugs for the protection of our society.  Delegates had a chance to conduct organoleptic tasting of various kind of olive oil specified in the accepted 2022 HS new subheadings.

The Workshop provided a good opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with a view to enhancing the accuracy and effectiveness of laboratory analysis and promoting cooperation and networking between Customs laboratories.  Based on the outcome of the Workshop, the SSC agreed to hold similar Workshops during future sessions as a regular Agenda Item to discuss specific themes and topics of common interest among the Customs laboratories.

“There is great potential for promoting the increasingly important role of Customs laboratories, which is expanding from revenue collection to social protection in a fast changing world.¬† The workshop provided a good opportunity for the WCO to use an appropriate global forum for Members to share experience and strengthen networking in the modernisation and standardisation of Customs laboratories.”, said Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO.