Chemists from Member Customs Laboratories meet at the WCO headquarters

21 January 2015

The 30th Session of the Scientific Sub-Committee (SSC) was held from 13 to 16 January 2015 and was attended by Customs laboratory staff from more than 30 WCO Member countries. The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) also participated in the meeting. The Sub-Committee examined the Harmonized System (HS) classification of more than 200 new pharmaceutical substances with a generic name, so-called INNs (International Nonproprietary Names) and provided replies to several questions raised by the HS Committee and the HS Review Sub-Committee regarding technical areas such as chemistry, biology and biochemistry.

The SSC also considered the impact of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on Customs laboratory matters, the scope of the next HS review cycle and the importance of regional cooperation and networking between Customs laboratories. In that connection, the Delegates of the EU and Japan delivered presentations in order to illustrate the activities conducted by the Customs Laboratories European Network (CLEN) and the WCO/Japan Regional Customs Laboratory, respectively. The Chairperson of the SSC encouraged the laboratories to further strengthen the cooperation at regional and world level.

The 2017 Edition of the Harmonized System Nomenclature will enter into force on 1 January 2017. In order to anticipate the changes arising from the new edition of the HS, the SSC also tackled the reclassification of more than 600 INNs as well as the consequential amendments to the Explanatory Notes in the area of the chemical or allied industries, which will be effective as from 1 January 2017. Finally, the modernization of the Customs Laboratory Guide was also discussed in detail by the Sub-Committee.