WCO International Seminar on Combating New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

28 May 2015

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the Korea Customs Service and the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO A/P), organized an "International Seminar on Combating New Psychoactive Substances" in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 19 to 22 May 2015.

The Seminar was attended by 78 participants from 24 Asia/Pacific Member administrations and representatives from eight RILOs, five international organizations (the International Narcotics Control Board, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, Europol and the United Nations Environment Programme), and six enforcement agencies (the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the Korean Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, the Korean National Police Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and US Homeland Security Investigations). The Seminar benefited from sponsorship by the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Korea).

There has been a rapid proliferation of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) around the world over the past decade. While NPS are not new on the illicit drug market, the recent increase in their range, potency and availability has made them a global public health and safety threat. As the NPS distribution network involves multiple countries, Customs administrations have a crucial role to play in intercepting NPS.

The Seminar objective was to raise awareness and build capacity among Customs administrations, challenged with the increasing variety and volume of NPS being traded. The Seminar also aimed to facilitate information exchange on current NPS smuggling operations and national responses against them, and, as a result, to promote effective enforcement actions and proactive control measures against NPS.