WCO participated in the 8th Seminar of European Customs Chemists

11 July 2023

The European Commission Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union through the Customs Laboratories European Network (CLEN), in collaboration with the German Customs Administration, organized the 8th Seminar of European Customs Chemists that was held from 4th to 6th July 2023 in Berlin, Germany.

The event was attended by Customs Chemists of around 45 countries, including the EU, from across different Customs Laboratories in the world.

The activities that were developed in plenary and parallel sessions covered, among others, the following topics: Green Customs, Green Laboratories, EU REACH regulation, food fraud, NMR-related analyses, alcohol and foods, quality management, mobile diagnostics, biomolecular analysis, drugs and precursors, tobacco and smoking products, the presentation of posters of different analytical work and cooperation between Customs Laboratories.

The WCO presented the results of the series of symposia on visualizing a greener HS and possible ways to make the HS increasingly green. The WCO also co-chaired the session on cooperation between Customs Laboratories across the world.

In addition, the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa supported delegates from Kenya, Uganda and Ghana to attend the seminar. This was an opportunity for the delegates to familiarize themselves with the latest developments in analytical techniques, Customs laboratory technologies and data platforms utilized by different Customs Chemists. The delegates made valuable contributions concerning their own initiatives while underscoring the importance of strengthened international collaboration in the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the area of Customs laboratories.

At the end of the Seminar, several ideas to increase cooperation between Customs Laboratories were discussed, such as sharing analytical methods, libraries of specific illegal chemical substances, sampling procedures and expertise, as well as using the WCO dedicated webpage to Customs Laboratories to share such information.   

The WCO proposed the Customs Laboratories of developed countries to donate used, but functioning analytical equipment to less developed countries to strengthen the functioning of Customs Laboratories around the world.