WCO holds a National Workshop on customs laboratories and tariff classification of chemical products in Burundi

23 May 2023

From 9 to 12 May 2023, the Burundi Revenue Authority (BRA) hosted a national workshop on Customs laboratories and HS classification of chemical products, which was delivered within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for the Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Félicité Nibigira, Director of Customs Operations in BRA, confirmed the desire of her administration to establish a Customs laboratory as another step in the modernisation of the Burundian Customs. She stressed the importance of Customs laboratories for the purposes of revenue collection, protection of the society and the environment as well as trade facilitation. She thanked the WCO and the European Union for the support and collaboration in this area of Customs work.

During the workshop, participants and the WCO expert discussed their analysis needs and relevant areas of analytical methodology, the infrastructure model and action plans for the establishment of a Customs Laboratory for the BRA. Discussions focused on the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide, sampling procedures, analysis of narcotics, security and safety issues, as well as laboratory information management systems (LIMS). In addition, the group was informed of the relevant available databases for the classification of chemical products.

The workshop was also an opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge of the relevant technical standards with regard to the infrastructure, instruments and staff of a Customs laboratory.

At the closing ceremony, Mr. Jean Damascene Bizimana, on behalf of the Commissioner, thanked the representative from the WCO Secretariat for facilitating the high-level discussion on this topic and expected that the workshop would facilitate the establishment of a Customs Laboratory for the Burundi Revenue Authority. He remarked that one of the main reasons why BRA intended to have their own Customs Laboratory was to promote trade facilitation by reducing the time required for classification.

This training is part of the work plan established with the Burundi Revenue Authority under the framework of the EU-WCO HS-Africa Programme. For more information, please contact hs@wcoomd.org