Ghana Revenue Authority takes a step towards modernizing the Customs Laboratory

09 February 2024

The World Customs Organization (WCO) under the auspices of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union, held a national workshop on the modernization of the Customs Laboratory of Ghana Customs in Accra, Ghana from 23 to 26 January 2024.  The Workshop was attended by 15 Customs Officers involved in Customs Laboratory and Harmonized System classification matters from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

During the opening of the workshop, Mr. Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu, GRA Commissioner of Customs, along with GRA top management representing operations, capacity building, and Customs Laboratory, thanked the European Union and the WCO for the continuous support and excellent partnership. They stressed the importance of this workshop in their efforts to modernize the Customs laboratory and align to international standards. In their remarks, they referred to the importance of a well performing Customs Laboratory for the correct collection of Customs duties and for the uniform classification of commodities in the national Customs tariff as well as for the protection of the society and environment.  The possibility of becoming a WCO Regional Customs Laboratory is a vision that is envisaged and such activities were echoed as being key factors to achieving this goal.

This workshop is part of an overall WCO support to assist GRA modernize its Customs laboratory, and follows a series of activities organized under the HS Africa Programme benefiting GRA Customs Laboratory team including involvement in study visits, and technical seminars and networks.  

A number of areas relating to Customs laboratories were discussed in detail. Participants were informed of the structure and functions of several WCO Regional Customs Laboratories. The possibility and requirements of becoming a regional Customs laboratory was also discussed in detail. The facilitator explained in detail the activities of the Customs Laboratory European Network (CLEN) and the possibilities that the instruments developed by CLEN might offer to the GRA. Discussions focused on the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide, sampling procedures, security and safety issues, as well as laboratory information management systems (LIMS).

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. The activity included a visit of the experts to the existing facilities of the Customs Laboratory of GRA.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Erick Koko, Director of the Customs Laboratory, thanked the WCO and the European Union for the support and collaboration in this area of Customs work, and confirmed his Administration’s interest in becoming part of the WCO Regional Customs Laboratories Programme.