Regional Train-the-Trainers Workshop for the Americas and Caribbean (AMS) Spanish-speaking Customs Laboratory Chemists in Peru

01 July 2024

The World Customs Organization (WCO), with the support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF-Japan) and the National Superintendency of Customs and Tax Administration (SUNAT) of Peru, as WCO Vice-Chair for the Americas and the Caribbean Region and WCO Regional Customs Laboratory (RCL) Peru, held the “Americas and Caribbean (AMS) Regional Train-the-Trainers Workshop for Spanish-speaking Customs Laboratory Chemists from 17 to 21 June 2024 at the Regional Customs Laboratory of Peru in Lima.

Experienced Customs chemists from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru took part of the training. One WCO Technical Officer and an expert from Tokyo Customs Laboratory led the workshop.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Gerardo Lopez Gonzalez, National Superintendent of Customs and Tax Administration, thanked the WCO, and the Japan Customs Cooperation Fund, for their invaluable support in the organization of this event, demonstrating their commitment to strengthening the capacities of Customs officials in our region.

Mr. Gonzalez noted the increasing complexity and diversity of goods crossing our borders, which pose significant challenges in ensuring consumer safety, environmental protection and compliance with national regulations. He emphasized that Customs Laboratories play a crucial role in the tariff classification of goods, essential for tax collection, customs valuation, control of prohibited and restricted goods, and the protection of society.

The main objective of the workshop was to provide Customs laboratory chemists with updated knowledge and operational skills in chemical analysis of samples for Harmonized System (HS) tariff classification purposes, focusing on recent technologies and techniques, as well as the use of advanced instruments.

During the one-week workshop, participants examined the role and needs of Customs Laboratories, studied the HS and tariff classification related to Customs Laboratory matters, the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide and other tools, and shared experiences and insights.  Participants were divided into four groups, rotating through the three areas of study of the RCL of Peru(Textiles, Organic Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry) to complete various test methods. This allowed them to gain practical experience in chemical analysis, focusing on new technologies and techniques, as well as the use of sophisticated analytical equipment.

In his closing address, Mr. Fernando Nuňez Jauregui, Deputy National Superintendent of Customs, expressed gratitude to the WCO and the CCF (Japan). He highlighted that this event marked a milestone as the first in-person workshop for chemists held in the region. He stressed that the skills acquired during the workshop will be fundamental in strengthening capacity for Customs laboratories in the Americas and the Caribbean and encouraged participants to share their newfound knowledge. He also emphasized the importance of the correct use and application of the HS.