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Colombia hosts a WCO National Workshop on Customs Laboratories and sampling procedures

27 octubre 2015

With sponsorship of CCF Japan, a WCO National Workshop on Customs Laboratories and sampling procedures was held in the offices of Colombian Customs in the Harbour of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), from 19 to 23 October 2015.

At the opening of the Workshop, Ms. Maria Eugenia Carpintero Carcedo, Regional Deputy Director of Chemistry-Technology in Barcelona  (Spain), highlighted the importance of correct sampling and appropriate sample handling by the Customs Laboratory to ensure the correct classification of certain commodities in the Harmonized System (HS). Also present at the opening, Ms. Martha Arrieta Diaz, Acting Director of the Cartagena de Indias Customs Section thanked the representatives from the Spanish Customs Administration and from the WCO Secretariat's Tariff and Trade affairs Directorate for facilitating the high level discussions on the modernization of the Customs Laboratory in Colombia.

During the Seminar the participants discussed relevant areas of sampling such as sample management, custody, safety and legal framework. Practical hands-on sessions using specific equipment for sampling of real commodities were conducted by participants. A detailed overview of the SAMANCTA (Sampling Manual for Customs and Tax Authorities), published by the EU, was also offered to the attendants.

The Workshop was closed by Ms. Claudia Gaviria, Director from Colombian Customs and Ms.Yamile Yepes, Subdirector of the Technical Unit of Colombian Customs. In her remarks, Ms. Gaviria detailed the efforts made by her Administration for the modernization of Colombian Customs and thanked the WCO for its contributions on the matter. She also emphasized the importance of the sampling procedures for a Customs Laboratory, as well as the correct and uniform classification of commodities in the HS and in the national Customs tariff for the well-functioning of the Colombian Customs Administration.