6th WCO Customs Laboratory Programme kick-started

17 octubre 2018

The 6th Customs Laboratory Programme commenced on 15 October 2018 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, under the sponsorship of Japan (CCF/Japan).  Six experienced Customs chemists and classification officers from Guatemala, India, Mongolia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Uganda and Viet Nam take part in the Programme.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Ping Liu, Director of the Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate of the WCO emphasized that, in addition to their traditional role in ensuring proper tariff classification, Customs laboratories are nowadays playing a greater role in the protection of environment and society, such as controlling the trade in ozone depleting substances, pesticides and chemical weapons, narcotics and drug precursors, as well as consumer protection.  He highlighted the most recent WCO work regarding Customs laboratories including regional cooperation on Customs laboratories in sharing good practices for improving the accuracy and effectiveness of Customs laboratory analysis work.

During the Programme, participants were also given an opportunity to pay a courtesy visit to the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, where he expressed his warm welcome and expectation that they will enhance their knowledge and expertise and develop professional networks.  He wished them every success in this important Programme.

The Programme is an initiative for supporting the establishment and modernization of Customs laboratories.  The focus is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs Laboratories in the participants’ administrations.  Following the one-week Workshop at the WCO, during which the participants will study WCO HS tools intended for Customs chemists, including the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide, the participants will travel to Japan for practical training for six weeks.  The WCO Regional Customs Laboratory in Japan, which is a "WCO Regional Customs Laboratory" by virtue of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed by the WCO and Japan Customs in June 2014, will provide a course on chemical analysis methods that will focus on new technologies and techniques, as well as the use of sophisticated analytical equipment.