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Collaboration with the WCO highlighted at the BRS Conference in Geneva

14 mayo 2019

At the invitation of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, the WCO Secretariat spoke at the side event of the BRS Conference of the Parties (2019 COPs), held in Geneva on 8th May 2019, about the cooperation between the WCO and the BRS Conference Secretariats in using the Harmonized System (HS) to address environmental and social issues.

The BRS Conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.  From 29 April to 10 May 2019, the 2019 COPs meetings were held with the theme “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”.

The WCO has maintained a long standing and fruitful cooperation with the Secretariat of BRS Conventions in recognition of the important role played by customs in facilitating the implementation of the BRS Conventions and in working together in areas of the identification of the controlled goods in the HS. In this regard, the WCO has introduced many HS codes for goods posing environmental and human health threats to facilitate the monitoring and control of their trade.

In her speech to the participants at the event, the representative of the WCO Secretariat highlighted the nature of the HS and its use as a useful tool to address environmental and social issues. She further gave guidance on how to craft a successful proposal to add HS codes, including practical guidance on the appropriate wording for border measures, to facilitate the HS amendment process in this area.

The Secretariats of the two organizations expressed their mutual appreciation for the good working relationship, and shared the importance of further cooperation in measures for protecting our planet and people.