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Algeria takes the first step to set up a Customs laboratory

26 marzo 2020

Within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for the Harmonized System in Africa, funded by the European Union, the WCO organized a national workshop in cooperation with the General Directorate of the Algerian Customs in order to assess the appropriate action plans for setting up a Customs laboratory in Algeria. The workshop took place in Algiers from March 9 to 12, 2020 and was facilitated by two chemistry experts from the Belgian and the Spanish Customs administrations.

Mr. Saci Toufik, Director of Taxation and Tax Bases of the General Directorate of the Algerian Customs, stressed the importance of the analytical work carried out by Customs laboratories for the purposes of revenue collection, protection of the society and the environment as well as trade facilitation and Customs modernization. He thanked the WCO Secretariat and the European Union for the support and collaboration for the organization of this workshop which was a forum for relevant discussions and reflections and a very important first step in the process of implementation of a Customs laboratory in Algeria.

Participants were able to exchange views with experts on various aspects related to the importance of a customs laboratory, its role and the process of setting it up. Discussions also focused on the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide, sampling procedures, different types of controlled substances, security and safety issues, as well as the management of Customs laboratories based on ISO 17025. Experts also shared information related to the infrastructure and design of Customs Laboratories of various sizes, including mobile Laboratories, based on examples from Europe.

The workshop was also an opportunity for participants to discuss and share their specific needs in terms of analytical work and relevant areas of analytical methodology. The various discussions contributed to effectually assess the possible action plans for establishing a Customs laboratory in the country. The conclusions and action plans were presented to the Director of Taxation and Tax Bases at the end of the workshop and will serve as the basis for the continuation of work on the implementation of a Customs laboratory in Algeria.

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