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Algerian experts undertake a study visit to the Dutch Customs laboratory under the EU WCO HS Africa Programme

29 noviembre 2022

As part of Algeria’s ongoing work to set up a national Customs laboratory, a group of experts from the Algerian administration visited the Dutch Customs laboratory to study the work organization methods, the infrastructure and the technology used by the administration of the Netherlands in that domain. The study visit was hosted by the Customs laboratory of Amsterdam and took place on 22 and 23 November 2022. It was organized as part of the continuous support being provided to Algeria by the WCO within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union.

The study visit was conducted to follow-up on the outcomes of two earlier in-country workshops on Customs laboratories that the HS-Africa Programme had organized in Algeria in March 2020 and February 2022. It was co-facilitated by a laboratory expert of the Spanish Customs administration, who has attended one of the earlier workshops, and a representative of the HS-Africa Programme.

During the study visit, the Algerian Customs experts explored the premises of the laboratory of Amsterdam and were introduced to the methods and equipment used to analyse various categories of merchandise, along with the sampling techniques, safety requirements, laboratory accreditation standards and procedural aspects of laboratory work. As the Algerian administration is planning to build a new facility for its Customs laboratory, special attention was paid to the examination of the overall design of the premises and the basic infrastructure required for a laboratory. Algerian experts and Dutch experts exchanged views on the ways in which laboratory work can best be handled within Customs administrations.

Given the role that Customs laboratories play in the tariff classification work of Customs, a dedicated session was delivered on the cooperation between the Dutch National Classification Team and the Customs laboratory. A detailed presentation on the national tariff classification work model of the Netherlands was delivered, in which the Classification Team addressed some of the most essential technical aspects of the EU binding tariff information system, commodity classification and the role played by the laboratory to facilitate that work.

The study visit was highly appreciated by the Algerian experts, who reiterated their administration’s sustained commitment to set up a modern Customs laboratory in the country, based on the information received from the Dutch experts during the visit. The Algerian experts stressed that the visit would make a great difference for them in understanding the complexity and challenges inherent in the implementation of a Customs laboratory, and in inspiring their administration to follow all of the modern standards in Customs laboratory work.

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