Ensuring correct identification of goods through chemical laboratories is said to be crucial for Customs authorities globally.
Besides their traditional role of analysing goods for the determination of tariff classification, Customs laboratories are playing an ever increasing role in the protection of environment and society.
Their work is enabling better control of the trade in ozone depleting substances, pesticides, chemical weapons, narcotics and drug precursors, as well as enhancing consumer protection.
Mr. Ping Liu, Director of the Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), stated this at the WCO Regional Customs Laboratory Professionals Programme which commenced on 7 October 2019 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels.
The programme is under the sponsorship of Japan (CCF/Japan) and Korea (CCF/Korea). Seven experienced Customs chemists and classification officers from Azerbaijan, Jordan, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Uzbekistan are taking part in the Programme.
Liu highlighted the most recent WCO work regarding regional networking and cooperation on Customs laboratories in sharing good practices for improving the accuracy and effectiveness of Customs laboratory analysis work.
The Programme, launched in 2013 as the WCO/Japan Regional Customs Laboratories Programme, provides an opportunity for Customs chemists to expand and update their knowledge and skill in the chemical analysis of samples with a view to supporting the establishment and modernization of Customs laboratories.
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 be divided into two teams for six weeks training at the WCO Regional Customs Laboratory (RLC) in Japan or the Republic of Korea for gaining practical experience in chemical analysis that will focus on new technologies and techniques, as well as the use of sophisticated analytical equipment.