The World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretariat has organised the first WCO Workshop focusing on modernisation and standardisation of Customs Laboratories, which was held in Brussels, on 15 to16 January during the 35th Session of the Scientific Sub-Committee (SSC), the only global body which brings together experts in the field of Customs laboratories and technical areas.
Representatives of Customs laboratories from eight member administrations, i.e., Bulgaria, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, the European Union (EU), Japan, Korea, the Russian Federation and the US, and two international organizations, i.e., International Olive Council (IOC) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), made presentations during the Workshop.
The Workshop dealt with a variety of subjects that would be extremely important and useful to all Member administrations for modernisation and standardisation of their Customs laboratories, which included challenges, future actions and updates on the analysis techniques/methods being used for the purposes of the Harmonized System (HS) classification, identification of trade in controlled goods or drugs for the protection of our society. Delegates had a chance to conduct organoleptic tasting of various kind of olive oil specified in the accepted 2022 HS new tariff subheadings.
The Workshop provided a good opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with a view to enhancing the accuracy and effectiveness of laboratory analysis and promoting cooperation and networking between Customs laboratories. Based on the outcome of the Workshop, the SSC agreed to hold similar Workshops during future sessions as a regular Agenda Item to discuss specific themes and topics of common interest among the Customs laboratories.