On 24 June 2021, Dr. Ni Yuefeng, Minister of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), and Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), completed the signing process for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a WCO Regional Customs Laboratory (RCL) in China, officially conferring this status on the GACC’s Nanjing Customs Laboratory.
Located in Nanjing, China, Nanjing Customs Laboratory boasts a favourable geographical location, great technical strength, advanced testing equipment and rich training experience. The laboratory is specialized in multiple areas: testing and analysis of agricultural and food products, mineral products and textile products; grading and classification of the nine categories of dangerous goods, as stipulated by the United Nations, and dangerous goods packaging appraisal; detection of toxic and hazardous substances in consumer products and radioactivity of mineral products; and identification of rare woods, ivory, endangered species, etc.
Minister Ni Yuefeng expressed his firm commitment to making the expertise and facilities of Nanjing Customs Laboratory available to WCO Members in the Asia/Pacific (A/P) region, so as to enhance information sharing in that region. The above-mentioned expertise and facilities will also be used to organize workshops and seminars on analysis methodologies and techniques to ensure more efficient revenue collection, to protect society and to facilitate trade. Minister Ni also expressed China Customs’ willingness to make further contributions to knowledge sharing among Members and to WCO capacity building efforts through WCO regional entities located in China and the WCO Customs Cooperation Fund of China (CCF-China).
Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his great appreciation for the initiative to make Nanjing Customs Laboratory an RCL. He underlined the important role played by RCLs in helping WCO Members improve the accuracy and effectiveness of Customs laboratory analysis work by extending and enhancing regional cooperation and networking, while ensuring effective coordination with other RCLs. In conclusion, Dr. Mikuriya highlighted the importance of capacity building in order to strengthen Customs’ resilience by increasing staff preparedness for pandemics and other potentially unpredictable situations.