The OPCW and National Authority of the Republic of Serbia jointly organised a training course for customs officers of the States Parties in Eastern Europe on the technical aspects of the transfer regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It was held from 8 to 11 September 2015 in Belgrade and attended by 33 participants from 17 States Parties*.
In the framework of established bilateral cooperation between the OPCW and the WCO, the agenda included the topics related to CWC and Harmonised System Convention (HS Convention) respectively. The CWC related topics covered: Overview of the CWC and the OPCW; the Role of National Authorities and its Interaction with Customs Authorities; Chemicals to be monitored by CWC; Transfer Provisions of the CWC; Identification of CWC Scheduled Chemicals using the OPCW tools; and Common Problems in Reporting Imports and Exports by CWC. The topics related to HS Convention covered: Introduction to Customs Control of Chemicals Shipment; Identification of CWC scheduled Chemicals using Harmonised System and other Sources of Information; Practical Issues in Controlling Chemical Trade’; and Case Studies relevant to CWC.
Participants were familiarized with the OPCW tools of identification of CWC Scheduled chemicals such as Handbook on Chemicals, the Online Scheduled Chemicals Database, the OPCW Central Analytical Database, Brochure on Most Traded Scheduled Chemicals and other relevant sources of information.
The course also covered practical exercises on scenarios regarding import and export of CWC scheduled chemicals and hands-on exercise on identification of CWC scheduled chemicals using the OPCW tools and other source of information.
Participants learned practical ways how to implement the CWC transfer provisions and how to identify globally traded CWC scheduled chemicals to be reported to their National Authorities to CWC. The participants shared their national experience in practical matters such as the control of CWC scheduled chemicals in ports and free zones, risk assessment, trans-shipments, and software for customs services.
Based on being familiarised with the main technical aspects of the CWC transfers regime and being provided with the necessary tools to improve the train-a-trainer skills, the participants delivered the presentations on the four key areas: Capacity Building for Identification of CWC Scheduled chemicals; Risk Assessment and Customs Software; Transfer Provisions of the CWC; and Identification and Engagement with Relevant Stakeholders in the National Implementation of CWC Transfer Provisions.
* Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.