Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sub-regional Training on Technical Aspects of the CWC Transfers Regime Held in South Africa

The OPCW and National Authority of South Africa jointly organised a training course for customs officers in east and southern Africa on the technical aspects of the transfers’ regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It was held from 15 to 18 July 2014 in Centurion and attended by 38 participants from 18 States Parties* and two non-States Parties, Angola and Egypt.

The course was conducted under the auspices of the Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa on the CWC (“Africa Programme”) with additional funding from the government of Norway. Mr. Daan van Beek of the South African Council for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Department of Trade and Industry, opened the proceedings.

The agenda included overviews of the CWC and the OPCW; the role of National Authorities; the need for effective stakeholder engagement with customs authorities; the transfer-related provisions of the CWC; and identification of chemicals relevant to the Convention, including recommendations of the World Customs Organization to identify Scheduled chemicals in the Harmonised System. Participants were familiarized with the Handbook on Chemicals, the Online Scheduled Chemicals database, the OPCW Central Analytical Database and other relevant information resources.

Participants learned practical ways to implement the CWC’s provisions, and how to eliminate discrepancies between quantities of Scheduled chemicals declared by importing and exporting States Parties in respect of the same transfers. They discussed practical customs-related matters such as the control of Scheduled chemicals in ports and free zones, risk assessment, trans-shipments, and software for customs services. They also received an overview of how the South Africa Revenue Service handles imported and exported chemicals, including those on the CWC’s Schedules.

* Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


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