National Green Customs Training workshop for Customs officers organized in Ningbo, China
13 August 2014
At the request of Anti-smuggling Bureau of General Administration of China Customs (GACC/ASB) based on its capacity building needs, REN, GACC/ASB and the Basel Convention Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific (BCRC China), jointly organized the National Green Customs Training workshop for Customs officers on 24-25 July in Ningbo, China focusing on illegal trade in waste and e-waste.
The meeting aimed to enhance the understanding of the “Green Customs” and to increase the institutional and individual capacity of the China Customs officers on prevention and control of transboundary illegal trafficking of waste/e-waste, as well as stock-taking of China customs officers’ experiences on combating illegal trade in waste/e-waste during the “Greenfence” initiative and the WCO “Demeter III” Operation. 
The topics covered in the workshop included the background and achievements of the Green Customs Initiative; multilateral environmental agreements and the role of customs; the trends in illegal trade in chemicals and waste, global and regional solutions; the Basel Convention implementation requirements, progress and challenges for combating illegal transboundary movements of waste; and China’s regulations and licensing on waste import and export and the implementation requirements. The lectures also included customs border protection and non-tax-related investigation including the controlling of illegal waste shipments. The World Customs Organization’s Regional Information Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific introduced its function and development, as well as the latest international situation in combating waste and chemicals environmental crime, thematic approach and case studies. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), Netherlands gave an updates on the situation, trends, case studies and management experience of EU in preventing and controlling hazardous waste and e-waste illegal shipments. Group discussions took place to discuss the problems and difficulties in combating illegal trade of waste and chemicals, and put forward some useful recommendations including improving information exchange and strengthening cooperation between customs and environmental authorities; setting up specific disposal of seized waste and take-back procedures; establishing clearer criteria for waste inspection and providing basic training to customs officers as well as monitoring the repatriated waste shipments.
The workshop enhanced the technical skills of frontline customs officers in China in detecting, monitoring, controlling and reporting, repatriating of waste/e-waste, in particular, those listed under the Basel Convention and other Multilateral Environment Agreements. It also explored opportunities for further cooperation between customs and environmental authorities on the implementation of the waste import/export licensing/quota system, and to combatting illegal trade in waste/e-waste.