DEMETER VIII Kick-off Meeting
07 Sep 2022
The DEMETER VIII Kick-off Meeting was held on 1 September 2022 through a webinar. The meeting started with welcoming remarks from the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya. He not only introduced the purpose, necessity, and expectations of the operation, but also requested as many contributions as possible in the Asia Pacific region. After his warm remarks, statements and presentations from the Vice-Minister of the General Administration of China Customs, the WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Head of Branch of OzonAction, the Director of the European Anti-Fraud Office, the WCO Environment Programme, the Deputy Head of RILO Asia-Pacific, and the coordinator of RILO Asia-Pacific followed the next.
Operation Demeter was initiated to unite customs’ and partners’ efforts to clamp down on the illegal transboundary movement of dangerous waste controlled under the Basel Convention (i.e. the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal), as well as ozone depleting gases and other gases controlled under the Montreal Protocol (i.e. the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer).
Last year, this operation was successfully conducted in the latter part with the support of various international organizations. During Operation DEMETER VII, 87 participating Customs administrations seized over 4,023,621kg of waste and additional 6,441 pieces (not weighed), and over 6,913kg (878 cylinders) and 453 additional items containing substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol.
With the successful outcome of the previous operation, a proposal for the implementation of Operation DEMETER VIII was endorsed during the 42nd Session of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Enforcement Committee, held from 28 March to 1 April 2022. Since the result of the operation basically depends on the support from participating countries or regions, it is highly recommended to show close attention and to input as many seizure cases as the participants can.