22nd January 2020, Skopje – Sophisticated and modern equipment and apparatus have been procured for the Customs Laboratory with EU grant funds amounting to EUR 372,650 through IPA funds. Today, Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska, EU Ambassador to Macedonia Samuel Žbogar and Customs Administration Director Gjoko Tanasoski visited the Customs Laboratory, checking the new equipment.

Instruments and auxiliary equipment have been procured, mainly chromatographic techniques examining markers in extra light fuel oil and oil derivatives, quality of oil derivatives and Sulphur contents, alcohol contents in alcoholic beverages and sugar and fat contents in food products.

Finance Minister Angelovska pointed out that by equipping the laboratory, the Customs Administration will be able to provide more efficient services when protecting citizens’ health and the environment, collecting customs duties in the budget, also leading to fair market competition She said that all goods, starting from the food on the plates up to the fuels in the car tanks, pass through the Customs Laboratory.

-For instance, so far, oil derivatives have been tested using classical methods that have lasted longer, using larger samples not having the same quality of the achieved results. At present, sophisticated equipment purchased in a shorter time period, with smaller sample size yields results with better quality. So far, the majority of the analyses of oil derivatives, have been made through outsourced laboratories, tenders being announced therefor, which required additional costs and time. Now this will not be the case, i.e. the examinations are to be carried out in this laboratory – Angelovska said.

Minister pointed out that, in addition to the equipment in the customs laboratory, investments were also made in the field of human capital, i.e. the employees were trained about the new equipment through a twinning program.

EU Ambassador Žbogar underlined that the new equipment will contribute to security and safety of products, as well as health of the citizens and healthier environment, also providing for prevention of frauds and efficient collection of excise duties and customs duties.

-This equipment, which is located in the Institute of Chemistry, shows that scientists, workers and public institutions can work together and contribute to the well-being of citizens and the society as a whole – Žbogar said.

The modernization of the Customs Laboratory is also foreseen under the Strategic Plan of the Customs Administration 2018-2020.

-The final objective of the modernization of the Customs Laboratory are the activities aimed at fulfilling the requirements for accreditation of the Customs Laboratory in accordance with ISO 17025: 2017, which should be implemented in the course of 2020 – Director of the Customs Administration Tanasoski said.

So far, contracts amounting to EUR 8.8 million have been concluded through IPA, aimed at supporting projects in the customs field, i.e. strengthening administrative capacities, software and other projects for the purpose of modernizing the Customs Administration and harmonizing with the European practice and acquis.

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