The 43rd WCO festive Session dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the creation of the WCO Enforcement Committee began in Brussels (Belgium). A large number of participants joined the meeting, which was held in a hybrid format, some of them were present at the WCO Headquarters, and others, in particular, the WCO Regional Dog Training Center (Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine), − online.

One of the issues on the agenda of the event was canine services, in particular, updated information on the development in the Canine Synthetic Drugs Detection Project, which is being implemented with the help of the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US Customs and Border Protection Service and WCO, was made public. Phase I of the project implementation is in progress, which comprises capacity building activities and workshops led by canine experts, is under discussion with the project donors, including the US State Department, and international anti-narcotics services and law enforcement agencies. During the Phase II a hands-on canine synthetic drugs detection training will be delivered by canine experts to selected beneficiary Members to enhance their canine detection capability. In addition, it is planned to hold regional training seminars on know-how in the field of training canine teams, as well as best practices in canine operations.

In addition, during the meeting, a representative of the Land Boundary Command Customs Canine Force of Hong Kong customs announced the holding of the 6th WCO Global Canine Forum which will be resumed in financial years 2023/2024 in Hong Kong, and expressed the belief that it should be a priority for the entire canine community, in particular, the identification of urgent today’s challenges in canine practice and dissemination of information about new national initiatives with the requisite canine training programmes and operational models (are being) rolled out by canine professionals of WCO member countries.

Regarding the Global Canine Forum, this event is held biannually and aims at bringing together stakeholders of canine facilities of WCO Members or other national authorities and experts from international organizations, to exchange expertise and best practices for developing a global standard and network of canine utilization in enforcement.