What is the Harmonized Classification System?
The Harmonized Classification System, or simply referred to as “HS,” is the international nomenclature for the classification of goods and products. This system allows countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for several customs purposes. The HS is used by more than 200 countries and economies in the world, and it serves as a basis for their customs tariffs, as well as for the collection of international trade statistics. The HS is also used heavily by governments, private sectors and international organizations for different purposes such as foreign tariffs, rules of origin, transportation statistics, economic research, internal taxes and many more. It is estimated that since its implementation in 1998, 98% of merchandise in international trade is classified in the Harmonized Classification System’s terms.
Recently, the World Customs Organization (WCO) announced that starting on January 1st of 2020, the seventh edition of the Harmonized Classification System will come into play. Since its implementation, the HS has undergone several changes according to the different economic and political scenarios in the world.
What will change in the 7th edition of the HS?
According to the WCO, the 2022 Harmonized Classification System will have 351 new amendments that will recognize and address new product streams as well as environmental and social issues.
Some of the most important amendments in the 7th edition include:
- Specific provisions for the classification of electrical and electronic waste, as well as for the classification of drones.
- Previous provisions for the diagnosis of infectious diseases tools will change to simplify classification.
- New subheadings for specific chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention, persistent organic pollutants controlled under the Stockholm Convention and certain hazardous chemicals controlled under the Rotterdam Convention.
- Smartphones will gain their own subheading.
- New provisions for placebo and clinal trial kits for medical research in order to assist in facilitating cross-border research in the medical industry.
- Major changes that will address gases controlled under the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol.
There is only one constant in the trade industry, and that constant is change. In a world where environmental, political and social issues are constantly coming into light, it is essential that the WCO continues to amend the Harmonized Classification System that will address what is best for countries, governments and societies.
At Thompson Ahern, one of our biggest priorities is to always keep up with the changes in our industry and ensure that our customers are always aware of what is happening in this ever-changing world. We are a full-service provider ready to assist with anything your business needs. If you have any questions about the HS or want more information about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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