New Harmonised System Standards

December 7, 2016

THE World Customs Organisation (WCO) has announced the new and amended Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature which will come into effect on 1 January 2017.

Majority of the amendments went into greater detail to either facilitate collection and comparison of data or aid in the monitoring and control of trade or they merged headings/subheadings in order to reduce or remove redundant headings.

Some amendments of note are listed below

  • Fish and fishery product amendments – aimed at further enhancing the coverage of species and product forms which need to be monitored for food security purposes, and the better management of resources.
  • Classification of forestry products – to enhance the coverage of wood species and get a better picture of trade patterns. The modification will enable trade data on tropical wood to be identified, resulting in better statistics on the trade in tropical wood and better data on the use of non-tropical hardwoods. In addition, the amendments include new subheadings for the monitoring and control of certain bamboo and rattan products.
  • Antimalarial commodities – will facilitate classification work and the trade of these lifesaving products.
  • Certain substances under the Chemical Weapons Convention – to facilitate the collection and comparison of data on the international movement of these products
  • A number of hazardous chemicals controlled under the Rotterdam Convention and for certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) controlled under the Stockholm Convention. In some cases, there is confluence of control regimes for chemicals by both the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.
  • Pharmaceutical preparations containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or norephedrine, and for alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APPAN), a precursor for drugs – new subheadings have been created for the monitoring and control of these products
  • Headings 69.07 (unglazed ceramic products) and 69.08 (glazed ceramic products) were merged to take account of the fact that the main subheadings within these headings concern products which are essentially no longer manufactured, and the industry and trade no longer make a distinction between unglazed and glazed ceramic products, whilst new products with a very high trade volume are classified under subheadings 6907.90 and 6908.90 (‘Other’).
  • Furthermore, for purposes of adapting the HS to current trade practices, certain important products will be separately identified in either existing or new subheadings.
  • Advances in technology are also reflected in the amendments, for example, the size criteria for newsprint, light emitting diode (LED) lamps, multi-component integrated circuits (MCOs), and hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles.

The Seabridge team has systems in place to deal with the HS 2017 nomenclature changes from 1st January 2017, and that any clients effected by these changes for import and/or export clearance will be notified. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Seabridge on 1800 727 195.