National Workshop on the Harmonized System in the Bahamas

09 November 2018

In the context of a comprehensive organizational development programme by the Bahamas Customs and Excise Department (BCED), a national workshop on the Harmonized System (HS) was conducted by the WCO in Nassau, from 15 to 19 October 2018. The workshop was aimed at reviewing the most essential theoretical and practical aspects of the HS and tariff classification practices in order to sustain and develop the capacity of the Bahamian Administration in the area of tariff classification work.

The workshop was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank as part of its Trade Sector Support Programme for the Bahamas. It was delivered as part of a wider initiative to support the BCED under the WCO-Mercator Programme aiming to help the Bahamas align with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

With about 60 percent of the total state revenue in the Bahamas being raised from import tariffs, it is difficult to overestimate the prominence of the tariff classification work in the revenue collection function of Customs. The workshop was therefore well received and well attended, with 20 officers from a number of different units concerned with commodity classification joining the event. The participants actively deliberated on a number of issues related to handling practical classification issues, in particular, uniformity in the application of the General Interpretative Rules, identification and description of commodities, classification of articles considered as ‘parts’ and use of various classification tools and instruments.

With a view of building on this momentum and further enhancing the capacity of the BCED in the area of tariff classification, several officers from the participants have been identified as candidates to become in-house trainers, for whom the WCO will schedule additional training events in the near future.

The workshop turned out to be an important event in addressing issues of tariff classification, known to be one of the most important and complex areas of Customs’ work. For more information about this activity, please contact