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Nomenclature and Classification of Goods

All imported and exported goods must be classified for Customs purposes. Each separate product is assigned a particular classification code.

Most countries classify goods in accordance with the WCO harmonized commodity description and coding system, popularly known as the Harmonized System (HS), which came into effect in 1988.

In this section you will find the latest version of the international HS nomenclature, known as HS 2012, previous versions of the nomenclature, as well as key information regarding classification work and associated infrastructure. read more



With a few exceptions, most countries levy ad valorem Customs duties (i.e. duty is levied on the value of the goods). Consequently, the actual amount of duty will depend on the dutiable value determined by Customs.

The WTO Valuation Agreement, adopted in 1994, introduced a valuation system based primarily on the transaction value of imported goods (i.e., the price actually paid or payable), which now governs the majority of world trade. The WCO ensures the uniform interpretation and application of Agreement at the technical level.

In this section you will find the decisions related to valuation, as well as information on valuation verification and other material. read more



Origin is the "economic nationality” of goods in international trade. There is no international definition of origin, although a distinction is made between two systems: preferential and non-preferential.

In the case of preferential origin, everything is based on bilateral or multilateral agreements. In the case of non-preferential origin each country applies its own rules.

In this section you will find guidance material aimed at improving the understanding and proper application of rules of origin, information on the harmonization of non-preferential rules of origin and the work of the WCO and the WTO in this domain. read more

Enforcement & Compliance

Enforcement and Compliance

Customs enforcement covers a wide range of activities relating to combating commercial fraud, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, money laundering, and electronic crime, as well as the smuggling of highly taxed goods, arms, nuclear materials, toxic waste, cultural goods and endangered species of plants and animals among others.

In this section you will find information by crime areas on the activities undertaken by the WCO, including enforcement operations. It also presents WCO trade security programmes, enforcement instruments and tools as well as publications dealing with security and fraud in general.read more

Procedures & Facilitation

Procedures and Facilitation

Economic well-being and wealth creation are driven by trade, and Customs administrations play a vital role when it comes to the facilitation of international trade at borders.

In order to simplify and harmonize Customs procedures, the WCO has developed a host of tools and resources, including the Revised Kyoto Convention, the Data Model and the Time Release Study, and promotes concepts such coordinated border management and risk management.

In this section, you will find all these tools and a many others that assist Customs administrations to effectively implement trade facilitation programmes, and ultimately boost economic competitiveness and growth.

read more

Capacity Building

Capacity Building

Members of the WCO are at all stages of economic development, requiring customized solutions and assistance to meet the challenges of today’s trade environment.

The WCO provides focused capacity building and technical assistance that includes management and leadership development programmes.

In this section you will find information on the WCO strategic roadmap for reform and modernization, the different programmes managed by the Organization in this area, including the donor engagement activities, as well as all available resources. read more



Integrity is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of a Customs administration, as corruption can distort trade and investment opportunities, undermine public trust in government authorities and ultimately jeopardise the well-being of citizens.

For over 30 years the WCO has played an active role in addressing the complex problem of corruption in Customs which culminated in the adoption, in 1993, of the Arusha Declaration on Integrity in Customs, which was revised in 2003.

In this section you will find information on the WCO’s integrity strategy and programme, the tools it has developed to promote integrity, as well as the numerous activities being undertaken in this domain at national and regional levels.read more



The active pursuit of knowledge is vital in creating innovative instruments and original solutions. This is why the WCO added a research function to its already impressive portfolio of instruments, tools, and programmes.

In this section, you will find the WCO Research Paper Series, which is a collection of papers on essential Customs topics, as well as information on the WCO’s Club de la Réforme, an online community think tank where customs officials, academics, researchers, and the private sector can “meet” to share and exchange knowledge-based information on Customs and international trade subjects.read more