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57th Session Harmonized System Committee Concludes

01 abril 2016

The WCO Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 57th Session from 9 to 18 March 2016 at the WCO headquarters in Brussels. More than 120 participants representing 61 Contracting Parties to the HS Convention, one WCO Member administration and five international organizations attended.

The HSC took 326 classification decisions (including 305 decisions relating to pharmaceutical (INN) products in connection with the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products), adopted 15 sets of amendments to the Explanatory Notes and approved 16 new Classification Opinions. When deemed approved by the WCO Council at the end of May 2016, these classification decisions (except for those in respect of which requests for re-examination will be entered) and amendments to the Explanatory Notes and Compendium of Classification Opinions will be made available on the WCO website.

In support to the WCO Programme Global Shield (PGS), the HSC approved a draft WCO Council Recommendation on the insertion in national statistical nomenclatures of a number of subheadings to facilitate the monitoring of the international movement of goods required for the production and use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The HSC also approved a new draft WCO Council Recommendation with regard to the use of standard units of quantity to facilitate the collection, comparison and analysis of international statistics, taking into account the amendments to the Nomenclature which have been accepted as a result of the Council Recommendations of 27 June 2014 and 11 June 2015. The WCO recommends that its Member Customs administrations as well as Contracting Parties to the HS Convention report their import and export trade statistics to the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD). Both draft Recommendations will be submitted to the WCO Council for adoption at its 127th/128th Sessions in July 2016.

In the framework of the HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition that will enter into force on 1 January 2017, the Committee adopted the consolidated version of the amendments to the Explanatory Notes consequential upon the acceptance of the amendments and complementary amendments to the Nomenclature consequential to the Article 16 Council Recommendations of 27 June 2014 and 11 June 2015. Similarly, the HSC adopted the amendments to the Compendium of Classification Opinions consequential upon the acceptance of these HS amendments. The HSC also approved the 2017 version of the Interconnection Table, that is, the table which contains the correlations between the Harmonized System 2017 Edition and the product coverage of a number of selected international Conventions.

In addition, the HSC examined a series of general questions, including the status and challenges in relation to implementation of the HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition. Furthermore, the HSC endorsed the Technical Guidance for the first layer for the Achieving Excellence in Customs Performance measurement framework with respect to the Harmonized System Convention and Advance tariff rulings.