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HS Reservation Process

Having regard to Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Harmonized System Convention, the matters for which no requests has been made under paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 8 of the Harmonized System Convention, shall be deemed to be approved by the Council. If a Contracting Party to the Harmonized System Convention has notified the Secretary General that it requests that a certain matter be referred to the Council, a so called “reservation” is entered by a Contracting Party to the Harmonized System Convention. In such instance, the matter of concern to the Contracting Party shall be re-examined by the Harmonized System Committee. 

Based on the current provisions, two possible reservation procedures can be applied. The Contracting Party entering the reservation may request in writing to the Secretary General that the matter of its concern be referred either to the Council (the reservation procedure based on Article 8 of the Convention) or directly back to the Harmonized System Committee for re-examination at its next session (so called “fast-track” reservation procedure, provided for by Decision of the Council No. 298 – see below).  

This overview provides a legal framework of the actual reservation process including the relevant parts of the Harmonized System Convention (Article 8), the Rules of Procedures of the Harmonized System Committee (Article 20) and Decision of the Council No. 298.