National Workshop on the Harmonized System in Kyrgyzstan

19 March 2013

In the context of its ongoing endeavour to modernize the work of Customs, the Administration of Kyrgyzstan hosted a national multipurpose Workshop on the Harmonized System. The Workshop was held in Bishkek, from 26 February to 1 March 2013, and was organized jointly by the WCO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Twenty-five officers from across the departments dealing with various aspects of commodity classification attended the event.

The Workshop proved to be an appropriate platform to discuss possible improvements in the national model of tariff classification work and related infrastructure. Participants deliberated on a number of issues related to the HS Convention, such as the rights and obligations of HS Contracting Parties, best practices for organizing tariff classification work, advance tariff rulings, and the fundamental principles and practicalities of HS classification.

During the Workshop Mr. J. Herring, the OSCE representative, emphasized that sound management of Customs was a critical prerequisite for sustainable development of international trade. He informed the participants that the "Handbook on Best Practices at Border Crossings – A Trade and Transport Facilitation Perspective" prepared by the OSCE and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) had been translated into Russian and would soon be distributed to interested Customs administrations. He expressed his appreciation of the fruitful cooperation between the OSCE and the WCO in the area of Customs modernization.

The Workshop turned out to be a landmark event in addressing issues of tariff classification and the administration of tariffs – one of the most important and notoriously complex areas of Customs' work.