Harmonized System Workshop in Georgia

07 May 2013

The Georgian Revenue Service has been working hard over the past several years to ensure sustained progress in the area of Customs reform and modernisation, aspiring to become one of the most efficient administrations using business-friendly processes and procedures as well as state-of-the-art revenue collection methods. Implementation of international standards has been an important part of this endeavour : one of the recent developments was Georgia’s accession to the Harmonized System Convention in 2009, as well as implementation of HS 2012 amendments. To build on this momentum, and recognising that the capacity of Customs to classify commodities in the correct and uniform manner is one of the key prerequisites of a robust and well-functioning revenue collection system, the Georgian Customs decided to revisit its work in this area by organising a national multipurpose Workshop on the HS.

The Workshop took place in Tbilisi, from 22 to 26 April 2013, and addressed a wide range of HS-related matters, seeking to achieve a holistic view of the subject matter. 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 organising tariff classification work, advance tariff rulings, and the fundamental principles and practicalities of HS classification. What’s more, the Workshop provided an opportunity for a thorough examination of individual classification issues raised by Georgian Customs.

The Workshop was organised jointly by the WCO and the Georgian Revenue Service, with the support of the Eurocustoms fund. It gathered officers from several units concerned with commodity classification matters. The event was conducted entirely in Russian – one of the languages spoken in Georgia – which contributed to a smooth flow of communication without language barriers and active participation by the audience. The implementation of the results of the Workshop will contribute to continued modernisation effort of Georgia and lead to establishing of a tariff classification infrastructure in keeping with the best practices recommended by the WCO.

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