55th Session Harmonized System Committee Concludes

23 March 2015

The WCO Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 55th Session from 11 to 20 March 2015 at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, where around 125 delegates representing 59 Contracting Parties to the HS Convention, WCO Member administrations and international organization attended.

The HSC took 785 classification decisions (including 751 decisions relating to pharmaceutical (INN) products in connection with the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products), adopted 9 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 2015, 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.

The HSC also adopted a draft Article 16 Council Recommendation relating to certain corrections to the HS 2017 amendments of the Harmonized System Nomenclature. In this draft Article 16 Council Recommendation, the Committee included certain amendments to Chapter 44 that were requested by the FAO but had been omitted from the HS 2017 amendments and encouraged Contracting Parties to apply these amendments as of 1.1.2017. The Committee agreed to the Correlation Tables between the 2012 and 2017 versions of the HS and the Correlation Tables for the additional amendments to Chapter 44.

The HSC also examined a series of general questions. The HSC adopted an update of its Terms of Reference and also agreed to the draft of Technical Guidelines on Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin.

In addition, the Committee adopted 17 sets of amendments to the Explanatory Notes consequential to the HS 2017 amendments.