Classification of the INN 124 COVID-19 Special Edition list

09 December 2020

The World Customs Organisation (WCO), through the Scientific Sub-Committee (SSC), has completed the initial classification of substances on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Proposed International Nonproprietary Names: List 124 –COVID-19 (special edition)

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased research in new substances that could be helpful in either immunisation or the direct treatment against this unprecedent disease.  On 20-21 August, the WHO convened a special meeting in view of the pressing need to give some new drug substances a name to be used and recognised worldwide in the hope that some of these substances will help in the pandemic.

As a result of this meeting, the WHO published on 26 October a new proposed INN List 124 COVID-19 (Special Edition) containing 25 substances pertinent to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If progress on the treatment of the COVID-19 disease is achieved with any of these substances, it would be expected that the movement of the relevant substance will increase across borders and therefore, their advance classification in the Harmonized System will indeed facilitate trade.  Given the relevance of these substances, the WCO and the WHO agreed with the idea to classify these substances as soon as possible and to make the list available to Members.  This will help Customs and economic operators identify these substances if they enter trade and facilitate their classification at the border.

The WCO fast-tracked the list into a November Scientific Sub-Committee for preliminary classification.  (The classifications are to be finalised by formal acceptance at the Harmonised System Committee (HSC) which will occur in 2021.)

The classification of the INN List 124 COVID-19 (special edition), as agreed by the Scientific Sub-Committee, is provided with a view to facilitating the classification of COVID-19 substances at the international level (6 digit of the HS).

The substances contained in the INN List 124 COVID-19 (Special Edition) and their classification can be found in the WCO COVID-19 dedicated page.