WCO participates in the 55th Meeting of the Working Group on the Harmonized System of Portuguese Language Countries

24 December 2020

The 55th Meeting of the Harmonized System Working Group (GTSH) of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) Customs was held in three stages, from 29 to 30 October 2020, from 16 to 27 November 2020, and from 14 to 18 December 2020, via videoconference, with the coordination of the Tax and Customs Authority of Portugal.

It should be noted that among the objectives of the meeting defined as essential were, on the one hand, agreeing the texts in Portuguese of the Seventh Amendment to the Harmonized System Nomenclature (HS 2022) as approved by the Recommendation of 28 June 2019 of the Customs Cooperation Council, and on the other, the corrections that would be considered necessary for the current Unified Version of the Harmonized System (VUSH) (HS 2017).

Representatives of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor Leste and the World Customs Organization (WCO) worked intensively on the harmonization of the single version of the Harmonized System Nomenclature 2022 in Portuguese.  The Working Group practically completed the elaboration of the texts of the HS 2022.  The WG also worked on the general review of the Portuguese version of the HS Explanatory Notes (ENs).  This work provides a single version of the ENs for use by all Portuguese-language country-Members that compose the CPLP above mentioned.

This working group is the oldest of the CPLP Customs working groups and, given that the maintenance of a single Portuguese version of the HS and its additional instruments is of fundamental importance for the work of the Customs administrations, is noted as the most important.  The ongoing work of this WG is outlined in the CPLP Strategic Plan, developed in partnership with the WCO, and is included in the project of Tariff Nomenclature (HS) in Portuguese and Harmonized System Procedures.

The WG concluded that it is necessary to hold a preparatory meeting, to be held between 25 and 29 January 2021, to address the differences or inconsistencies regarding the texts in Portuguese of the HS 2022 and in the respective Explanatory Notes and to prepare for the 2021 meeting.

In closing the meeting, the head of the Nomenclature and Tariff Management of the Portuguese Administration, David Almeida, thanked the participation of the representatives of the Administrations that made this event possible and expressed his recognition of the results presented by the Working Group.  Before the next meeting, representatives of the CPLP administrations will keep the translation of the HS and EN amendments up-to-date.