56th Session Harmonized System Committee Concludes

30 septiembre 2015

The WCO Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 56th Session from 16 to 25 September 2015 at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, where around 120 delegates representing 62 Contracting Parties to the HS Convention, three WCO Member administrations and five international organizations attended.

The HSC took 27 classification decisions, adopted 3 sets of amendments to the Explanatory Notes and approved 26 new Classification Opinions. When deemed approved by the WCO Council at the end of November 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.

In the framework of the HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition that will enter into force on 1 January 2017, the HSC approved a new draft WCO Council Recommendation relating to the use of standard units of quantity to facilitate the collection, comparison and analysis of international statistics.  The WCO recommends that its Member Customs administrations as well as Contracting Parties to the HS Convention report their import and export trade statistics to the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) as the world’s premier depositary for global statistics.  In the context of the HS 2017 amendments, the HSC also approved modifications to the WCO Council Recommendation of 1996 on the insertion of subheadings for substances controlled under the Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction.  Furthermore, the Committee adopted 11 sets of amendments to the Explanatory Notes consequential to the HS 2017 amendments and agreed to a modification to the Correlation Tables between the 2012 and 2017 editions of the Harmonized System for subheadings 1605.54 and 1605.59.

In addition, the HSC examined a series of general questions, including the status and challenges in relation to implementation of HS-2017.

A special half day session was dedicated to international trade statistics.  It was a joint event from the members of the Task Force on International Trade Statistics.  The objectives for the special session were to find ways for Customs administrations to support trade statistics and to promote good cooperation between Customs agencies and their national statistical agencies.