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SACU brings its Members together to plan for the HS 2022 implementation

06 febrero 2020

Following the acceptance of the new 2022 Edition of the Harmonized System (HS), representatives of the Secretariat of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Member Customs administrations held a consultation to take stock of the implementation process of the HS amendments in the SACU Common External Tariff (CET) and set the basis for a timely and coordinated migration to the 2022 version.  The consultation took place from 27 to 30 January 2020 in Cape Town (South Africa), with the support of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, funded by the European Union.

Tariff experts from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa gathered together with representatives of the SACU and the WCO to review the arrangements to be put in place with a view to ensuring a smooth and timely migration of the CET of the Union to the new version of the HS.  Special emphasis was placed on bringing on board all relevant stakeholders along the upcoming migration process, thereby rendering it more inclusive.

The opening session of the meeting was attended by Mr. Joern Hindsdal, former Deputy Director of the WCO Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate.  In his keynote address he emphasised the importance of the HS for the global trade facilitation agenda, calling attention to the fact that the 2022 version of the HS was adopted by the Council and will enter into force in less than two years.  He encouraged the SACU and its Members to start the notoriously complex process of implementation of amendments as soon as possible to ensure that it is completed in a timely manner.

The consultation gave an opportunity to discuss other issues and standards related to the HS, in particular, establishment of a well-functioning system of advance rulings and alignment of the tariff classification work at the national level on the international standards and best practices.  The consultation was the first in the series of activities that the SACU region will be organizing in cooperation with the WCO within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, to further regional integration and to harmonize national models of implementation of HS amendments.

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