SACU strengthens regional co-operation to implement HS 2022

03 febrero 2022

In pursuit of strengthening regional co-operation, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) continued its work towards greater coordination of policies and activities in the area of the Harmonized System (HS) and tariffs. On 24 January 2022, the SACU Technical Working Group on HS, Tariff, Origin and Valuation held a virtual meeting to discuss the progress in the implementation of the new edition of the HS. The meeting brought together 30 experts representing the five Member States of the SACU and the SACU Secretariat.

In its presentation, the SACU Secretariat focused on the Roadmap for Migration from HS 2017 to HS 2022. The Roadmap lays out all the main steps, phases and action required to ensure a timely and well-coordinated implementation of HS amendments by the Customs Union and its Member States. It had been developed in cooperation with the WCO, in the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union, and validated at previous meetings of the Working Group.

The Working Group expressed satisfaction at having achieved most of the milestones set by the Roadmap. It was stressed that the Roadmap rendered simultaneous implementation of HS amendments by all SACU Member States achievable, ensured meaningful participation in the process of business representatives, and made the collaboration between all the stakeholders involved in the migration process more transparent and efficient. As a result, all the Member States successfully migrated to the HS 2022 version of the SACU Common External Tariff.

Based on Members’ feedback provided during the meeting, some issues would still need to be addressed, such as procurement of sufficient numbers of HS 2022 publications, development of skills related to the implementation of HS amendments, and resolving some internal technical issues. Meeting participants felt that further streamlining of the HS migration process would be desirable and should be considered for the implementation of future versions of the HS. The HS-Africa Programme pledged its continued support to the SACU in that regard.

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