Terms of Reference of the Harmonized System Working Party

Confirmed by the Council - June 2003

Updated - June 2005

Established : 1988

Duration : Unspecified

1. Mandate

The HS Working Party acts under the overall direction of the HS Committee with administrative support provided by the WCO Secretariat.

2. Membership

There is no specific provision. The Working Party usually consists of :

  • representatives of the Contacting Parties to the HS Convention;
  • representatives of any Member of the Council which is not a Contacting Party to the HS Convention; and
  • subject to invitation by the Secretary General, representatives of intergovernmental or other international organizations.

3. Purpose and Scope

The purpose and scope of the Working Party is to draft the texts of possible amendments to the HS Nomenclature, Explanatory Notes and Compendium of Classification Opinions before their final adoption by the HS Committee.

4. Key Deliverables

Same as under Item 3.

5. Means of Operation

The HS Committee elects the Chairperson from among the members of the HS Committee.

The Working Party examines issues on the basis of documents prepared by the Secretariat, which incorporate comments and proposals from administrations.

The Working Party seeks to reach a consensus on any matter examined and reports to the HS Committee. If agreement cannot be reached on a question, the differing views together with their supporting rationales are reported to the HS Committee.

6. Resources Required

The Working Party holds its sessions as and when required and subject to approval by the HS Committee and the Council. It usually meets immediately before the HS Committee meeting.

The responsibilities of the WCO Secretariat are the same as those for the HS Committee.