The 7th edition of the Harmonized System becomes operational


In a notice published on 29 January 2020 on its website, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) declared as definitively accepted the amendments embedded in the 2022 Edition of the “Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System” (abbreviated as “HS”), as no objection to such amendments has been notified by the Contracting Parties to the HS Convention to the WCO Secretary General during the six-months following to their notification.

The new HS 2022 edition will replace the current HS 2017 edition of the Harmonized System, entered into force on 1 January 2017, by introducing a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders.

Amendments to the HS are elaborated in cycles of 5 years by the HS Committee of the WCO to keep the classification of goods moving across borders updated in the light of the latest changes in technology and patterns of international trade.

The amendment procedure of the HS is governed by Article 16 of the HS Convention, whose paragraph 3 gives a 6-months period for Contracting Parties (158 countries and customs territories in total) to lodge to the WCO possible objections to the amendments proposed by the Council since their notification.

The notification of the amendments to HS 2017 edition was done by the WCO Secretary General on 4 July 2019. As in the 6 months following such notification no objection to the new amendments has been communicated by the Contracting Parties, the amendments are now deemed to be accepted pursuant to paragraph 3 of art. 16 of the HS Convention.

In particular, the new HS amendments concern the following categories of goods: 
1)    agricultural, food and tobacco products (77 amendments); 
2)    chemical products (58); 
3)    wood products (31); 
4)    textile products (21); 
5)    base-metal products (27); 
6)    machinery and electrical and electronic products (63); 
7)    transport goods (22);
8)    other sectors (52).

Further details on the 7th edition of the HS are available here.