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WCO Releases 2017 Edition of Harmonized System Nomenclature

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The World Customs Organization has published here the 2017 edition of the Harmonized System Nomenclature, which will enter into force Jan. 1, 2017. This edition comprises a total of 5,387 separate groups of goods identified by a six-digit code, up from 5,205 in the 2012 edition.

(Click here to access ST&R’s on-demand webinar reviewing how businesses can prepare for the 2017 HS.)

The 2017 HS includes 242 sets of amendments, including 85 in the agricultural sector, 45 in the chemical sector, 22 in the wood sector, 15 in the textile sector, six in the base metal sector, 25 in the machinery sector, 18 in the transport sector, and 26 in a variety of other sectors. According to the WCO, highlights of these changes include the following.

Fish and Fishery Products. Amendments for fish and fishery products are designed to further enhance the coverage of species and product forms that need to be monitored for food security purposes and better management of resources. These include a split by more detailed product forms for crustaceans, mollusks, and other invertebrates such as cuttlefish and squid.

Forestry Products. The amendment for forestry products aims to enhance the coverage of wood species to get a better picture of patterns of trade, including in endangered species. In particular, separating the data on tropical wood trade will both focus attention on the issue of tropical wood use and clarify data on non-tropical hardwoods. New subheadings are also created for the monitoring and control of certain products of bamboo and rattan.

Anti-malarial Products. One amendment aims at detailed information for several categories of products that are used as anti-malarial commodities.

Chemicals. There are new subheadings for specific chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention, certain hazardous chemicals controlled under the Rotterdam Convention, and certain persistent organic pollutants controlled under the Stockholm Convention. New subheadings have also been introduced for the monitoring and control of pharmaceutical preparations containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or norephedrine and for alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile, a pre-precursor for drugs.

Other Changes. Headings 6907 (unglazed ceramic products) and 6908 (glazed ceramic products) were merged because the main subheadings within these headings concern products that are essentially no longer manufactured and the industry and trade no longer make a distinction between unglazed and glazed ceramic products. New products with a very high trade volume are classified under subheadings 6907.90 and 6908.90.

Advances in technology are reflected in the amendments for newsprint, light-emitting diode lamps, multi-component integrated circuits, and hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles. The amendments include clarification of texts to ensure uniform application of the nomenclature. For example, monopods, bipods, tripods, and similar articles are regrouped in a new heading 9620.

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