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Next Version of Harmonized Classification System to Make Hundreds of Changes

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The seventh edition of the Harmonized System nomenclature used all over the world for the uniform classification of goods traded internationally has been accepted by all HS contracting parties and will come into force Jan. 1, 2022. According to the World Customs Organization, HS 2022 includes 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods.

For more information on international classification issues, please contact customs attorney Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007.

For insight into how the HTS changes are creating problems with exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China, click here to listen to ST&R’s Two Minutes in Trade podcast.

The WCO states that recognizing new product streams and addressing environmental and social issues of global concern are the major features of the HS 2022 amendments. Highlights include the following.

- Specific provisions for the classification of electrical and electronic waste are included to help countries in their work under the Basel Convention.

- New provisions for novel tobacco- and nicotine-based products are added due to difficulties in the classification of these goods, a lack of visibility in trade statistics, and the very high monetary value of this trade.

- Specific provisions are added for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to simplify their classification.

- Smartphones will gain their own subheading and note, which will also clarify and confirm the current heading classification of these multifunctional devices.

- There are major reconfigurations for the subheadings of heading 7019 for glass fibers and

articles thereof and for heading 8462 for metal forming machinery because the current subheadings do not adequately represent the technological advances in these sectors, leaving a lack of trade statistics important to the industries and potential classification difficulties.

- Flat panel display modules are classified as a product in their own right, which will simplify classification by removing the need to identify final use.

- Provisions for tools for the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases in outbreaks are changed to simplify classification.

- There are new provisions for placebos and clinical trial kits for medical research to enable classification without information on the ingredients in a placebo, which will assist in facilitating cross-border medical research.

- Cell cultures and cell therapy are among the product classes gaining new and specific provisions.

- New provisions are created for dual-use goods that could be diverted for unauthorized use, such as radioactive materials and biological safety cabinets, as well as for items required for the construction of improvised explosive devices, such as detonators.

- New subheadings are added 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 are introduced for the monitoring and control of fentanyls and their derivatives as well as two fentanyl precursors.

- Major changes, including new heading Note 4 to Section VI and new heading 3827, are introduced for gases controlled under the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol.

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