The World Customs Organization’s (WCO) latest edition of the Harmonised System (HS) with explanatory notes will be available to businesses next month (February).
WCO publications manager Samuel Péron announced to Freight News recently that the organisation’s hard and soft copy of the HS 2022 would be ready for businesses in February 2022.
He said the WCO had partnered with a South African firm to roll out digital access to the essential handbook across Africa.
“The aim of the HS 2022 is to help countries and administrations to have the same levels of the most up-to-date administration and procedures for customs control.
“The HS sets out the common codes, classification systems and categories for customs in both the new printed and digital versions,” Péron said.
He added that the new edition of HS, which came into effect on New Year’s Day, included major changes across a range of traded goods and would be useful for importers and exporters who are now seeking opportunities for trade in terms of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
He said some of the big changes to the latest HS, which has taken five years to compete, included for example, the introduction of codes for specific types of organic and hi-tech electronic goods, in the case of the former, certain types of insects, which were now split into coded subcategories.
“Equipment for 3D printing now has a proper reference, which it previously did not have, and this will make it far more efficient for countries to import and export these goods,” Péron said.
“Small to medium business enterprises often do not have the expertise regarding the HS codes, which is why the WCO provides training to companies, and some of the training material is also available to the trade,” Péron said.
WCO had partnered with GTS, a highly valuable, user-friendly cloud-based international trade and supply chain solution, to offer the digitised HS 2022 to businesses on the continent and beyond, he added.
And while the WCO provided “robust essential information”, private firms such as GTS assisted the organisation to localise the information for use by the trade.
The latest edition of the Harmonised System (HS) will be available from February 1 on https://www.wcoomdpublications.org/en