January 07, 2020
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Harmonized System (HS)

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The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System generally referred to as "Harmonized System" or simply "HS" is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

It is set out in the Annex to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. Definition of the HS provided in the Convention: the HS means the Nomenclature comprising the headings and subheadings and their related numerical codes, the Section, Chapter and Subheading Notes and the General Rules for the interpretation of the Harmonized System, set out in the Annex to this Convention.

The HS comprises about 5,000 commodity groups; each identified by a six-digit code, arranged in a legal and logical structure and is supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification.

The system is used by more than 200 countries and economies as a basis for their Customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics. Over 98 % of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS. 

The HS contributes to the harmonization of Customs and trade procedures, and the non-documentary trade data interchange in connection with such procedures, thus reducing the costs related to international trade.

It is also extensively used by governments, international organizations and the private sector for many other purposes such as internal taxes, trade policies, monitoring of controlled goods, rules of origin, freight tariffs, transport statistics, price monitoring, quota controls, compilation of national accounts, and economic research and analysis. The HS is thus a universal economic language and code for goods, and an indispensable tool for international trade.

The explanation provided by WCO Academy, which offers online courses related to the topic, e.g. Harmonized System - Textiles, Harmonized System - Industry & Construction, Harmonized System - Chemicals

Comments ()

en, lt
Can you appeal if you disagree with the CN code recommendation issued by the Customs Laboratory?
21-06-2022

You can ask the Customs Laboratory to classify your goods to double-check the commodity code you use or plan to use. However, the recommended product code might differ from yours, and you may disagree with it. What should be done in such a case? Should you ignore the recommendation of the Customs Laboratory? Or is it better to appeal against it? And, in general, is it possible to appeal against such non-binding conclusions? The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (SACL) clarified the latter issue.

Enrika Naujokė

classification
en, lt
Can you appeal if you disagree with the CN code recommendation issued by the Customs Laboratory?
21-06-2022

You can ask the Customs Laboratory to classify your goods to double-check the commodity code you use or plan to use. However, the recommended product code might differ from yours, and you may disagree with it. What should be done in such a case? Should you ignore the recommendation of the Customs Laboratory? Or is it better to appeal against it? And, in general, is it possible to appeal against such non-binding conclusions? The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (SACL) clarified the latter issue.

Enrika Naujokė

classification
en
A few remarks on the softness of soft law in the sphere of customs classification
31-05-2022

Customs classification rules are numerous, long and technically complex. No wonder both declarants and customs authorities seek guidance as to understanding these rules. This article outlines the intricacies of hard and soft law aimed at facilitating the application of the classification provisions.

Prof Dr Krzysztof Lasiński-Sulecki

classification, law international
en
A few remarks on the softness of soft law in the sphere of customs classification
31-05-2022

Customs classification rules are numerous, long and technically complex. No wonder both declarants and customs authorities seek guidance as to understanding these rules. This article outlines the intricacies of hard and soft law aimed at facilitating the application of the classification provisions.

Prof Dr Krzysztof Lasiński-Sulecki

classification, law international
en
What strategies may EU traders use to overcome trade barriers?
31-05-2022

Recently, the European Commission (EC) terminated the examination procedure concerning obstacles to trade applied by Mexico (see Commission implementing decision (EU) 2022/161, 3.2.2022). This was because the dispute regarding Tequila export licenses was resolved in favour of EU exports by domestic courts in Mexico. The example reveals that exporters can cope with trade barriers in several ways: in courts, and through complaints to the EC.

Dr. Ilona Mishchenko

law international
en
What strategies may EU traders use to overcome trade barriers?
31-05-2022

Recently, the European Commission (EC) terminated the examination procedure concerning obstacles to trade applied by Mexico (see Commission implementing decision (EU) 2022/161, 3.2.2022). This was because the dispute regarding Tequila export licenses was resolved in favour of EU exports by domestic courts in Mexico. The example reveals that exporters can cope with trade barriers in several ways: in courts, and through complaints to the EC.

Dr. Ilona Mishchenko

law international
lt
Kur pakankamo rūpestingumo klasifikuojant prekes ribos?
29-05-2022

Prekių tarifinis klasifikavimas - sritis, kurioje Lietuvoje dirbančiam deklarantui nesunku „užsidirbti“ administracinę nuobaudą. Nuobaudos būtų galima išvengti, jeigu pavyktų įrodyti, kad buvo klasifikuojama pakankamai rūpestingai. Teismuose vis bandoma išsiaiškinti: kurgi tos rūpestingumo ribos? Apžvelgiame aktualią bylą, kurioje ginčas kilo dėl nuobaudos, skirtos už neteisingą išmaniųjų apyrankių klasifikavimą.

Jurgita Bartninkienė

classification
lt
Kur pakankamo rūpestingumo klasifikuojant prekes ribos?
29-05-2022

Prekių tarifinis klasifikavimas - sritis, kurioje Lietuvoje dirbančiam deklarantui nesunku „užsidirbti“ administracinę nuobaudą. Nuobaudos būtų galima išvengti, jeigu pavyktų įrodyti, kad buvo klasifikuojama pakankamai rūpestingai. Teismuose vis bandoma išsiaiškinti: kurgi tos rūpestingumo ribos? Apžvelgiame aktualią bylą, kurioje ginčas kilo dėl nuobaudos, skirtos už neteisingą išmaniųjų apyrankių klasifikavimą.

Jurgita Bartninkienė

classification
lt
Kokią įtaką prekių klasifikavimo efektyvumui ir tikslumui daro technologijos?
29-05-2022

Viena pagrindinių diskusijų temų 2019 m. PMO konferencijoje dėl Suderintos sistemos (SS) ateities krypties buvo SS kompleksiškumas. Buvo išreikštas susirūpinimas dėl SS klasifikavimo sudėtingumo, ypač mažoms ir vidutinėms įmonėms, kurioms suteikiama galimybė dalyvauti pasaulio ekonomikoje, bet jos nebūtinai turi tam reikalingų priemonių.

Randy Rotchin

classification
lt
Kokią įtaką prekių klasifikavimo efektyvumui ir tikslumui daro technologijos?
29-05-2022

Viena pagrindinių diskusijų temų 2019 m. PMO konferencijoje dėl Suderintos sistemos (SS) ateities krypties buvo SS kompleksiškumas. Buvo išreikštas susirūpinimas dėl SS klasifikavimo sudėtingumo, ypač mažoms ir vidutinėms įmonėms, kurioms suteikiama galimybė dalyvauti pasaulio ekonomikoje, bet jos nebūtinai turi tam reikalingų priemonių.

Randy Rotchin

classification
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