Suva, Fiji, August 24, 2020– There is a general agreement in the Oceania Customs Organisation members of the importance of the Pacific Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (PACHS) 2022, the internationally recognized upgraded system of classifying goods promulgated by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), which comes into effect on January 1, 2022.

The decision to adopt PACHS 2022 will be made by the OCO Heads of Customs in their annual meeting this Thursday, August 26. PACHS is adapted from the Harmonized System (HS) used by 200 economies across the globe, but is adapted for use within the Pacific Customs administrations to calculate tariffs, taxes and collect international trade statistics.

The upgrading of PACHS is in line with the WCO HS 2022, and with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders.

“PACHS 2022 incorporates all HS 2022 amendments and has been extensively peer reviewed due to its importance in our various economies in customs functions such as determining customs tariffs for imported and exported goods, calculating taxes and for trade statistics,” OCO Head of Secretariat, Mr. Richard Brennan said. “The harmonization of tariff nomenclature amongst the Pacific Island Countries is part of OCO members’ efforts to simplify intra-regional trade transaction and more importantly to contribute towards improving the quality of trade statistics compiled in the region.”

OCO discussed the final stage of the review of the PACHS 2022 in a workshop last week with 42 participants from 17 OCO member countries. During the workshop, participants also received advice from Regional Harmonized System Expert, Mr. Viliame Raikuna on the transposition methodology and the establishment of sound classification infrastructure at national levels.

Also, participants including East Timor discussed their respective implementation plans for HS 2022 and capacity building needs. A key outcome of the workshop was the provisional adoption of PACHS 2022 by the participants with the OCO Secretariat tasked to finalise the document for publication and adoption by the Heads of Customs at their annual conference on August 26.

When PACHS 2022 is adopted, members will go through their internal national process to prepare themselves to ensure effective implementation. PACHS 2022 has been reviewed by OCO members, technical agencies such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), United National Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Some amendments as announced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), include specific provisions for the classification of electrical and electronic waste, commonly referred to as e-waste to assist countries in their work under the Basel Convention.

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 About OCO: OCO is a grouping of 23 customs administrations in the Pacific region. It facilitates regional cooperation, information sharing and capacity building of its members with the overall target of supporting economic growth and improved border security in the Pacific.

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