As part of its assistance to PACER Plus signatory members, the OCO from 4-25 January, 2018 assisted Cook Islands Customs with the transposition of its current Customs Harmonised System from the 2012 version to the HS 2017. A key component of the transposition work is the inclusion of the Pacific Harmonised Commodity and Description & Coding System (PACHS 17). The PACHS is an eight-digit HS based commodity nomenclature formulated by the OCO to reflect common regional tradeable products.
The in-country mission was also aimed at providing Customs with the capacity to efficiently and effectively undertake HS transpositions when new version of the HS is introduced by the World Customs Organisation. Whilst in country, the OCO Team had the opportunity to consult some of the key stakeholders, including Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce, National Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Department of Waste Management. The OCO also undertook assessment of CICS customs procedures in compliance with the PACER Plus. The gaps identified during the assessment will assist Cook Islands to determine the necessary legislative changes to the customs laws, regulations and procedural manuals to effectively implement the customs procedures in PACER Plus.
Mr. Seve Paeniu, Head of Secretariat said that the Cook Islands Customs now have a draft HS 2017 that they will need to take through their legislative process for approval and its adoption. The OCO is providing technical support to the nine PACER Plus signatory members to implement HS 2017 and other custom procedures and is supported through funding from Australia and New Zealand under the PACER Plus Readiness Package.