Suva, Fiji, 29 March, 2021 – OCO members are preparing for the implementation of HS 2022, which is the seventh edition of the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature that will come into force on 1 January 2022.
“As a region, we need to work together and prepare for this huge task of implementing HS 2022 when it does comes into effect,” OCO Head of Secretariat, Richard Brennan said. “It is important that we help our members to begin advance preparations for this work, taking into account their national capacities and that no administration is left behind.”
From 23-26 March, 2021, the OCO conducted a three-day virtual training aimed at assisting members interpret and apply HS 2022 and its amendments, as well as discuss members’ progress in their preparations to implement the HS 2022 amendments. 51 Customs officers representing 14 OCO members took part in the training facilitated by experts from the OCO Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), United National Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), World Health Organisation (WHO) and New Zealand Customs Service.
During the Workshop, explanation on the HS Convention and HS 2022 amendments were presented, including the WCO tools and instruments developed to assist the members with migration to the new version of the HS. The HS 2022 edition makes some major changes to the HS with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders.
The members also considered the work progress on the updating of the Pacific Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (PACHS) 2022. The PACHS is an eight-digit nomenclature developed to establish uniformity in the classification of goods amongst Pacific Island countries.
The presentation by UNEP highlighted the role of Customs under the Montreal Protocol, and that the adoption of the HS 2022 is important for accurate data reporting it also affirmed that the regional approach through PACHS is an effective mechanism to individualize the HS code for HFCs and blends. WHO provided an overview of new and emerging tobacco products that countries needed to take into account through their classification work. The Customs role in ensuring the accuracy and timely provision of trade statistics was pointed out by SPC and UNCTAD provided guidance on the process of upgrading Customs systems during the transposition work. The participants were also apprised on the linkages between HS updates and free trade agreements by New Zealand Customs.
During the Workshop, three countries shared their national preparatory work on HS 22 and participants had the opportunity to discuss capacity building needs and action plan needed for effective implementation. OCO members reiterated their commitment to implement HS 2022.
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