The World Customs Organization (WCO) has set up a project team for a two-year period to conduct an exploratory study on a possible strategic review of the Harmonized System (HS).
The objective of the study project is to assess the usability, sufficiency and health of the current HS system and conduct preliminary feasibility of any arising options and strategies that could be pursued to ensure its long-term viability.
The HS has undergone various amendments in the past to help keep it abreast of current needs and to address the constant evolution of international trade. The latest HS revision came into effect on 1 January 2022. However, these changes have primarily focused on updating individual provisions.
The study is an opportunity to look at the HS as an overall trade tool, including looking at: the complexities of classification; the current system of supporting tools (Explanatory Notes, Classification Opinions, Alphabetical Index); the maintenance of the relevancy of the HS to current trade developments and the HS’s ability to keep pace with the changing policy and trade needs.
The outcome of this study is expected to help member countries to make an informed decision on whether they wish to undertake a full strategic review.