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October 11, 2021

New version enters into force: 3 important facts about the Harmonized System

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) is a fundamental basis for international trade in goods. A new version of the HS will enter into force on 1 January 2022. Here you can find out what the main changes are.

1. The Harmonized System (HS) is the worldwide basis for commodity codes:

The Harmonized System (HS) represents the first six digits of the commodity code/tariff number and is currently used in 211 countries. The HS nomenclature was developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). It comprises approximately 5000 commodity groups, which are designated by a 6-digit code and arranged according to fixed rules in a legal and logical structure.

Via the EU portal Access2Markets, one can obtain the relevant information on duties and taxes incurred abroad as well as the necessary documentation and regulations through the HS Code.

2. Renewal every 5 years – recast to apply from 1 January 2022:

A new version of the HS comes into force every five years. The current HS 2017 will thus be replaced by the HS 2022 at the turn of the year 2022. There will be a total of 351 changes in the HS 2022.

symbolic vector grafic of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS)

Essentially, these are:

  • New, special provisions on classification, for example for electrical and electronic waste.
  • Numerous new subheadings will be introduced, for example for dual-use goods and chemicals.
  • Subheadings that are not in line with technological progress and can consequently cause erroneous trade statistics and classifications are reorganised (e.g. 70.19 and 84.62).
  • In the area of health and safety, for example, placebos, cell cultures, cell therapies and dual-use goods receive new provisions.

Prepare yourself!

We recommend that you check the effects of the HS changes on your own company in good time. These changes can have major consequences – among others on the preferential calculation or customs authorisations.

The correlation table available online can help you to see whether your currently used commodity codes are affected. You can also contact your local Gerlach office at any time. Our customs experts are on hand to provide you with advice and assistance.

This article was written by:

Daniel Mahnken

Corporate Communication

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