Terrorist Attack at Brussels Central Station and 60+ attend the HS Coding Session

Well at the end of day 2 it was yet another hot day in Brussels. A little bit lively in the evening though, especially  when you see a massive influx of police and armed guards deployed in the city centre, and a couple of helicopters overhead, you soon hear people talking about yet another terrorist attack in Brussels central station.

Anyway, day 3 at the WCO and we are now looking at the world of the Harmonised System for the next 3 days presented by Mr Izaak Wind, Dr Alvaro Fernandez-Acebes and Mr Tom Beris.

This session was well attended  by more than 60 delegates, which Izaak underestimated and we had to move rooms because it was standing room only. I managed to have a chat with Izaak and he didn’t know whether it was because he or the topic was popular .

The first two session were taken up by the history of the HS system, its original introduction and that it is amended every 5 years. The newest edition came out in January 2017 and the HS Committee are already in discussion for the next edition due out in 2022.

This was followed by details on how the modifications of the Harmonised System are discussed and implemented. This presented several discussions points, especially when a new product is introduced, and what methodology is used when a product is identified that this is not in the HS nomenclature. Sucralose is a product that is a new addition to the 2017 HS Nomenclature that was not previously advised, so there were many customs authorities that classified this item using different tariff headings.

Carol West, Secretary  of the International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations(IFCB) gave a presentation from the Private sector based on Tariff Classification, Trade Compliance, Risk Management and Revenue collection.

Finally Tom Beris , Senior Technical Officer  for the Nomenclature and Classification Sub-Directorate for the WCO gave a presentation regarding further updates to the Harmonised System for 2022.
One of the items the WCO are looking at is waste electronics for specifically mobile phones, flat electronic panels e.t.c. There is a proposal in classifying these types of products under their own tariff heading, but this is still in early discussion.

The weather is still very hot and I believe we are now touching 34/35 degrees.

Written by Calvin Sherratt, Customs & International Trade Advisor S&H 21 June 2017

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