DEADLINE LOOMS FOR PROPOSED CHANGES TO INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZED SYSTEM
The U.S. International Trade Commission will close the door on comments from the industry regarding proposed changes to the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.
The Harmonized System, which was implemented in 1988, provides a uniform structure for customs tariffs and statistical nomenclatures of all major trading countries, including the United States. While the World Customs Organization maintains oversight of the international Harmonized System, the ITC, Customs and Census Bureau are responsible for the development of U.S. technical proposals concerning the Harmonized System.
The World Customs Organization’s Harmonized System Review Subcommittee periodically reviews the system to make sure it stays current with changes in trade and technology. The third review cycle began this year, with changes to be implemented by January 2007.
The ITC will take comments from the industry through Friday. Areas considered for change are:
* Deletion of Harmonized System headings and subheadings with low trade volumes.
* Separate identification in the Harmonized System of new products important to international trade.
* Simplification of the Harmonized System by eliminating classification provisions which are difficult to administer.
* Modifications to the Harmonized System explanatory notes, a World Customs Organization publication which clarifies the scope of Harmonized System provisions.
The ITC will not accept proposals for changes to national-level provisions, such additional U.S. notes, U.S. eight digit subheadings, statistical annotations and rates of duty, in this review.