Prepare now for changes later - updates to the HTS are coming

As the world turns so does technology and the products that are created and used in society. As such, it’s imperative for business leaders to understand the changes in products, modifications, functions, as well as the creation of new goods. On that same note, governments around the world need to stay current with their tariffs. The classifications of products and bringing forth the changes to their respective economies keep products flowing – quite simply, this is known as trade facilitation.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) has accepted a new set of changes to the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) beginning on January 1, 2022. The HTS serves as the basis for Customs tariffs and for the compilation of international trade statistics in 211 economies (of which 158 are Contracting Parties to the HS Convention). The new HS2022 edition makes some major changes to the Harmonized System with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders.

While January 1, 2022 may seem like a long time away – it’s really not that far off. Gathering and understanding these changes on a global scale will take time, resources, and some research to ensure that all changes are captured and any possible increase or decrease in costs can be known upfront.

Protection of society and the fight against terrorism are increasingly important roles for Customs. Many new subheadings have been created for dual-use goods that could be diverted for unauthorized use, such as radioactive materials and biological safety cabinets, as well as for items required for the construction of improvised explosive devices, such as detonators.

The WCO is putting together more information “for the timely implementation of the new HS edition." The WCO is currently working on the development of requisite correlation tables between the current 2017 and the new edition of the HS, and on updating the HS publications, such as "the Explanatory Notes, the Classification Opinions, the Alphabetical Index and the HS online database.”