2018 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Harmonised System (HS), one of the most successful instruments developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The Harmonised System, a series of standardised codes used for trade (which form the first 6 digits of EU Commodity Codes), came into effect on 1st January 1988, and allows a world of many languages to speak with one. Used by more than 200 countries, territories and Customs or Economic Unions, the Harmonised System plays a key role in facilitating international trade. Used for around 98% of world trade, the Harmonised System is used as the basis for:
Currently the WCO is in the 6th edition of the HS and in the process of preparing the Seventh Edition of the HS (HS 2022). During the life of the HS, there have been 60 meetings of the Harmonised System Committee (HSC) where 4,144 agenda items were discussed, 10 Recommendations were produced concerning the application of the HS Convention, 2280 classification decisions made and 871 Classification Opinions adopted to ensure the harmonisation of classification. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, the WCO calls for the international Customs community, in partnership with the international trade community, to continue to be proactive and pursue its efforts to develop and maintain the HS, especially in terms of the application and uniform interpretation of the HS, so as to safeguard and further grow the benefits of this success.
Source: World Customs Organisation