Upcoming Changes to the Harmonised System per 2022: What You Need to Know

The Importance of a Correct Customs Classification
Harmony, stones in sand ripples.

Determination of the customs classification for goods is essential to ensure that goods are correctly classified according to the harmonised system used worldwide. Customs classification is also essential because it is linked to:

  • Customs duties;
  • Import and export limitations;
  • Obligations regarding documents;
  • Licenses;
  • Commercial policy measures;
  • Security measures.

Using the incorrect classification of your goods can delay your customs declaration process or delays when the Customs Authorities detain a shipment at the border. It can also lead to higher duties and even significant fines. That is something that you or your customers don’t need. That is why it is essential to check your commodity codes.

Customs Classification Explained

The complexity of correctly classifying goods is not helped by the many different names for different classifications, which partly overlap:

  • HTS-code (Harmonised Tariff System);
  • Commodity code;
  • HS-code (Harmonised system);
  • GS-code (Dutch: Geharmoniseerd Systeem);
  • Customs Code;
  • Statistical Code;
  • GN-code (Combined Nomenclature, Dutch: Gecombineerde Nomenclatuur);
  • Taric-code (European Union tariff code).

Once you determine the correct commodity code for a product, it is called a customs classification. Based on the rules of classification, goods are classified in the Harmonised Tariff System (HTS) / Combined Nomenclature (GN). This is a classification system that the World Customs Organization maintains. The HTS system is used almost everywhere in the world. The GN system is an expansion of the HTS system explicitly used in the European Union.

Upcoming Changes to the HTS System

HS 2022 is the seventh edition of the Harmonised System nomenclature and is used worldwide for the uniform classification of goods traded internationally. According to the World Customs Organization, the HS serves as the basis for Customs tariffs and 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 significant changes to the Harmonised System, with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods moving across borders. 

Some of the goods and commodities that are affected by the amendments:

  • Electrical and Electronic Waste (e-Waste);
  • Novel Tobacco and Nicotine Products;
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Drones;
  • Smartphones;
  • (Products made of) Glass Fibres;
  • Metal Forming Machinery;
  • Flatpanel Display Modules;
  • Medical Diagnostic Kits;
  • Cell Cultures and Cell Therapy.
  • Dual-Use Items (like certain toxins or laboratory equipment, radioactive material, detonators)
  • Chemicals

These are just some of the changes. This overview makes it clear that there are changes across a wide variety of goods and commodities.

For more information on customs classification see: The Importance of a Correct Customs Classification of Your Goods.

Review Your Commodity Codes (or let Customs Support do that for you)

From a customs compliance point of view, we recommend all our customers review their commodity codes and make sure none of the goods they are trading is impacted by the new codes. Make sure you are not confronted with delays or even fines after January 1st 2022.

If you have any questions about Customs Classification or need support with making sure you are ready for the upcoming changes, contact one of our specialists. Customs Support: Empowering Global Trade