WTO LAUNCHES NEW TOOL TO TRACK CHANGES IN HS
On 7 October, the World Trade Organization (WTO) launched a new online tool for keeping track of changes in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), the system used for the classification of traded goods. The HS Tracker, developed with the support of the World Customs Organization (WCO), is also aimed at helping customs officials and traders prepare for HS amendments that will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
The HS Tracker brings together relevant information and documents relating to revisions to HS product nomenclatures, often resulting from changes in manufacturing processes and technological advancements, or developments in environmental and social issues. In the new tool, the “Subheading Visualizer” displays how a specific HS code has changed across different versions of the HS, with an explanation from the WCO on why the changes were undertaken. “HS at a Glance” provides a broad overview of the HS amendments by consolidating the different versions of the HS in a single combined structure. The filters and search functions make it possible to browse multiple HS nomenclatures simultaneously for a particular set of codes and determine whether they were affected by a specific amendment to the HS.
Earlier this week, the WTO also launched a new GATT Disputes database that provides an interactive platform to access, research and visualise detailed information relating to dispute settlement under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1947, the predecessor of the WTO. The database allows users to search for information relating to the 317 GATT disputes brought by contracting parties from 1948 to 1995.
Source: World Trade Organization