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lunes, 14 de febrero de 2011

Preguntas frecuentes relacionadas con el SA.

1. I want to know the tariff classification of a product in the Harmonized System

As an intergovernmental organization, the WCO does not provide information about the tariff classification of goods to the private sector or to private persons, but only to WCO Member administrations. You are advised to contact the Customs administration of the importing country or exporting country for assistance.

2. I want to know the duty rate (customs duty) for a product

The WCO does not provide information about duty rates, because customs duties are applied by WCO Members at national level. You are advised to contact the Customs administration of the country concerned, or to consult one of the following web sites which provide public access to tariff rates of participating administrations (some data providers charge a fee for the information):

* http://www.macmap.org/ (created by the International Trade Centre – UNCTAD/WTO)
* http://www.unctad-trains.org/ (produced by UNCTAD)
* http://www.bitd.org/ (produced by the International Customs Tariff Bureau)
* http://madb.europa.eu/ (the European Union's Market Access Database),

3. I want copies of documents or reports of the Harmonized System Committee

The WCO Secretariat does not provide copies of working documents and reports, because they contain some business confidential information. To assist public research, the WCO maintains a historical documentation database ("Document DB"). This database contains Harmonized System Committee documents and reports (without disclosing the business confidential information or classification questions currently under consideration). Unfortunately, we have a back-log with regard to the publication of documents published prior to the 14th session of the HSC; we are working to remedy this situation as soon as possible.

4. I want information on the Harmonized System Nomenclature 2012 Edition

At present, the Harmonized System Nomenclature2007 Edition is the valid version applied in international trade transactions.

5. I want information on decisions taken by the Harmonized System Committee

Since February 1999, all decisions taken by the Harmonized System Committee (HSC) on the classification of specific products as well as the amendment of the HS Explanatory Notes and the Compendium of Classification Opinions are published on the Nomenclature web page under Committees.

6. Can I submit a classification issue to the Harmonized System Committee?

Because the WCO is an intergovernmental organization, such questions should be brought to the attention of the national Customs administration concerned or another intergovernmental organization, which might then ask the WCO Secretariat to place the issue on the agenda of the Harmonized System Committee.

7. Can the decision-making process of the Harmonized System Committee be speeded up?

An excellent question and one with which the Harmonized System Committee (HSC) has been grappling. The HSC has taken steps to expedite the procedure for re-examination of questions which should result in a quicker reconsideration of decisions which one or more countries cannot accept. The best way to ensure a quick response by the HSC is for Customs administrations to submit questions on a timely basis with all of the information necessary for a considered decision. Economically important questions such as those usually considered by the HSC require time for trade consultations. It is therefore imperative that sufficient time be given to administrations for that purpose.

8. Can I get access to the Members Area of the WCO Web Site?

Access to the restricted Members Area of the WCO Web Site is reserved to the Customs authorities of the WCO Member Administrations.

9. Can you give me some guidance on the structure and the length of the HS code?

The Harmonized System is governed by "The International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System". The official interpretation of the Harmonized System (HS) is given in the Explanatory Notes (5 volumes in English and French) published by the WCO.
The Harmonized System provides a logical structure within which over 1,200 headings are grouped in 96 Chapters, the latter being themselves arranged in 21 Sections. Each heading is identified by a four-digit code, the first two digits of which indicate the Chapter wherein the heading appears, while the latter two indicate the position of the heading in the Chapter. Thus, heading 10.01 ("wheat and meslin") is the first heading of Chapter 10, which, in its entirety, covers "cereals". In addition, most of the headings are subdivided into two or more 1-dash subheadings which, where necessary, are further subdivided into two or more 2-dash subheadings and which are identified by a 6-digit code (HS code). The HS comprises over 5,000 separate groups of goods identified by a 6-digit code, the first four digits thereof correspond to the relevant heading number, while the fifth and sixth digits identify the one- and two-dash subheadings respectively. The absence of such subheadings is indicated by a zero.

For example :
1. HS code 0803.00 means : the third heading of Chapter 8, which has not been subdivided;
2. HS code 0101.10 means : the first heading of Chapter 1, first subheading which has not been further subdivided;
3. HS code 0303.11 means : the third heading of Chapter 3, first two-dash subheading of the first one-dash subheading.

10. Can I make suggestions for the amendment of the Harmonized System?

Because the WCO is an intergovernmental organization, suggestions for amendment of the HS should be brought to the attention of the national Customs administration concerned or another intergovernmental organization which might then ask the WCO Secretariat to place the issue on the agenda of the Harmonized System Committee.

11. Why is the Harmonized System not amended more often to meet the needs of the trade?

The Harmonized System is only amended every 5 years. There are several reasons and, frankly, competing interests. The drafting of amendments usually takes several years of deliberation by the Committees concerned and consultations with the trade. Thereafter, the HSC and the Secretariat need several years for revision of the HS publications, whereas Member administrations need time for translation of amendments into languages other than French and English, national legislative procedures, WTO negotiations, etc.

12. Are HS codes always numbered consecutively?

In principle, headings and subheadings are numbered in a consecutive way. This principle is, however, interrupted as from 1996 some HS code numbers disappeared as the result of the HS subheadings having been renumbered when their content was changed.

13. Can representatives of the private sector participate in meetings of the Harmonized System Committee?

The basic answer is no. But the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) participates as an industry representative and observer in meetings of the Harmonized System Committee. The WCO would also be pleased to welcome representatives of other international organizations as observers. However, the WCO can not invite representatives of individual companies or regional organizations to meetings of the Harmonized System Committee.

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