The Federal Customs Commission of Ethiopia (ECC) notified the WCO Secretary General that the new edition of the Harmonized System (HS 2022) would enter into force in the country on 1 January 2022. Ethiopia has thereby become the first African country to have submitted a notification on the implementation of HS 2022 amendments to the WCO.
In the notification letter, the ECC Commissioner, thanked the WCO and the European Union for the support provided to Ethiopia in the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the EU. He stressed that the assistance received from the WCO did help the ECC to migrate to the HS 2022 version in a timely manner, and expressed his hope that this co-operation with the WCO would continue.
The timely implementation of the HS 2022 amendments comes as a result of a series of activities that the HS-Africa Programme and the ECC organized to review and optimize the workflow of migration to new versions of the HS. The first diagnostic mission on the improvement of tariff classification work held in September 2019 was followed by a 5-day national workshop on HS 2017 and HS 2022 amendments delivered in November that same year, as well as regular consultations and contacts between the ECC and the WCO to ensure the necessary follow-up and monitoring.
India has notified the Dispute Settlement Body of its decision to appeal the panel reports in the cases brought by Brazil, Australia and Guatemala in “India - Measures Concerning Sugar and Sugarcane” (DS579, DS580, DS581). The panel reports were circulated to WTO members on 14 December. The appeal was circulated to WTO members on 11 January.
Ukraine notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 24 December 2021 a safeguard investigation on certain types of cheese.
Peru notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 24 December 2021 a safeguard investigation on clothing.
The Secretariats of the WTO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will hold an advanced course on intellectual property (IP) in a virtual format for government officials from 28 March to 8 April 2022. The deadline to submit applications is 31 January 2022.
The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body agreed at its meeting on 20 December to establish two new dispute panels. The first, at the request of the European Union, will examine Russian measures affecting EU access to commercial procurement by state— related entities. The second, at the request of Costa Rica, will examine the Dominican Republic’s anti-dumping duties on corrugated steel bars from Costa Rica.
the WTO circulated the panel reports in the cases brought by Brazil, Australia and Guatemala in “India — Measures Concerning Sugar and Sugarcane” (DS579, DS580, DS581).
A virtual workshop on the Harmonized System (HS) 2022 amendments was held for African Portuguese-speaking Member administrations, from 13 to 15 December 2021. The workshop, conducted in Portuguese, was organized jointly by the WCO and the Angola Tax Administration, within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme).
The workshop was attended by 70 Customs officials from all the six Portuguese-speaking Members of Africa - Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique and San Tomé and Príncipe. Six Customs Officials from the Classification Centre of the Brazilian Federal Secretariat of Revenues (Customs) joined the workshop as observers. The workshop was facilitated by two Portuguese-speaking experts – a Senior Technical Officer of the WCO Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate and a WCO Accredited HS Expert Trainer from Brazil.
The workshop was opened by Mr. Santos Mussamo, Administrator of the Tax Administration of Angola. Speaking on behalf of the President of the Tax Administration of Angola, he emphasized the importance of correct tariff classification of goods and encouraged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity to have a better understanding of the HS 2022 amendments and to share the relevant information internally in their home administrations to promote the new edition of the HS.
Two tools to assist in the classification of goods in the 2022 version of the WCO Harmonized System (HS) are available: the Explanatory Notes and the Compendium of Classification Opinions. They are available to anyone who has subscribed to the HS content of the WCO Trade Tools web platform. Explanatory Notes are the official interpretation of the HS approved by the WCO Council, and are an indispensable complement to the Harmonized System. They provide guidance on the scope of each heading, a list of the main products that each position includes and excludes, and their technical descriptions. Products for which an Explanatory Note has been created include edible insects, drones and electronic waste. The Compendium of Classification Opinions compiles the most important and/or difficult classification decisions made by the Harmonized System Committee and adopted by the WCO Council.