World Customs Organization HS updatesStay compliant with global trade HS changes
This guide provides information on the updates to the World Customs Organization's Harmonized System, which occurs every five years, and explains who is affected. Additionally, you will discover tips for HS compliance and access helpful resources.
revises the Harmonized System (HS) every five years, and countries adapt their codes within that timeframe. January 2022 marks the latest five-year update with the next one coming in 2027. The most recent update took place in January 2022, with the next one scheduled for 2027. Amendments to the Harmonized System began rolling out in January 2022. If you are involved in the global trade industry, whether as a retailer or logistics provider, staying informed about these changes is essential to ensure compliance with international sales and imports regulations.
Changes include approximately 350 sets of amendments to the existing HS Nomenclature (2017 version). Some of the categories relevant to ecommerce that are affected include textiles, machinery, articles of metal, articles of wood, and plastics.
See a full list of the impacted categories/chapters. At a high level, these are the industries most impacted by the 2022 WCO updates:
If you ship products within any of the impacted chapters discussed above, the HS updates are likely to affect you. You could become noncompliant with local standards, possibly resulting in miscalculated duties, import delays, or fines.
Although the recipient is technically responsible for the correct HS code being applied to the goods in the shipment, it is best practice for you as the exporter to ensure the HS code accuracy. Otherwise, the consequences of an outdated HS code (rejected or held shipment, fines incurred, etc.) will cause a negative customer experience and reflect badly on you as the seller. Therefore, always assume the responsibility of accurately classifying your goods as yours, and do everything you can to stay compliant.
HS code compliance tips
Here are some tips for HS code compliance:
- Review HS changes.
- Identify which of your products are affected.
- Map affected products to updated HS codes.
- Identify when the countries that you ship to will update their HS codes.
- Reclassify affected products with updated country-specific codes after each country that you ship to rolls out their changes.
Keep your codes up-to-date
Zonos Classify's maintains an up-to-date tariff database, curated by our in-house team of global trade experts. We actively incorporate and map affected HS codes to their updated counterparts as soon as they are available, and this data remains continuously updated throughout the year as countries publish their code changes.
The new Zonos Dashboard tools for Classify offer classification assistance without the need for API integration, featuring the following capabilities:
- HS code lookup tool - Classify your items with just a description or image! Perfect for when you need quick and accurate HS codes for a shipment or customs quote.
- Bulk upload - Classifying an entire product catalog has always been time-consuming and expensive. Our bulk classification feature allows you to upload your products as a CSV file and get back a quick automated catalog harmonization.
If you are interested in integrating via API, you can find more information here.