There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic represented an unprecedented disruption to world trade. In fact, over the last 18 months, many border controls have become stricter, with some governments making changes to how products are classified, to support their economic rebound.

Globally, the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized System (HS) serves as the basis for customs tariffs and the compilation of trade statistics. In fact, over 98 percent of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS.

The seventh edition of the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) nomenclature comes into effect on January 1, 2022 and features major changes to the HS and 351 sets of amendments, covering a range of goods moving across borders.

Providing a value-added service to customers

While the onus is on shippers and importers to correctly classify their goods for clearance, gathering and understanding these changes will take time, and require resources and research to ensure they are accurately captured.

This presents a great opportunity for freight forwarders to be proactive and provide a value-added service to customers.

Logistics technology, such as our secure and reliable cloud-based logistics execution software, CargoWise, along with our comprehensive border compliance software, BorderWise, can help you ensure products are correctly classified, reducing the risk of errors and possible financial penalties.

Comprehensive customs reference materials at your fingertips

Fully updated in line with the HS 2022 changes, BorderWise provides a single-window access to the full breadth of World Customs Organization publications, including the Harmonized Commodity Coding System and Valuation Principles, country specific law, global free trade agreements, treaties and more.

This means that in line with the HS 2022 changes, importers, exporters, customs brokers, legal experts, and other trade professionals can validate commodity codes, duty rates, precedents, rulings, and court cases, ensuring their goods are correctly classified and all regulatory requirements are met.

For many trade professionals and legal experts, BoderWise is their daily go-to for the information they need to complete their job with speed, quality, and accuracy. Updated with these latest changes, it provides further peace of mind, enabling users to focus on their core business and customers.

Take the complexity out of compliance with technology

CargoWise adds further auditing capabilities, ensuring the declarations you handle on behalf of your customers are accurate and legally compliant.

For example, previously stored product codes enable customs classification lines to be audited by authorized staff members. This means that when the time comes to apply the product code to a customs entry, your in-house experts have already completed the check on the data

And even for non-product linked commodities, CargoWise will validate the HS code applied to the entry and warn the broker if the code does not exist, providing an additional layer of compliance checks.

Prepare now for changes later

While January 1, 2022 may seem far away, it doesn’t give you and your customers that long to ensure the goods you declare to customs authorities are still current and valid.

Having the tools available to assist your customers in the correct classification of goods will not only speed up the time it takes to complete a customs declaration in 2022, but will also ensure that the declaration is legally compliant.

With the available time, it’s a great opportunity for you to work with your customers to make sure your product library is fully audited, and that your teams are prepared for any compliance changes early enough to optimize your clearance operations.

Global trade will continue to evolve rapidly and technology – such as CargoWise and BorderWise – can help ensure your customer’s tariffs are up to date, while also highlighting items that require attention.


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