The Contracting Parties to this Convention, established under the auspices of the Customs Co-operation Council,
Desiring to facilitate international trade,
Desiring to facilitate the collection, comparison and analysis of statistics, in particular those on international trade,
Desiring to reduce the expense incurred by redescribing, reclassifying and recoding goods as they move from one classification system to another in the course of international trade and to facilitate the standardization of trade documentation and the transmission of data,
Considering that changes in technology and the patterns of international trade require extensive modifications to the Convention on Nomenclature for the Classification of Goods in Customs Tariffs, done at Brussels on 15 December 1950,
Considering also that the degree of detail required for Customs and statistical purposes by Governments and trade interests has increased far beyond that provided by the Nomenclature annexed to the above-mentioned Convention,
Considering the importance of accurate and comparable data for the purposes of international trade negotiations,
Considering that the Harmonized System is intended to be used for the purposes of freight tariffs and transport statistics of the various modes of transport,
Considering that the Harmonized System is intended to be incorporated into commercial commodity description and coding systems to the greatest extent possible,
Considering that the Harmonized System is intended to promote as close a correlation as possible between import and export trade statistics and production statistics,
Considering that a close correlation should be maintained between the Harmonized System and the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) of the United Nations,
Considering the desirability of meeting the aforementioned needs through a combined tariff/statistical nomenclature, suitable for use by the various interests concerned with international trade,
Considering the importance of ensuring that the Harmonized System is kept up-to-date in the light of changes in technology or in patterns of international trade,
Having taken into consideration the work accomplished in this sphere by the Harmonized System Committee set up by the Customs Co-operation Council,
Considering that while the above-mentioned Nomenclature Convention has proved an effective instrument in the attainment of some of these objectives, the best way to achieve the desired results in this respect is to conclude a new international Convention,
Have agreed as follows:
Subject to the exceptions enumerated in Article 4:
(a) Each Contracting Party undertakes, except as provided in subparagraph (c) of this paragraph, that from the date on which this Convention enters into force in respect of it, its Customs tariff and statistical nomenclatures shall be in conformity with the Harmonized System. It thus undertakes that, in respect of its Customs tariff and statistical nomenclatures:
(i) it shall use all the headings and subheadings of the Harmonized System without addition or modification, together with their related numerical codes;
(ii) it shall apply the General Rules for the interpretation of the Harmonized System and all the Section, Chapter and Subheading Notes, and shall not modify the scope of the Sections, Chapters, headings or subheadings of the Harmonized System; and
(iii) it shall follow the numerical sequence of the Harmonized System;
(b) Each Contracting Party shall also make publicly available its import and export trade statistics in conformity with the six-digit codes of the Harmonized System, or, on the initiative of the Contracting Party, beyond that level, to the extent that publication is not precluded for exceptional reasons such as commercial confidentiality or national security;
(c) Nothing in this Article shall require a Contracting Party to use the subheadings of the Harmonized System in its Customs tariff nomenclature provided that it meets the obligations at (a) (i), (a) (ii) and (a) (iii) above in a combined tariff/statistical nomenclature.
International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
Article 1. Definitions
Article 2. The Annex
Article 3. Obligations of Contracting Parties
Article 4. Partial application by developing countries
Article 5. Technical assistance for developing countries
Article 6. Harmonized System Committee
Article 7. Functions of the Committee
Article 8. Role of the Council
Article 9. Rates of customs duty
Article 10. Settlement of disputes
Article 11. Eligibility to become a Contracting Party
Article 12. Procedure for becoming a Contracting Party
Article 13. Entry into force
Article 14. Application by dependent territories
Article 15. Denunciation
Article 16. Amendment procedure
Article 17. Rights of Contracting Parties in respect of the Harmonized System
Article 18. Reservations
Article 19. Notifications by the Secretary General
Article 20. Registration with the United Nations
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