Amended Versions Approved of the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade and Customs Tariffs.

12.12.2011

Legal Update No. 299

Goltsblat BLP advises that the following Customs Union Resolutions dated 18 November 2011 have been published: 

  • No. 850 "On the Amended Common Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade and Customs Tariff of the Customs Union" (Resolution No. 850 of the Customs Union Commission);
  • No. 851 "On Clarifications to the Customs Union Common Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade" (Resolution No. 851 of the Customs Union Commission);

The amended Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade is approved by Resolution No. 850 of the Customs Union Commission and comes into effect on 01 January 2012. The commodity classification has been amended since Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan fulfilled their obligations under the International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System dated 14 June 1983 and, specifically, one of its integral parts, the Harmonised System, amended and coming into effect on 01 January 2012 (Harmonised System 2012). All the Harmonised System-based national commodity classifications, including the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade, are thus brought in line with its provisions.

The amended Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade contains 200+ amendments to the description of commodity (sub)headings and codes, as well as notes to the sections and groups. Many of the existing commodity (sub)headings have been changed and, while some of them have been deleted from the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade, a number of new commodity (sub)headings have been introduced.

It is not excluded that the Customs Union might publish some comparative reference materials for the current and amended Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade.

Today, the correlation tables reflecting the current Harmonised System codes and those of the Harmonised System 2012 are available on the World Customs Organisation web-site (www.wcoomd.org). These tables might also be used for evaluating the changes in the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade, which reproduces all the descriptions and codes of the Harmonised System.

The amended Common Customs Tariff approved by the same Resolution of the Customs Union Commission determines the types and rates of import duties on the products listed in the new Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade. The Resolution also establishes a list of rates and goods subject to import customs duties at rates other than those provided for by the Common Customs Tariff. This provision will apply to Kazakhstan until 2016.

Resolution of the Customs Union Commission No. 851, which came into effect on 23 November 2011, approves a number of recommended Clarifications to the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade, these constituting, essentially, a translation of the explanatory notes developed by the World Customs Organisation in relation to the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.

The Clarifications construe the basic interpretation rules of the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade, clarify the notes to the commodity classification sections and groups, and provide examples and a rationale for classification of certain types of good in certain commodity headings. The main idea of these Clarifications is to ensure consistent application of the Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade.

Though the Classifications are not formally linked to any specific version of the commodity classification, in fact they were designed for the effective Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade. So, when applying the Clarifications after 01 January 2012, account must be taken that some provisions will not comply with the amended Customs Union Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade.

For additional information, please contact:

to Vladimir Tchikine
Partner, Customs and International Trade,
Goltsblat BLP
T: +7 (495) 287 44 44,
E: info@gblplaw.com

to Vladislav Safonov
Associate, Customs and International Trade,
Goltsblat BLP
T: +7 (495) 287 44 44,
E: info@gblplaw.com

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