HS 2022 — a new edition of the Harmonized System is coming!

HS 2022 — a new edition of the Harmonized System is coming!

What is the Harmonized System?

The Harmonized System is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. It is used by customs authorities around the world to have a uniform way to identify / describe products that are traded (export and import) and for gathering statistics. The HS is also useful in determining the trade controls to be applied on particular commodities as well as the duties and taxes they are subjected to.

The Harmonised System (HS) thus serves as a multipurpose Nomenclature with a coherent set of headings and subheadings, which, together with the Interpretive Rules, Section, Chapter and Subheading Notes, provide for the systematic and uniform classification of goods on an international and national level and consistency in trade statistics.

The International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention) entered into force on 1 January 1988 with three objectives:

  1. to facilitate international cross-border trade and the collection, comparison, and analysis of statistics by harmonising the description, classification, and coding of goods in international trade;
  2. to reduce the expenses related to international trade; and
  3. to facilitate the standardisation of trade documentation and the transmission of data.

What is HS 2022

Every five years the HS is reviewed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to keep up with changes in international trade patterns and advances in technology, or to clarify text to ensure uniform application of the HS Nomenclature.

The review of the HS could have an effect on the classification of imported or exported goods and the tariff subheading (commodity code) normally used on a declaration.

HS 2022 is the revision of the HS which shall come into effect on the 1st January 2022 to replace the current version that has been in use since the 1st January 2017.

Who uses the Harmonized System?

The HS is used as a basis for the collection of international trade statistics, trade negotiations and rules of origin, and the monitoring of controlled goods. Accordingly, it is used by:

  • all importers and exporters (or appointed agents such as clearing and freight forwards) in the classification of goods for purposes of cross border clearance;
  • government entities with a role in cross border regulatory controls;
  • government statistics entities;
  • trade blocs / economic blocs for purposes of stipulating tariff rates and other controls.

When will the HS 2022 become effective?

HS 2022, which is the seventh edition of the Harmonized System Nomenclature, will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

Will my declaration be rejected for non- compliance to HS 2022?

All declarations submitted to ERS from 1 January 2022 must reflect the correct commodity code that is aligned to HS 2022 in order for the declaration processing system (ASYCUDA) to accept the declaration and enable declaration registration and subsequent processing.

What changes have been made in HS 2022?

The new HS 2022 edition introduces some major changes with a total of 351 sets of amendments covering a wide range of goods. HS 2022 recognises new product streams and addresses environmental and social issues of global concern. Here are some examples:

  • Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste): HS 2022 includes specific provisions for the classification of such products in order to assist countries in their work / objectives as arising from the Basel Convention.
  • Nicotine - based products and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones): New provisions shall simplify the classification of these products.
  • Smartphones: They can now be identified under their own specific subheadings.
  • Glass fibres and metal-forming machinery: Major reconfigurations have been undertaken. Multi-purpose intermediate assemblies: there will be more products classified in their own product categories such as flat-panel display modules. Goods specifically controlled under various Conventions have also been updated and many new subheadings have been created for dual-use goods.
  • Changes have also been made to put a greater focus on health and safety.

The new version of the Harmonized System Nomenclature is available on the ERS website

For further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact ERS service centre at or the following officers:

  1. Thulisile Sihlongonyane:
  2. Nelisiwe Nxumalo:               nnxumalo@sra,
  3. Samkelisiwe Dlamini:

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