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WCO Council adopts three HS Recommendations

17th October 2023
By the WCO Secretariat

Three HS Recommendations were adopted by the WCO Council in June 2023. These Recommendations relate to expected amendments and invite Parties to the HS Convention to insert new subheadings in their national statistical nomenclatures as an interim measure until the next version of the HS enters into force on 1 January 2028.

Next HS edition to come out in 2028

The 7th HS review cycle has been prolonged by one year. As a result, the next edition of the HS will come out in 2028. The additional year will allow time to finalize complex proposals which will add substantive value to the next iteration of the HS and will provide additional time to Contracting Parties which have not yet implemented HS 2022 to do so (as of September 2023, about two-thirds of the Contracting Parties were using HS 2022).

Waste oils

Parties are invited to insert under the 6-digit subheading 2710.91 a national subheading for waste oils “containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a concentration level of 50 mg/kg or more”, and another national subheading for the other waste oils “containing polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) or polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), whether or not also containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a concentration level of less than 50 mg/kg”.

The current subheading 2710.91 covers waste oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) or polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), without any specific concentration.

These new provisions will assist countries to collect data on the transboundary movement of these goods and to meet their commitments towards the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal which characterizes “waste oils containing, consisting or contaminated with PCBs at a concentration level of 50 mg/kg or more” as hazardous (they fall within Annex VIII to the Basel Convention).

New OPCW schedule 1 and 2 chemicals

Parties are invited to insert national subheadings for new (as of 7 June 2020) Schedule 1 entries to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Annex of Chemicals as well as recently identified most traded Schedule 2 chemicals. Schedule 1 chemicals are particularly hazardous and pose a high risk. They have been developed, produced, stockpiled and used as chemical weapons and have little or no use for activities not prohibited by the CWC. Schedule 2 substances are chemicals that are feasible to use as chemical weapons themselves but which have small-scale applications outside of chemical warfare and so can be legitimately manufactured in small quantities.

Two chemicals newly controlled under the Rotterdam Convention

Parties are invited to insert, within the 6-digit subheadings 2903.89 and 2930.90, national subheadings for hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) and phorate (ISO) respectively. Since September 2019, the two substances have been added to Annex III of the Rotterdam  Convention which lists pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons.

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