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Harmonised Classification 2017

New Zealand Harmonised System Classification 2017 – Overseas Trade data

The World Customs Organization updates the international Harmonized System (HS) classification every five years to keep up with technological changes and changes in trade patterns and practices. The next update will take effect on 1 January 2017, which is when Statistics NZ will implement the New Zealand Harmonised System Classification 2017 (HS2017) for overseas trade data. The data we receive from New Zealand Customs Service will have the new codes from that date.

Moving from HS2012 to HS2017:

  • 961 codes will be discontinued
  • 1695 new codes are being created.

Imports are affected more than exports but the percentage changes are not large, except for chapter 96, which is the recipient of split codes from a variety of chapters.

This webpage will hold supporting documents and answer any questions we receive during this process. The full 2017 classification and concordance with HS2012 is available: Harmonised System 2017.

The available files will help you determine if you are affected by the changes.

Overseas Merchandise Trade: January 2017 – supplementary table

This table estimates the value of January 2016 if it were compiled using HS2017. It shows the chapters which would have changed. The differences are small at the chapter level.

Draft concordance sheet

The classification is a hierarchy: HS2 (or chapter), HS4, HS6, and HS10. The HS hierarchy starts at 01 Live Animals. Codes in the 90s are finished goods. Goods in early chapters can be inputs into goods in later chapters.

This spreadsheet uses the HS2012 information and links discontinued codes with the new codes that replace them. For example, the code 0302110009 has a new code, 0302990000. The HS2 is the same (03) and the HS4 is the same (0302) but the HS6 is different (030299). If an HS6 already exists it will be in the spreadsheet. Otherwise it will be created as part of the HS2017 classification. Descriptors for the new codes will be available at the end of September.

Using the example above, lines 5 and 6 on this sheet show that one code (0302110009) is splitting into two codes. The new code in cell C5 (0302110008) only relates back to that one discontinued code. The new code in cell C6 (0302990000) has 59 related codes. This change now puts fish maws into the same category as fish heads and tails.

Code changes by chapter

This shows the code changes by chapter. Main areas of change are in fish, wood, steel, and vehicle categories. From 2017, hybrids will be coded separately from more traditional engines. For example, the code 8703228003 is for new petrol cars with an engine between 1,000cc and 1,500cc. For each engine size, they will split into three new codes: a petrol engine-only car, a full hybrid car, and a plug-in hybrid car.

Codes that change chapters

There are 21 HS10 codes that will be split across chapters (HS2 codes). Most of these codes are n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified), which means they capture anything that hasn’t been explicitly classified somewhere else. Some manufactured final products (such as camera tripods) will become part of chapter 96 as they are final goods. Currently they sit in chapters based on what they are made out of, such as wood, stone (graphite), and steel in miscellaneous product codes. The remaining goods in those miscellaneous product codes stay where they are, as they may be transformed into other manufactured goods at a later stage.

Using 2015 values, the commodities most affected by this are plastics, iron and steel, and machinery.

Estimated chapter changes

Using 2015 export and import data, we estimate the impact of the changes on each HS chapter by assuming 80 percent of value stays in the current chapter and 20 percent moves. This is consistent with what we saw in the HS2012 change.

Although we expect the changes to be minor, we are keen to work through the changes with you. We are also taking this opportunity to understand your needs better. Please contact with any comments and questions.

Related links:

See the 2017 Customs Tariff.

See the 2017 Harmonised System.

See the news release from WCO regarding HS2017.

Page updated 28 February 2017

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