This is the fifth amendment to the HS Nomenclature since the WCO Council approved its adoption in 1983, said the WCO. The 2012 version includes 220 sets of amendments: 98 relating to the agricultural sector; 27 to the chemical sector; 9 to the paper sector; 14 to the textile sector; 5 to the base metal sector; 30 to the machinery sector; and an additional 37 that apply to a variety of other sectors. Environmental and social issues are the major feature of these amendments, particularly the use of the HS as the standard for classifying and goods of specific importance to food security and the early warning data system of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). HS 2012 also features new classification provisions for specific chemicals controlled under the Rotterdam Convention and ozone-depleting substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol to further respond to global environment protection efforts. Changing trade patterns too played a role in the new version as did efforts to simplify the HS, recognized universally as a multi-purpose tool and used extensively as a basis for Customs tariffs and for the collection of national and international trade statistics.
CIFFA E-bulletin Jan 4, 2012