USMCA: Rules of Origin Committee works on the Harmonized System

The USMCA Committee of Rules and Procedures of Origin (CRPO) agreed that Mexico, the United States and Canada will work on updating the Harmonized System (HS) to classify merchandise.

In turn, Mexico made the presentation of the report on the CRPO, which held its first meeting on May 12, 2021 to discuss the Rules of Origin, and on May 14, 2021 to discuss the Origin Procedures.

Regarding the Rules of Origin, Mexico pointed out that the Committee is working on a technical level and continuously on the correct interpretation and application, in accordance with the USMCA, of ​​certain provisions related to the Rules of Origin for automotive goods. .

Regarding the origin procedures, the Committee discussed them on May 14, 2021 with respect to Minimum Data Elements, Exceptions to the Certification of Origin, Express Shipping and Drawback.

Harmonized System

During the Committee meeting, the Parties had a productive discussion and will continue to analyze additional texts that provide practical and useful guidance to promote better compliance with the provisions of the treaty.

In short, the harmonized system is the international nomenclature established by the World Customs Organization (WCO), based on a classification of goods according to a six-digit code system accepted by all participating countries.

They can establish their own sub-classifications of more than 6 digits for tariff or other purposes.

Thus, the WTO and the WCO cooperate in several areas, including market access, the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), customs valuation, rules of origin and trade facilitation.

After the Harmonized System nomenclature was developed by the WCO, it entered into force on 1 January 1988 by virtue of a Convention.

Although Article II of the GATT (Schedules of Concessions) does not establish a specific nomenclature to be used by Members in this regard, and despite the fact that other nomenclatures such as the NAB and the NCCA were used in the past, the HS has become in the de facto rule for Members in this regard.


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