Customs classification in Ukraine

An Expert's View about Outsourcing in Ukraine

Last updated: 22 Feb 2011

As there is a necessity for differentiation of a considerable quantity of goods definitely ordered list of the all goods is required. This is the Harmonized system of the description and coding of the goods (HS) developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). HS includes the description of all goods (including the electric power), but does not extend on services. On the basis of HS national Nomenclatures of the majority of the countries in the world are created.

Ukrainian Goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities actually is the classifier of the goods - the systematized list of goods, allowing finding a place to each goods and after that to assign to it the certain code of the goods. Coding (classification) of the goods is made according to Goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities and is a technique allowing to present the classified goods in the form of the group of the signs established by the given classifier. The goods code is to be indicated in the cargo customs declaration.

Rules of interpretation Goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities serve as a complex management for definition of a code of the goods. Notes to Sections and Groups of goods nomenclature allows define various commodity positions. Certain Notes exclude the concrete goods from certain sections, groups and commodity positions. In Notes definition of terms also is made. Terms are used for the purpose of simplification of texts of commodity positions. It is necessary to mention that interpretation of those or other words or terms, not necessarily corresponds to their standard understanding. Notes to Sections and Groups, in some cases, define features of classification of the certain goods. With help of Goods nomenclature any kind of goods can be classified. Classification in goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities (HS) is balanced, that is, the various commodity positions which are at one level, have more or less comparable economic weight. Thus, certainly, there are exceptions, such as "basket" positions which used for description of group of the goods which anywhere earlier especially have been not mentioned.

Principles of differentiation of various types of the goods in goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities are objective. Most are the general criteria, materials of which the goods are made, functions which the goods carry out, etc. Other important criteria are processing degree, an accessory to an industry or appointment, the features connected with transportation or storage of such goods. As classification demands various levels of detailed elaboration it is reflected in code structure. Higher level - group - is presented by the two first figures; following it - a commodity position - it is presented by the four first figures; the subsequent - a subposition - six figures; and under subposition - 10 figures. The goods in goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities are grouped at several levels of the information importance, beginning from levels where the general descriptions of kinds of the goods and finishing the levels containing the description of the concrete goods. Ukrainian goods nomenclature has five levels: 1. Sections 2. Groups 3. Positions 4. Subpositions 5. Under Subpositions.

One of features of HS (goods nomenclature of foreign trade activities) are presence of so-called "hyphenated system". The hyphenated system assumes putting down of certain quantity of hyphens before names of the detailed subpositions. Quantity of hyphens to equal number of levels of a subposition. Putting down of various number of hyphens shows depth of detailed elaboration and facilitates search of the corresponding goods in certain algorithm - from smaller number of hyphens to bigger.

In some positions and subpositions there are additional levels of detailed elaboration is not provided. They are designated by symbols "-" or "- -" which are put down before the text description. Without the specified corresponding description if it is available, it is impossible to classify the goods. Besides in all cases the text description of the goods before which there is a two-hyphenated symbol ("- -") is read together with the text description located above before which there is one-hyphenated symbol ("-").

As a rule, from a position or subposition allocate one or several kinds of production most widely rotating in world trade, the generalised classification grouping intends for other kinds with the text description - "other", so-called "basket commodity positions" in which are classified the goods, especially in the given group not named.

According to article 24 of the Customs code of Ukraine after registration of the cargo customs declaration in import regime the goods are considered in the free circulation and are not under the customs control. Thus, change of a code of the goods at release of the goods in the free circulation (in import regime) is impossible.

Initiators of change of code can be:
• Customs authorities (in cases provided by the Operating procedure of department of the nomenclature and classification of the goods of regional customs, department of the control of customs value and the customs nomenclature at the decision of questions of classification of the goods which move through customs border of Ukraine, confirmed by order of the State customs service of Ukraine from 01.10.03 N 646);
• The subject of foreign trade activities (in cases of revealing by it wrong (erroneous) goods coding in previous customs regimes).

In a case when the initiator of change of a code of the goods is the customs authorities, procedure of its change will be following:
1. The subject of foreign trade activities submits to customs for registration the cargo customs declaration of type "import" on the goods which have preliminary been issued in customs regime of a customs warehouse, temporary import or have been placed on storage under the customs control in warehouse.
2. The customs makes corresponding inquiry in Department of the nomenclature and classification of the goods of regional customs (Department of the control of customs value and the customs nomenclature). In case of impossibility for Department to classify the goods unequivocally (the difficult chemical compound of the goods or its mix etc.), inquiry made in customs laboratory with sampling and drawing up of the corresponding certificate. About a chemical compound of samples of the goods or its other qualities the customs laboratory gives the conclusion within 1 month.
3. The department of the nomenclature and classification of the goods of regional customs makes the Decision on goods code (in case of inquiry drawing up in customs laboratory, the Decision on goods code is made on the basis of the corresponding conclusion of customs laboratory).
4. On the basis of the Decision of Department of the nomenclature and classification of the goods of regional customs on goods code the subject of foreign trade activities should present to registration the cargo customs declaration in an import regime with code specified in the Decision of Department of the nomenclature and classification of the goods of regional customs.

According to customs legislation the Decision of Department of the control of customs value and the customs nomenclature of goods classification can be changed by the Regional customs or the State customs service of Ukraine.

In a case when the initiator of change of a code of the goods is the subject of foreign trade activities, it does not submit declaration for registration, and addresses customs with the letter addressed to the chief of customs in who asks to change goods code, and gives the documents confirming another code. After that, on the basis of the corresponding resolution of the chief of customs or its assistant the subject of foreign trade activities undergoes the above described procedure of definition of a correct code of the goods in Department of the nomenclature and classification of the goods of regional customs.

Thus, it is necessary to pay attention that in case of presentation of declaration by the subject of foreign trade activities for customs to registration with false code rather than what is declared in previous declaration, customs authorities may draw up a report on infringement of customs rules under article 118 "False declaring of goods" of the Customs code of Ukraine.

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Posted: 19 February 2011, last updated 22 February 2011

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