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ECONOMY | Cesar Tordesillas, Hong Kong

Amended classification for import and export declarations to take effect in 2012

The Customs and Excise Department reminded that import and export declarations for shipments on or after January 1, 2012, must be completed in accordance with the Hong Kong Imports and Exports Classification List 2012 Edition.

The compilation of HKIECL is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, designed by the World Customs Organization. Hong Kong has adopted the system in full since 1992.

In 2009, the WCO recommended 220 sets of amendments to the system.  To ensure that Hong Kong's classification system continues to be compatible with those of its major trading partners, Hong Kong will implement the amendments recommended by the WCO with effect from January 1, 2012.

The amendments mainly relate to the categories of agriculture, chemical, paper, textiles, base metal and machinery. A summary of the changes to the HKIECL and the Hong Kong Harmonized System correlation tables can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Census and Statistics Department (

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