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HS classification -- Bid for a new product database

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, May 11

THE Commerce Ministry has launched an exercise for development of a new database for the common nomenclature and ITC harmonised system (HS) of classification of items for use by customs.

Accordingly, a series of meetings have already been held with the various export promotion councils (EPCs) regarding the harmonised system of classification.

A conclusive round of meetings with some key EPCs under the chairmanship of Mr H.A.C. Prasad, economic advisor in the Ministry, is being planned to be held in Bangalore soon. Besides the EPCs, the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and represent atives of customs and the DGCIS are also expected to participate in the deliberations.

Asked to comment on this exercise by the Ministry, Mr P.N. Roy, Chairman of Capexil (whose members account for exports to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore), said there was a need to create a comprehensive database of harmonised code of items product-wise, and the exercise launched by the Ministry was in the right direction.

The council faces difficulties on a regular basis in maintaining data in certain groups, as no HS classification exists at the six-digit or eight-digit level now.

Asked to name some of the product groups where problems were faced with customs nomenclature (within the 90-odd chapters), Mr Roy named a few product-groups along with the relevant chapter for urgent attention of the Ministry.

These are: Granite monuments (Chapter 25), rubber wood (Chapter 44), scooter tubes (Chapter 12), chlorinated rubber (Chapter 39), mosaic tiles (Chapter 69), cigarette filter rod (Chapter 48), aluminium paste and powder (Chapter 32) and ball clay (Chapter 25).

The item-wise export and import policy, as specified in the ITC (HS) published and notified by the DGFT, is amended from time to time.

And any item, export or import of which is restricted under ITC (HS), may be exported or imported only in accordance with a licence issued in this behalf.

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