Zonos’ New Classify Tools Anticipate 2022 Harmonized System Change Disruptions

As new Harmonized System code compliance at customs looms, Zonos Classify keeps cross-border commerce up to date, accurate, and uninterrupted

Zonos, the global technology leader in cross-border commerce, announced new and expanded Classify features to help businesses that sell internationally to harmonize (or re-harmonize) their product catalogs in preparation for the 2022 Harmonized System (HS) code changes.

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“As global trade continues to grow in size and complexity, fast product classification will be key to accurate duty and tax calculations and getting packages through customs without problems.”

The Harmonized System is the universal basis for identifying products shipped across borders and is used to determine their applicable duty and tax rates and is updated every five years. The World Customs Organization (WCO) oversees the changes and will formally publish 351 sets of new amendments to six-digit HS codes on January 1, 2022, and individual countries will publish their corresponding eight-to-twelve-digit HS codes within the year. Zonos’ in-house team of global trade data experts will update Classify with the new HS codes as each country makes them available.

Importers selling and trading internationally are required to stay up to date with their product classification and are liable for any shipments with incorrect HS codes at customs; however, there is no standardized deadline or process for how or when countries communicate what their updates are or when they are live, making it difficult for importers to stay compliant. The number of affected SKUs coupled with the number of countries an importer sells to can exponentially complicate the customs clearance process, resulting in delays, penalties, fines, or seizure of goods at customs.

“The need for an easy way to stay on top of these changes is obvious, and Zonos knows technology is the best way to bring these processes into the future,” said Chanel Barnes, Product Manager at Zonos. “As global trade continues to grow in size and complexity, fast product classification will be key to accurate duty and tax calculations and getting packages through customs without problems.”

Zonos Classify harmonizes product catalogs by converting item descriptions or images into HS codes instantly, using an innovative combination of machine learning and natural language processing. In addition to the Zonos API integration, the Classify offering has expanded to include a one-off HS code lookup tool and bulk upload feature for on-demand classification. The ability to search and review a fully cataloged history of HS code classification requests is also coming in 2022.

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