6.6 Product Classification:Harmonisation Of Codes

  • 6.6.1The need for harmonisation of activity, product and trade data has often been desired as this will enable cross-classification of activity and product data. The primary organisations, which deal with product-level data are: Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBE&C), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S). At present, the codes used by these organisations are not uniform compelling the user to refer to different documents in order to know the excise tariff duty, custom duty, quantum of exports and imports, and the Trade Statistics of a product.
  • 6.6.2 In this context, a Task Force was constituted with the objective of developing a National Classification Code for Customs, Central Excise Statistics and Trade purposes. The Task Force is represented by officials from CBE&C, DGFT and DGCI&S. The objective of the Task Force is to undertake harmonisation of the product codes being adopted by the above-mentioned agencies. At present, the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) is being used in India for the purpose of classifying goods under the Customs and Central Excise Tariff, for collecting Trade Statistics by DGCI&S and for determination of the importability of a product by DGFT. In the coding system being used by these organisations, HS has been used as the basis for the purpose of classification, irrespective of the objectives and purposes of the concerned organisation.
  • 6.6.3 The present Task Force is attempting to develop an 8-digit coding system to fulfill the requirements of the various users. ITC(HS) codes developed by the DGIC&S fully conform to 6-digit (sub-headings) of the HS system, and these would form the basis for development of the ensuing 8-digit classification code. The extension of the seventh and eighth digits would be done as per the HS principles. The proposed 8-digit classification code would also encompass the goods, which do not come within the preview of the Excise Act. The task force would also prepare concordance tables between the existing Customs, Excise, DGCI&S and DGFT Codes and the proposed new codes and vice-versa, to enable smooth transference of the new coding system and to make use of the past data.
  • Recommendations
  • 6.6.4The Commission, therefore, recommends that:
    • The Commission recommends that:
    • DGCI&S should compile and release the series of indices on Bilateral Foreign Trade following the methodology suggested by the Technical Committee constituted within a period of one year.
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