|Page tools: Print Page RSS Search this Product|
PURPOSE OF THE AHECC
2 The AHECC is based on the 6–digit items of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System or HS). The HS is a broad classification system of approximately 5,000 6–digit headings which are used to classify internationally traded goods as they enter or leave a country. It was developed and is maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO). First introduced on 1 January 1988, it has been adopted by most trading nations, including Australia. It enables information on traded goods to be compared internationally.
3 Australia expands the international HS to produce two different classifications for imports and exports. These classifications are the Combined Australian Customs Tariff Nomenclature and Statistical Classification (referred to as the Customs Tariff or simply the Tariff) and the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (referred to as the AHECC).
4 In relation to the AHECC, the ABS expands each 6–digit HS code by adding an additional 2–digit statistical code in order to provide a finer level of detail. An AHECC code for exports therefore comprises eight digits.
5 The international HS is subject to ongoing review by the WCO to ensure it:
6 Major changes to the international HS are implemented every four or five years. The first set of major changes was made on 1 January 1992 and impacted almost exclusively on the Explanatory Notes used to interpret the HS. Subsequently, major changes to the HS were implemented on 1 July 1996, 1 January 2002, 1 January 2007 and 1 January 2012. This version includes HS updates to be implemented on 1 January 2017.
7 In addition to incorporating amendments to the Harmonized System, changes to the statistical items are introduced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for a variety of reasons. These reasons may include the rationalisation of units of quantity; the creation of more meaningful descriptors for existing statistical items; the creation of additional codes to accommodate changes in technology and user requests; or the amalgamation of codes which are recording minimal volumes of trade.
GENERAL RULES FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HARMONIZED SYSTEM
8 Rules for classification of goods in the Harmonized System are prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Customs Tariff. These rules are applicable to the AHECC and are reproduced below.
CLASSIFYING GOODS TO THE AHECC
9 Goods are classified according to the general rules for the interpretation of the Harmonized System, as presented in General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System (paragraph 8). The following notes are provided to assist in understanding the HS classification and in determining the correct AHECC items to be used in making Department of Immigration and Border Protection export declarations. They are not exhaustive but try to cover the most important aspects of the classification of goods.
10 The AHECC has a structure comprising four levels, namely, sections, chapters, headings and sub–headings. At the section level, the main purpose is to provide a limited number of categories which will provide a broad picture of the goods being internationally traded. The chapter (2–digit level), heading (4–digit level) and sub–headings (6–digit level) provide increasingly detailed dissections of the broad categories.
11 Sections 1 to 15 classify raw materials including manufactures classified by material. Sections 16 to 21 classify manufactures not classified by material.
12 Goods obtained from the same material are generally grouped together and are arranged progressively from the raw material or less manufactured product through to the finished or more highly manufactured product.
13 Certain categories of exports, for example, goods re–exported after being imported for industrial processing and some ships and aircraft stores, are not classified in the normal manner and are included in either Chapter 98 or 99. For further details refer to Chapters 98 and 99 of the AHECC (paragraphs 19 to 23).
14 The following general principles should be followed when classifying goods:
15 The following points should also be borne in mind when classifying goods:
16 For further details refer to General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System (paragraph 8).
CLASSIFICATION OF PARTS
17 When classifying parts it is important to consider:
18 If you require assistance in classifying goods for export contact the AHECC Advisory Service within Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 1300 363 263. Further contact information is outlined in the Contact Officers section.
CHAPTERS 98 AND 99 OF THE AHECC
19 The content of Chapters 1 to 97 of the AHECC is defined in the Harmonized System, but the ABS has included two additional Chapters in which goods are not classified on a commodity basis.
CHAPTER 98 Special transactions and commodities not classified according to kind
20 This chapter includes:
21 All exports with values of $5,000 or more per commodity (including ships' or aircraft stores in bond and subject to excise or customs duty) should be recorded under their substantive AHECC items.
CHAPTER 99 Commodities and transactions not included in merchandise trade
22 This chapter includes goods that the United Nations defines as being outside the scope of merchandise trade statistics. Goods recorded in this chapter are known as non–merchandise trade and are not included in Australia's international merchandise export statistics.
23 Non–merchandise trade includes:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING AN EXPORT DECLARATION
24 The reporting of export details to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection may be done:
25 Exporters must report all export details prior to the goods being loaded on board the ship or aircraft transporting them out of Australia.
26 For assistance completing an export declaration please contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 1300 363 263.
EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY
27 If the export declaration is made by document, then evidence of identity must be provided before the form can be accepted.
28 The evidence of identity check must be completed at a Department of Immigration and Border Protection counter or comply with the Customs Evidence of Identity for Documentary (Paper) Transactions policy.
29 A documentary export declaration will not generally be accepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection except when received at their counter.
30 Export declarations require an identifier for both the reporting party (Reporting Party ID) and the owner of the goods (Goods Owner Party ID). These IDs will be either an Australian Business Number (ABN) or a Customs Client Identifier (CCID). The CCID is issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for those clients who do not have an ABN. The following clients will need to be registered with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection before an export declaration can be lodged:
31 The following classes of goods are exempt from export declaration requirements, unless there is any permit required by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or other permit issuing authority prior to export:
AGGREGATION OF LINES
32 Where all the details of a group of transactions within the consignment, other than quantity, value and gross weight, are identical, the transactions may be aggregated to a single line.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING A DOCUMENTARY EXPORT DECLARATION (B957)
33 A copy of the documentary export declaration form (B957), can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website in the forms section. Instructions are included with the form.
ASSAY DETAILS (ELEMENT/CONCENTRATION/UNIT) – ON EXPORT DECLARATION SUPPLEMENTARY FORM
34 A chemical test to determine the content of a particular element. Only input details if goods are minerals requiring an assay.
DECLARATION (DOCUMENTARY DECLARATION ONLY)
35 This is a declaration by the person responsible for the export declaration, that the details reported are an accurate representation of the goods exported in this consignment.
36 Before signing, please ensure that all goods included in the consignment have been reported and that the export declaration has been completed accurately.
37 The full name of the person making the declaration and the date and place of issue should be included on the export declaration. The usual signature of that person is required.
REPORTING OF EXPORT GOODS BY CARGO TERMINAL OPERATORS
38 Goods must not be delivered to a wharf or airport for export unless the goods have been entered for export and an authority to deal with the goods is in force. This does not apply if the goods are exempt from the requirement to be entered, or where the wharf or airport operator is responsible for the entry of the goods.
39 If the goods for export are consolidated, then the consolidator must report a submanifest to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
40 For goods listed below, the wharf or airport must lodge a CTO receival notice quoting the relevant authority to deal or exemption. If no valid authority to deal is in force, the wharf or airport will be advised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that the goods may not be loaded on board a ship or aircraft for export. It is the exporter’s responsibility to ensure that goods for export have a valid authority to deal before the goods are delivered to the wharf or airport.
41 Goods that must be reported by the cargo terminal operator on arrival at the wharf or airport are as follows:
REPORTING “PRESCRIBED WAREHOUSE GOODS”
42 Goods that are listed in Schedule 3 of the Customs Regulations 2015 that are released from a warehouse for export are known as “prescribed warehouse goods” and are subject to additional reporting requirements.
43 Prescribed warehouse goods are either tobacco products or alcoholic spirits.
Prior to release from the warehouse, the warehouse proprietor must send a warehouse release notice (WRL) to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection giving details of the goods, the authority to deal (EDN) and the intended next destination. If the authority to deal is not valid, or the details on the notice do not match the details on the export declaration, a response of “No match” is returned to the warehouse and the goods may not be released.
SCHEDULE 3 OF THE CUSTOMS REGULATIONS 2015 – “GOODS CLASSIFIED UNDER AN AHECC SUBHEADING”
44 Goods classified to the following AHECC codes are prescribed warehouse goods if exported from a warehouse:
CONFIDENTIALITY OF TRADE STATISTICS
45 Export and import statistics are compiled by the ABS using information provided by exporters, importers and their agents to Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Aggregate export and import statistics are available in a great deal of detail but not all possible cross–classifications are released. Restrictions are placed on the release of statistics where the data for an individual or an organisation are identifiable and that entity has requested that the data be suppressed. In practice, the way that a restriction is achieved is to conceal the sensitive data by combining it with other data.
46 If requested, the ABS must assess the confidentiality status of the reported data. If it is determined that the owner of the goods is entitled to have the data confidentialised the ABS must apply a publication restriction, regardless of the reason for which confidentiality may be sought. ABS legislation does not allow any discretion to reject an application for confidentiality if it can be demonstrated that dissemination of the information would likely enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. In applying publication restrictions the ABS seeks to minimise the impact of the confidentialisation on other series.
47 If you are concerned about the possible disclosure of your trade data, please contact the ABS and your concerns will be investigated. If appropriate, restrictions will be placed upon the release of these statistics, refer to Contact Officers (at the end of these explanatory notes), for address details.
48 For further information regarding confidentiality refer to Information Paper: International Merchandise Trade Statistics, Australia, Data Confidentiality, 1999 (cat. no. 5487.0), or visit the International Trade section, which provides links to all information about international merchandise trade statistics on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au, select Statistics, International Trade on the Browse Statistics page).
REQUESTS FOR CHANGES TO STATISTICAL CODES
49 The ABS has responsibility for the maintenance of all aspects of the final two AHECC digits, which comprise the statistical code component of an AHECC. This maintenance role includes updating the classifications by evaluating requests from users of international trade statistics for additions or changes to statistical detail. It should be noted, however, that the ABS cannot make any changes to the 6–digit HS codes for exports, as this level of the classification is determined by the WCO.
50 In attempting to satisfy the statistical needs of a wide range of users, the ABS strives to keep the classification comprehensive, detailed and current. At the same time, however, it is necessary to limit the size and complexity of the classification in order to minimise reporting problems for exporters or their agents when completing customs documentation and to ensure accurate reporting. Additionally, account must be taken of the ongoing costs to the ABS associated with editing and processing the data and in maintaining the classifications.
51 The ABS receives many requests for the creation of new statistical codes. Such requests will only be considered where they are deemed to be in the interests of the industry concerned, as well as in the public interest. Requests of a purely market research nature will not be considered. Each request must, therefore, have the written support of a relevant government department, authority or industry association. Statements of support from government agencies or industry associations should include the reasons for that support and, in the latter case, a listing of the current members of the particular association.
52 In addition, higher priority is afforded to requests for changes which will enable government policy to be formulated, administered or monitored.
53 Requests to correct the classification will not require industry or government support where the request is aimed at:
54 The ABS applies a two phase approach to reviewing requests for changes to statistical codes. This approach is called classification feasibility studies, which are cost recovered. An initial review is undertaken and, if justified, a more detailed review. A flat charge applies for the initial study. This initial study allows the ABS to identify any potential problems (e.g. confidentiality restrictions) early in the process, and thus may save the client the cost of a detailed feasibility study.
55 The price charged for a detailed study will depend on the number of commodity items to be investigated and the overall complexity of the changes requested. The written quote provided to each client will be based on the estimated hours and associated computing costs required to complete their particular review and to implement, where applicable, its findings.
56 Changes are normally made to the AHECC on 1 January and 1 July of each year. Deadlines for proposals are the preceding 1 October and 1 March respectively. The ABS reserves the right to withdraw statistical code splits which have proved unworkable.
AVAILABILITY OF TRADE STATISTICS
57 Information lodged by exporters, importers and their agents, with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, is used by the ABS in compiling and publishing export and import statistics. These statistics are used to monitor and assess market share and trading patterns. Australian and overseas investors use export and import statistics to conduct market research and identify business opportunities.
58 The ABS can provide detailed statistical information on exports and imports of commodities. An example of the level of detail available for export or import commodities includes, by:
59 ABS consultants can help exporters and importers choose the statistics which best meet their information needs.
60 For further information on the availability of trade statistics, please contact the ABS. Refer to Contact Officers section (below), or visit the International Trade section, which provides links to all information about international merchandise trade statistics on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au> select Statistics, International Trade on the Browse Statistics page).
These documents will be presented in a new window.