Bhutan: Workshop on Harmonized System
Bhutan’s Department of Revenue and Customs (DRC), jointly with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), organized and conducted a National Workshop on the World Customs Organization Harmonized System (WCO HS) on 22-26 August 2016, in Gelephu, Bhutan. The training aimed to enhance understanding of WCO HS and how it can best be implemented in the context of Bhutan’s modernizing trade facilitation environment. Amendments to the WCO HS will come into effect from 1 January 2017, and as Bhutan is a contracting party to the HS Convention, DRC is working to amend the Bhutan Trade Classification system to bring it into line with HS 2017 in a timely manner. The Workshop aimed to help the smooth application of HS 2017 in Bhutan.
The Workshop covered the following areas:
- Overview of the WCO HS Convention, and detailed presentation on the General Rules for Interpretation of the HS;
- Presentation of Chapters 1-98 of the WCO Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), together with case studies and exercises;
- Group-led review of classification issues faced by frontline Customs officials at the Regional Revenue and Customs Offices (RRCOs);
- Group presentation of assigned problems/tasks and identification of potential areas for clarification;
- Overview of HS 2017 Amendments, BTC 2017 layout and way forward for implementation of amendments.
Mr. Ugyen Norbu, Regional Director, RRCO Gelephu, welcomed all the participants from the Department of Revenue and Customs Headquarter and six RRCOs; and Mr. Yonten Namgyel, Director, DRC delivered opening remarks. The resource persons comprised senior Customs officials from DRC, experienced in WCO HS, and Mr. Phuntsho Wangdi national Customs consultant, ADB.
In closing the Workshop, Mr. Ugyen Norbu, Regional Director, RRCO Gelephu, thanked participants and resource persons for their hard work, and requested participants to share the knowledge and skills they have acquired during this Workshop with colleagues at the respective RRCOs. Ms. Ugyen Pem, Assistant Customs Officer, RRCO Gelephu delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of the participants.
The Workshop was funded through an ADB-administered Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction TA, under the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Program (STFP).