The World Customs Organization (WCO) has introduced a new classification provision for Additive Manufacturing systems in the product nomenclature, used by more than 200 countries. The product nomenclature, known as the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, is used by authorities to classify goods in international trade and it is hoped that the introduction of a classification code for AM machines will enable improved collection of statistics on their international trade.
The introduction of the classification code was initially proposed by the EU on the basis of input from CECIMO, the European Association for the Additive Manufacturing Sector, before being officially approved by the parties that adhere to the WCO’s Harmonized System. It is expected to enter into force from January 1, 2022, as part of a larger revision to product nomenclature.
Filip Geerts, Director General at CECIMO, stated, “Standardisation is of vital importance in the industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing. Work is progressing on standards on materials, processes and applications. In addition to standardisation, we are glad to have contributed to the inclusion of AM machines in the systematic list of commodities applied by most trading nations in the world.”
“This action will fill another vacuum in the standards landscape, leading to greater official intelligence on Additive Manufacturing machine market dynamics and, therefore, helping to draft more accurate strategies for the AM sector.”
The addition of the new classification provision for AM systems is also expected to facilitate the inclusion of AM machines in bilateral or multilateral trade deal talks across the world, as the Harmonized System is used as common language in trade negotiations. CECIMO is said to be supporting EU customs officials on the formal definition of an AM system, which will be attached to the code.