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National Classifications


Country / Area: China, Hong Kong SAR

Classification category: Product classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Not applicable.
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?No deviation - Hong Kong has adopted the HS in full for trade declaration purpose since 1 January 1992.
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.The HS, designed by the WCO, specifies the commodity classification up to the 6-digit subheading level for international comparison.
The HKHS is an 8-digit classification system, with the first 6-digit adopting the HS and the 7th and 8th digits representing further breakdown in commodity classification to meet the needs in Hong Kong.
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?6578 commodity items in 2003.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.A conversion table exists between the HKHS and the Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3 (SITC R3).
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.Trade Statistics Branch(1), Census & Statistics Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China.
3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)Mr. Osbert W.Y. WANG,
Trade Statistics Branch (1),
Census and Statistics Department
tel. no. (852) 2582 4899
e-mail: owywang@censtatd.gov.hk
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.Census & Statistics Department
17/F, Wanchai Tower,
12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Phone number: (852) 2877 1818
e-mail: trade-declaration@censtatd.gov.hk
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)Hong Kong has adopted the HKHS in full since 1 January 1992.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future.The HKHS is subject to revision annually taking into account local needs, technological and international developments.
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.Census and Statistics Department. The HKHS is adopted in Hong Kong for trade declaration purpose.
4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)The HKHS is used by importers/exporters in the lodgement of trade declarations, based on which statistics on merchandise trade are compiled.
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?The HKHS is adopted in Hong Kong for trade declaration purpose, while the Hong Kong Standard Interational Trade Classification Revision 3 (HKSITC R3) is used in regular trade statistics publications, though trade statistics analysed by the HKHS are also available upon request.
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)Chinese and English.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.The HKHS is available in electronic form.
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Yes.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Yes.
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsProblems include interpretation of rules or guidelines of the HS and insufficient commodity classification knowledge of traders.
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))Current publications of the WCO, e.g. Explanatory Notes, as well as the CD-ROM, Harmonized System Commodity Database, released by the WCO are useful in the interpretation and application of HS in Hong Kong.
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Customs and Excise Department.
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?Both HKHS and HKSITC Rev. 3 are used by Census and Statistics Department.
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.Yes.
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?香港協調制度
Hong KongHarmonized System (HKHS)
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?From 1988 to 1991, the HS, developed by the WCO, was partially adopted in Hong Kong for trade declaration purpose. At the same time, the SITC Rev. 2 was used for the publication of trade statistics.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?The former HKHS was an 8-digit classification system. While all the 4-digit headings of the HS were followed in HKHS, only some of the 6-digit subheadings were followed.
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?In 1991, there were 5523 commodity items.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?From 1988 to 1991.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationNo.
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryHong Kong Harmonized System (HKHS)

Source: UN questionnaire, 4/1/2003