Creating a classification for everything on earth that is traded is not easy. Yet this is the stated purpose of the customs nomenclature.

  • In France, the first reference to a customs classification dates back to 1791 with the creation of a national tariff.

  • At the the international level, in 1950, the Customs Cooperation Council in Brussels issued its nomenclature. First draft of an international agreement.

  • The European Combined Nomenclature as we know it today came to life on 23 July 1987.

  • In 1988, the global HS (Harmonized System) was created by the WCO.

We notice that beyond a purely administrative aspect, the Customs Tariff is also a kind of encyclopedia,which allows you to discover, among other things:

  • Products, old, unknown (Ex: the bouteur, etreindelle, orchestrion, the plectre).

  • The linguistic roots of the products (Ex: plants in latin, “witloof” for endive)

  • Ancient, little-used and surpising terms (Ex : piquette, houille)

  • Terms from new technologies (Ex : Random access memory, robots, and probably someday artificial intelligence)

  • Continents, countries, regions, towns and villages, representative of a product (Ex: Messine, Florence, le Cachemire, the wines regions and towns)

This reminds us that diving into a nomenclature of more than 24,000 elements is not only difficult, but can also take the form of a journey through time and countries.

Although this geographical, temporal and legislative jungle is interesting to explore, Customs Bridge digest it to guide you as quickly as possible to the customs position you are interested in.