The revised Swiss customs tariff: An opportunity to bring your master data management to the next level - Tax and Legal blog

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The Swiss Federal Customs Administration has adapted to emerging trends and technologies in revising the Swiss customs tariff. This gives you an opportunity to review your existing product classifications and optimise your trade-related master data management.

Tariff codes are the cornerstone of the globalised trading system. They are used to determine import duties (customs tariff, VAT rate, excise tax), as well as for collecting trade statistics, implementing trade-related measures and enforcing prohibitions and restrictions. Any company wishing to export or import goods must classify them and provide correct tariff codes to the customs authorities. Irregularities may have severe consequences (e.g. large fines or jeopardising trade authorisations) and may impact trading operations.

The updating of the Swiss customs tariff follows the latest revision of the nomenclature of the World Customs Organization (WCO). It was approved by the Federal Council on 30 June 2021 and applies from 1 January 2022. The WCO undertakes a comprehensive review every five years, to reflect the latest technological advances and other developments by introducing new and more precise tariff codes.

This latest revision affects a wide range of products and sectors. For example, new tariff codes will cover technological inventions such as hybrid vehicles and drones. Other codes facilitate the classification of certain pharmaceutical products or identify more accurately materials that are considered harmful to the environment such as certain chemical products.

In order to continue to provide correct tariff codes in their customs declarations, companies need to assess whether new and more suitable codes are appropriate for their products, and update their master data accordingly.

Please find the full press release of the Swiss Customs Administrations here.

Deloitte's view: 

Traditionally, product classification is a tedious and resource-intensive process, prone to inconsistencies and human error.

In Deloitte’s view, this latest revision gives you an opportunity to review your trade-related master data management and employ automation technologies to streamline your classification activities and reduce manual effort.

The Deloitte Global Trade Advisory (GTA) team can assist your company in preparing for the latest revision and benefitting from the new classification options. Our specialists can also support you in reviewing your current processes and optimising your trade related master data management by leveraging state-of-the-art technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for mass classification. Alternatively, you can outsource all your classification activities to Deloitte Global Trade Advisory (GTA), allowing you to shift resources from day-to-day operations to strategic and higher-level activities.

To find out more about our advisory services and classification solutions, please look at our Trade Classifier Brochure.

If you would like to discuss more on this topic, please reach out to our key contacts below.

 

Key contacts

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Hevin Demir - Director, Global Trade Advisory

Hevin is Director with a legal background (attorney at law) and she is head of Deloitte Switzerland’s Customs & Global Trade Practice. She gained experience in various customs topics in consultancy as well as industry for many years. Her focus is on utilizing free trade agreements and obtaining efficiency and transparency by automation of customs and compliance processes.

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Philipp Weber-Lortsch 110x110

Philipp Weber-Lortsch - Senior Manager, Global Trade Advisory

Philipp is an international trade lawyer specialized in all matters of trade compliance with a specific focus on international sanctions, embargos and export controls on the one hand and customs matters on the other hand. He regularly designs, reviews and optimizes (Trade) Compliance Management Systems (CMS) including Business Partner Due Diligence (BPDD/ CDD) processes based on international standards.

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Gina Rüegg - Consultant, Global Trade Advisory

Gina is a Consultant at the Global Trade Advisory (GTA) in Zürich and has worked in customs and global trade both in the public sector and private sector for over three years now. She has a background in International Relations and Applied Economics, and has gained experience in different projects analyzing client data, conducting preference calculation, classifying goods, developing learning modules and acting as PMO.

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