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Another slew of changes to the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) is on the way, and shippers had better be prepared for them, says Bernie Hart, global product executive with JPMorgan Chase Vastera. Writing in the company's April customer newsletter, he notes that "massive" updates by the World Customs Organization take effect on Jan. 1, 2007. Virtually all sections will have changes, including new sub-headings and more specific product classifications that will impact many rules of origin within preferential trade programs. "The changes will likely revise your import cost structure, and will require significant administrative effort to implement," Hart said. Disruptions to supply chains are also possible. Hart called on companies immediately to identify the products that will be affected by the change, monitor ongoing government actions, begin re-classification of products to the six-digit level or greater, and communicate with the supply base, among other things.
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