Another factor will soon further complicate the global supply chain crisis and international trade—new harmonized system numbers (known as HS codes). HS codes are the global standard for classifying goods in international trade. Starting Jan. 1, more than 350 global HS codes will be updates and roughly 1,500 U.S. tariff codes will also be changed, according to the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The WCO revises HS codes every 5-6 years, so the change is no surprise. However, the new codes will likely throw a wrench into the already overwhelmed economy. "My fear is that Dec. 1 will come and the presidential proclamation will be published and that's when people will start to scramble," Tom Gould, Flexport's vice president of global customs told Bloomberg. "Then Jan. 1 will hit and you'll have a bunch of people that have products that they need to import but they don't know the classification, because the code that they've used in the past is no longer a valid code.''
According to Flexport, the electrical machinery and parts, wood, textiles, fish and organic chemicals groups will experience the most HS code changes.