Solomon Islands Successful Transition to HS 2022

18 Dec 2023

PACER Plus Supports Solomon Islands Boosts Trade Confidence

In June 2020, Solomon Islands took a significant step toward economic integration by ratifying the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus trade agreement. This decision would play a pivotal role in navigating a crucial challenge – the transition to the Harmonised System (HS) 2022.

The Harmonised System, a standardised numerical method of classifying traded products, serves as a global economic language, facilitating customs procedures, and ensuring consistency in the assessment of duties and taxes. With the latest update effective from 1 January 2022, more than 200 countries and economies, including Solomon Islands, were faced with the task of aligning their systems with HS 2022 standards.

Mr. Michael Ligo (left), PPIU Consultant, with Ms. Alice Saefo'oa, from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

Recognising the importance of compliance with the PACER Plus Trade in Goods component, Solomon Islands sought assistance from the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU). Mr. Michael Ligo, the PPIU consultant who was responsible for supporting Solomon Islands in their transition to the Harmonised System 2022, shared, "The transition to HS 2022 is not merely an administrative task; it's a testament to the commitment of Pacific countries to adhere to international standards. PACER Plus has been instrumental in providing the necessary technical assistance to ensure a seamless integration for the Solomon Islands."

Commencing in September 2022, the collaborative effort between PPIU and Solomon Islands aimed to peer-review existing practices, ensuring they adhered to the rigorous international standards set by HS 2022. This process took shape over three months, concluding in December 2022, paving the way for a seamless integration of HS 2022 into Solomon Islands’ customs procedures.

Ms. Alice Saefo'oa, from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance and Treasury, described the significance of this collaboration, "The compliance with HS 2022 international standards is not only a regulatory milestone but a critical assurance for investors and the private sector. It signifies to the world that Solomon Islands is dedicated to maintaining international trade standards, fostering confidence among stakeholders involved in importing and exporting goods."

On 1 July 2023, Solomon Islands officially went live with HS 2022. Marking a historic moment in their commitment to international trade standards. The compliance not only benefits the government in streamlining customs operations but also provides a crucial signal to the global community, indicating that Solomon Islands is open for business and committed to facilitating international trade.

PACER Plus emphasises the use of HS 2022 for tracking goods data entering and leaving the Pacific, creating a unified approach that fosters transparency and efficiency in regional trade. The successful collaboration between PPIU and Solomon Islands showcases the power of partnerships in addressing challenges and unlocking new opportunities for economic growth.

Pacific PACER Plus countries, including Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu, are currently undergoing their national approval processes, with plans to implement HS 2022 starting January 2024, thanks to the support of PPIU partners such as the Oceania Customs Organisation, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and New Zealand Customs Service.

As Solomon Islands looks forward, the successful transition to HS 2022 positions the nation as a reliable and compliant partner on the global stage, reinforcing investor confidence and contributing to the overall economic prosperity of the Pacific region.


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