The World Customs Organisation has developed a new "harmonized system" for additive manufacturing machines, to be used by 200 countries to classify capital goods for international trade. Approved by parties adhering to the WCO’s Harmonized System, the new classification code (or taxonomy) for AM machines will come into force January 1, 2022, as part of a revised product nomenclature.
The harmonized system was drafted by the European Union and based on input from CECIMO – the European Association for the Machine Tool Industries and Related Manufacturing Technologies — welcomed the new system and noted it will improve the collection of statistics on international trade of AM machines by material used.
The new standards also will make it possible to include AM machines in bilateral or multilateral trade talks, according to CECIMO.
"Standardization is of vital importance in the industrialization of AM," CECIMO director general Filip Geerts stated. "Work is progressing on standards on materials, processes, and applications.
"In addition to standardization, we are glad to have contributed to the inclusion of AM machines in the systematic list of commodities applied by most trading nations in the world. This action will fill another vacuum in the standards’ landscape, leading to greater official intelligence on AM machine market dynamics and, therefore, helping to draft more accurate strategies for the AM sector," Geerts added.
CECIMO is a consortium of machine-tool trade associations for 15 European countries, who together comprise 98% of the total machine tool production in Europe and about 33% worldwide.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). It comprises about 5,000 commodity groups, each one identified by a six-digit code and arranged in a legal and logical structure, and is supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification.