Educate Ourselves

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  • The screen-shot below is again circulating on the net.

    I remember well to have already seen it many months ago, but without the addition of the notes in red that create the effect of "sensational" news.

    At the time, I hadn't given much thought to the content of the image. I had thought something like "well, that doesn't surprise me".

    This time, however, I wanted to understand better and I googled the site of this WITS/World Integrated Trade Solution, which classifies products by assigning them customs codes for export purposes. Nothing more. The first thing I noticed is that the graphics of the 902780 commodity code pages were changed about a year ago, so the initial annotations that appeared in the old screen-shot are gone.

    In the new graphics - visible by clicking on this link…D/nomen/h5/product/902780 - this line has been inserted: "The data here track previously existing medical devices that are now classified by the World Customs Organization as critical to tackling COVID-19".

    And here's the arcane explanation, or at least this is what I understood.

    Everything that falls under commodity code 902780 has been produced and exported all over the world for years but, since the beginning of 2020, the World Customs Organization has defined these products as fundamental to fight the infamous (though non-existent) Covid-19. This technical change made to the WITS software in 2020 is retroactive.

    My conclusion: nothing sensationalistic.

    Translated with (free version)…ce_edition-2_en.pdf?la=en

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