In my part of a research and writing project on New Zealand’s e-waste situation, commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment, I’ve been tracking down import statistics for various IT and TV equipment. It’s been a mission. To get Statistics NZ to provide import stats, you first have to tell them the customs classifications for what you are after. Yesterday I succeeded with TVs – I found no less than 24 classifications, passed them on and got my table of stats.
This afternoon I’ve been looking for printers, scanners and combined printer/scanners. Eventually I tracked down the codes for printers and passed them on to the Statistics information department. But finding these printer codes wasn’t easy. There was no way to just do a computer search. Well, you can search at the Statistics NZ website, but you get garbage answers.
No, it was necessary to first track down the customs codes within the 21 major ‘harmonized’ Customs category ‘chapters’ that are used world-wide, and search within them on downloaded PDF documents. A couple of days ago I found TVs in the electrical goods chapter, but that chapter had no printers. Or almost anything else containing a microprocessor.
So what chapter contained printers (and computers, as it happens)?
Scanners seem to be a lost cause. Even the Customs Department experts I talked to couldn’t find them. Maybe they’re hidden under hides and skins…