FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Harmonized System Code (HS Code)?
The World Customs Organization (WCO) designed, developed, and maintains the categorisation system known as the Harmonized System (HS) code. Every commodity is given an HS code, which is used by customs agencies around the world to identify products when determining duties and taxes as well as for compiling statistics. The HS code assigned to it is internationally recognised in every country.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) established the six-digit Harmonized System Code (HS Code) to standardise product classification. Countries are free to establish national distinctions for tariffs and many other purposes above the six-digit level.
What is an HS Code?
The Harmonized (Commodity Description and Coding) System, also known as the HS code, is a classification scheme that assigns each piece of merchandise an own number made up of a series of six digits. The commodity is then classified by customs using this special number.
Basically, the HS code:
What is the structure of HS code?
The structure of the HS code is as follows:
The first two digits represent the Chapter.
The second two digits represent the Heading.
The last two digits represent the Subheading.
The following four digits (Heading and Subheading) correspond more specifically to the type of product it is, while the first two digits (Chapter) indicate the category (Chapter) that the product belongs to. This number is used by customs offices all over the world to determine what is in your shipment.
Lets look at the HS Code of an Apple, 080810. The HS coding language translates it as follows according to the following logic:
Heading: Apples, pears, and quinces, fresh (08) - this is the subcategory of the product and provides more details about the product.
Why is HS code important?
Customs officials would have to spend a lot of time reading product descriptions and categorising them if there were no HS codes. Applying tariffs, taxes, licensing, or restrictions will be challenging in light of this. Importers and exporters from all around the world would be able to identify their items precisely with the help of HS codes. This will guarantee that the proper tariffs, taxes, licences, and limits are adjusted to ensure smooth processing of the shipment.
How many digits does a HS code have?
This depends on the country’s nomenclature. A few examples are cited below:
Singapore has eight digits, Thailand has eleven, Indonesia has eight, Australia has ten, the Philippines has nine, Vietnam has eight, India has eight, and China has thirteen.
What are the variations of HS Codes in different countries?
HS (Harmonized System) Codes are used globally to categorise products. In other nations, the HS Code is referred to by different names. For instance, the Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) Code in India, the Nomenclatura Comum do Mercosul (NCM) Code in Brazil, the Buku Tarif Kepabeanan Indonesia (BTKI) Code in Indonesia, and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS Code) in the United States.