HS code or harmonized commodity description and code system is the internationally standardized system to classify commodities. The World Customs Organization (WCO) developed the HS Code in 1988. The code has been accepted by 200 nations around the world. 98% of goods traded internationally using the HS codes. The WCO meets every 5 to 6 years to amend the HS Code, to remove obsolete products and add new products.
The HS code is a universally adapted coding system allowing custom authorities to identify the product. The HS code has a 6 digit identification code that covers the product description of 5000 product groups. It is arranged in 99 chapters and 21 sections. The 1st and 2nd digits of the code identify the HS chapter, the 3rd and 4th digits identify the HS heading in the chapter, and the 5th and 6th digits identify the HS-Subheading.
HS code is an integral part of international trade. Countries have made modifications to the HS Code list for taxation or regulatory purposes. They have extended the HS code to a code ranging from 7 to 10 digits. The first 6 digits of any country’s HS code use the HS Code to make universal identification possible. E.g. the USA uses a 10 digit HS Code.
India-HS code list is known as Indian Trade Clarification or the ITC HS Code is based on the HS Code system that was adopted in India to suit the national trade requirements. The code has 8 digits are based on the HS code. The Indian HS Code or the ITC code has two schedules:-
The ITC HS Code is maintained and updated by the Directorate General Foreign Trade policy. The ITC HS code was last updated in 2017.
The ITC HS Code is used by international and governmental organizations to collect data on economic, international trade, and transport statistics. Traders and logistic providers use the code for price monitoring and fixing the freight charges, respectively. The Indian government uses the ITC HS codes to:-
HS Code list India is available at the DGFT website or Export Import Data Solutions websites like Exportimportata.in. Importers and exporters need to assign the correct HS Code. They are legally obligated to use the correct classification. Incorrect HS Code can prove costly to both parties. It can affect duty rates, cause delays in clearing the consignment from customs and regulatory penalties.
Traders can refer to the ITC Schedule 1 or the ITC Schedule 2 in the HS Code list in India to find the corresponding custom duty of the product. Traders can find the HS Code of their product using the product description or navigate the category. They can also verify the description if they have the HS Code of the product. The website mentions the applicable duties of the product. Before you fill and submit your paperwork, it is important to double-check if you have selected the correct classification.
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