HS Code or Harmonized System was developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) as a multipurpose international product nomenclature used to describe the goods being shipped. Today all goods that enter or leave international borders must have an HS Code. The code came into effect in 1988. The WCO has 200 members who meet every 5-6 years to modify the code.
The HS Code has 21 chapters and is subdivided into 99 sections. These sections are further divided into 1244 headings and 5244 subheadings. The chapter and section are the broad classifications of the goods while the heading and subheadings have more product detail. The code has 6 digits the first two digits describe the chapter number. The second two digits describe the section and the last two digits are used to describe the subheading. Countries add two or more digits for further classification or grouping. The first six digits of the HS Code are the same. The Indian HS Code is called the ITC HS Codes and has 8 digits.
The process of assigning HS Code is called HS classification. Products are classified using the GRI or General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System. HS Code classification is based on the composition of the final product. HS Code is used by customs authorities around the world to monitor and control the export and import of goods by:-
The HS Code is not always straightforward and there could be confusion on how to find the appropriate code. The trader usually is liable for incorrectly written or classified HS codes. Incorrect classification can result in delays, penalties, seizure, or denial of export or import privileges. The HS Code list helps traders navigate the HS Code and find the correct HS Code for their product. Traders can view the custom duty of the product, import data, and export data of the commodity. The HS Code list is modified when the Directorate General of Foreign Trade changes product description, removes obsolete codes, or adds to codes. The list is modified periodically.
HS Code search was developed to help importers/exporters to easily find and classify the goods they are trading in. Users can search by entering a brief description of the product in the search box. For e.g. tablet computers, frozen potatoes, shrimp, etc. Users can also input the valid HS Code to find the corresponding description. This dual functionality makes finding data much easier. The HS Code search gives the flexibility to find the country-specific HS Code.
The HS Code finder is flexible and easy to navigate. The trader or logistics provider gets all the relevant information with a few clicks of the button. Users can search the database using product name, HS Code list by navigating through the chapters, subdivisions, headings, and subheadings.
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