The “Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System” (HS Code is the international standard for reporting goods to customs and other government agencies.

The brainchild of World Customs Organisation (WCO), the coding system uses a numerical system which is used by over 150 countries worldwide.

Often displayed as 10-digit code with the first 6-digits being the universal standard which is identical for all countries.

The additional digits used to complete a 10 digit harmonised code are determined by the individual country of import often making the code unique to that country.

Why is HS Classification Important?

It is often a legal requirement to declare the HS Code when you ship overseas.

Additionally, knowing what you are required to pay when importing goods and your total landed cost exposure is vital to the modern cross-border trader.

Incorrect classification can lead to customs holding items, rejecting items on entry, incurred costs, fines & penalties.

Why is HS Classification Difficult?

There are a vast number of HS codes and product descriptions which make it easy to misclassify. Up to 30% of all products sent are said to be misclassified to customs.

Harmonised tariff codes change regularly so keeping up to date with codes without a provider like SimplyDuty make it a very difficult task for most businesses.

Who Needs to Provide An HS Code?

In most countries, it is the responsibility of the importer to provide HS codes which are declared to customs, however, given that many buyers don’t have this information to hand often a retailer or exporter will supply the data to their carrier or choice.

Product Classification File Generator

Use your API Key to import product descriptions and with in seconds the associated HS Codes will be added to your data set.