What are Harmonized Systems Codes?
Are they the same as HS codes?
The long name for the Harmonized System is “Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System”, and is an internationally recognized nomenclature of standardized product classification. The short name is HS, which is the common abbreviation, and is used in over 200 countries (including the EU, the USA, Japan and China) and encompasses over 5000 commodity groups. Every group is clearly labelled with a 6-digit code. The HS was developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). The first 6 digits of a customs tariff number are the same in all countries which use the HS.
Pillars of Customs Compliance
Hear from the trainers of Customs Manager’s Pillars of Customs Compliance course, Mike Bing and Arne Mielken as they discuss customs classification. We will cover what this is and share some top tips. We also discuss the content of the training we will deliver.
End Of Year Panic?
Annual EU Tariff Changes
In this video, we share our top tips for HS customs classification changes towards the end of the year. Find out how to prepare for these changes and understand the important difference between 8 and 10 digits and the relevance of obtaining the correlation table from the authorities as soon as possible.
FAQ on Harmonized System Codes
Each of the millions of completed goods and components that are sold globally are given a unique HS code. You asked us questions, here are our answers.
Use the proper HS codes for your items whether you are an importer, exporter, or engaged in cross-border operations to ensure you are paying the appropriate customs and taxes.
How do I find the correct tariff code?
What are HS codes?
Each of the millions of completed goods and components that are traded worldwide and are assigned an HS code falls under one of the 5,000 categories in the Harmonized System's 21 sections.
Businesses need to know not only what a product is, but also what it does, and what it's built of, in order to correctly assign a tariff code utilising HS code regulations (i.e. classification).
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Why are HS codes important?
Many companies have a problem with applying incorrect codes, but are unaware of it. Incorrect use of HS codes may indicate:
Low ratings from dissatisfied consumers
There is a delay in processing your goods through customs, and they may be kept for an extended period of time.
Not being able to compete with rivals that have a superior product or service
Spending an excessive amount on tariffs
Having to worry about fines and punishments
Terminology matters in customs classification.
What is a commodity code?
A commodity code is a sequence of numbers made up of six, eight, or ten digits (up to 14) that are used within a country or customs union like the European Union (EU) countries. Used, amongst others, for importing and exporting.
Classification Competency Test
Do You Think You Know About Customs Classification? Then take this test!
To be admitted to the Diploma in Advanced Customs Competencies & Leadership, you are required to demonstrate your knowledge across a range of customs areas. Please complete this form and send it to us. We will get in touch with you to discuss your results and the next steps.
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