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Customs Classification Support Center

Get Help Classifying Item for Customs Purposes

Choosing the correct commodity code for your product can be difficult and confusing. Getting it wrong can be costly, causing delays loss of cash and make. Chose the right code and save costs, and time and expand your business.

What is tariff classification?

The term "tariff classification" means determining the correct HS code with a Chapter, heading, subheadings or further subdivisions of the national trade tariff for the product you intend to import or export.

What is customs classification used for?

Classification is not just used to determine the customs duty rate for a specific good. It is also used to apply non-tariff measures. So, even if all goods were zero-rated for customs purposes, classifications could still be necessary if you need to:

  • apply for an import or export license

  • find out if import or export restrictions apply

  • issue a certificate of origin

  • claim an export refund or similar

  • determine whether a product is liable to excise duty

find out if a reduced value-added tax rate applies

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How does customs classification work?

The system in your country is based on the Harmonized System (HS Codes) which is defined by the first 6 digits. The good news: 98% of World Trade uses the HS system over 180 countries. For exports: Usually, 8 digits used, imports mainly 10 but some do have many more.
The tariff is like a book of products, with 21 Sections, 99 chapters but many countries only use 97 (77 Empty). There is a logical progression of how the "book" is structured with Chapters, headings, subheading etc.

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Can you give a practical example?

Take the EU- The EU classification system has 2 elements:
The Combined Nomenclature (CN) - the EU’s 8-digit coding system. The CN is used for the EU’s common customs tariff. It is also used to provide EU trade statistics.
The Integrated Tariff (TARIC) provides information on all trade policies and tariff measures that apply to specific goods in the EU (e.g. temporary suspension of duties, antidumping duties).
It is made up of the 8-digit code of the CN plus 2 extra digits (TARIC subheadings).

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How can I learn more about customs classification?

To learn more, I would like to invite you to one of our next customs classification pieces of training. Using fun and stimulating exercises, let us break down complexities and help you unleash your inner classification warrior. We will look at

  • Explanation and importance of the Tariff

  • How a commodity code is made up

  • Determining the correct code for your products

  • General Rules of Interpretation

  • Binding Tariff Information

  • Best practice tariff code management

  • Effective use of TARIC and the UK Global Tariff

  • Classifying parts and accessories

  • Classifying, sets, machine parts and more

  • Understanding Rules of Interpretation

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Quiz 1 : Classification challenge: How do you classify a running vest with two soft flasks?

The EU provides customs classification decisions on a regular basis. The same as on this product. We based our findings on the EU's study. So, when we give you the answer, you can be certain that we are completely in sync with EU decision-makers and EU Customs officials.

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