What is HS Code and how are they classified?

HS Code stands for Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System is a standardized international system that determines products that are traded globally. Traded products are required to have an HS code that matches the Harmonized Tariff Schedule from the country it was imported from.  Without the HS code, products cannot be imported or exported internationally.

The Harmonized System places approximately 5,000 commodity groups into simple six-digit code, which is broken down into 21 Harmonized System sections, 96 Harmonized System chapters, and even thousands of headings. The exceptional chapters are chapter 77, 98, 99 that is limited to national use. The heading tells us the category focused on any chapters.

The sub-headings are the last two digits of the HS Code that is specify in categorizing sub-products. For instance, decaf is “0901.22” and coffee beans are “0901.21” and instant coffee would be under heading 21. The range is very much not the same and this tends to happen with a lot of products. Extra digits are for countries with very specific identifications (with an additional 2-4 digits).

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