HS code, a brief idea

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HS code, a brief idea


What is HS code how does HS code work in Export and Import?

In this article I am going to explain about Harmonized System Code, (Harmonized Tariff Code), how does HS code function, how many digits are there in HS code and how does HS codes function in different countries. 


HS code means Harmonized System Code. It is also known as HTS which means Harmonized Tariff Schedule code. HS code description and coding System was created by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to categorize goods into approximately 5,000 commodity groups, which is accepted and implementing by more than 200 countries worldwide.

Harmonized System Code  for Exports and Imports

How many digits are there in HS code?

Some of you may get confused about the number of digits in HS code. Does HS code contain 2 digit, 4 digits,6 digits,8 digits or 10 digits. Let me explain in simple language to make you understand easily about HS code which is also known as HTS code. The World Customs Organization (WCO) has been administering 6 digits HS codes schedule.

The HS codes have been being used by 98% of Import Export trade all over world. First two digits called 'Chapters', First four digits is called 'heading' and six digits 'sub heading'. Let me once again simplify with an example. HS code 010111 meant for PUREBRED BREEDING under heading 0101 ( HORSES,ASSES,MULES AND HINNIES, LIVE) under the chapter 01 (LIVE ANIMALS) . So HS code chapter 01 meant for LIVE ANIMALS, HS code chapter heading 0101 meant for HORSES,ASSES,MULES AND HINNIES, LIVE and HS code 010111 meant for PUREBRED BREEDING. I hope, I could make you understand easily.

However, each country can modify by adding two digits or four digits as per their requirements without changing first six digits. In other words, first six digits of HS code (HTS code) are same in all countries. But  countries can add additional digits to categorize and define commodities at more detailed level without modifying or changing first six digits. So Countries which use the Harmonized Systems Codes are allowed to define commodities at a more detailed level than 6 digits, but all definitions must be within that 6 digit framework. For example in United States, 10 digits codes are used for export purpose which is called SHEDULE B. Here, the classification under first 6 digits remains same without violating common code of WCO, but additional 4 digits are categorized in more detailed level. In India, 8 digits are used which is called ITC number which means Indian Tariff Code number. I have written an article to have a brief idea about the difference between HS code and ITC code in this web blog.

In this article I have explained about Harmonized System Code, (Harmonized Tariff Code), how does HS code function, how many digits are there in HS code and how does HS codes function in different countries. I hope you I could clarify in brief about HS code and you have satisfied to know about HS codes (HTS codes) in brief.


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hemant: thanks it was very helpful.

Ismael Rodrigo Schneider: Good! I do work in Brazil and here we use am 8 digit system called NCH - Nomenclatura Comum do Mercosul (Mercosul Common Coding) - but I'm still confused... Should I use a 10 digit code to export to USA? Should I reduce it to 8 to export to India? Can I use ALWAYS only a 6 digit code based on the HS?? Anyway! Thank you very much!

Mudassar: Thanks ! That was very informative!

Rajendrasinh Bahesh: You express in excellent simple english that is very much useful as well as helpful for the beginners to understand that import export is so easy and smooth business. Lots of Thanks.

Sandeep Jattan: Dear sir, Thank you so much sir.it's very useful for me.

Joseph Edwinson: Is the HTS code common all over the world? or every country will be having unique HTS code for all the Commodity?

joyesh : I know international trade arena is vast and not easy to cover everything . However ,you covered most of the aspects of foreign trade in a simple manner . 1)Form ARE1/ARE2/ARE3/AR4/AR5 which forms when required ? 2)Whether exchange control copy is in lieu of GR currently ? 3) In third party export ,which form is required for removal of excisable goods ? 4) if export under Advance authorization ,which form is required for removal of excisable goods ? 5) how many shipping bills are generated by CHA ? 3 /4 or 5 .they are namely ( 1st EC for Bank – is it the same as GR /2nd for Customs/3rd for Exporters/ 4th after filing of EGM –EP) is there anything else ? a copy is given to ship also .which is that copy ? 6) even though EC copy of SB is required to be submitted to our authorized dealer , in case not submitted , whether RBI is getting our export information and inward remittance details or not- in absence of eBRC also ? 7) at the time of export under different schemes what all things to be taken care of .currently which schemes are available ? DEEC,DEPB,DFRC,DFIA etc 8) what are the mandatory documents for pre-shipment customs for and pro-shipments for bank? 9) For export Customs clearance what all documents export prepares and what all CHA ? how/what to check in the documents we received from customs after shipment . what all documents to be submitted to our banker and what all documents should be in our file ? is there any other authority other than bank to submit any of the documents ? Is there any customs assessment like sales tax and IT? 10) as a beginner , what is your suggestion ? Can you please provide us a master check list so that we can follow one by one ? 11) if you can prepare a slide show for step by step ,it would be very nice . You may please quote for the services . Provide me bank details .I will do the need . Hope to associate for future business .

Geetha : I have gone through your blog of How to import and export, its really motivating for me . Actually i am a graduate and planning to start the export business. Now i understood the process that before starting i need to register my firm and for that need to select the products. Can u pls guide in selecting the product and market. I am interested in agro products.

Riyas Mk : I seen your website www.howtoexportimport.com. It is a very helpful website to understand deeply about export and import. I am planning to start some particular cosmetic products exporting to Malaysia. I got some orders too for this. On this as you are a consultancy, i would like to know what all services and guidance you are providing for this?

Mukesh Rankwar: My name is Mukesh Rankwar and i had recently opened a import export house in the name of M/s SM Traders House. I had gone through your website and had learned a lot from it. I want to know where should i register my Import export house to get maximum benefits for exports like (Focus market scheme, Duty drawback, etc) I had just send an consignment to Zambia.Please guide me in this regard.

Nguyen: Thanks a lot, Your article is really helpful. Wish u the best of luck, health and wealth :)

Peri Di: Dear sir , Thank you for the simple explanation of HS codes and its difference with ITC . I just stumbled upon your website and find so many useful information related with Import/Export.Thanks again.

rahul agrawal: can anyone help me with this i will be importing a4 paper from china i wanted to know that is the custom duty on paper calculated on weight in india and whats the calculation thanks

Bhavin Sidpara: Thanks for this article This is very useful for me and my other friends

sandeep savaliya : i have done MBA (shipping and logistics) from Kerala. presently i am working as logistics executive in manufacturing company. frequently i am visiting http://howtoexportimport.com for to know about EXIM knowledge this website like perfect with simple description style means every one can get it and easily understand.it's like a live teacher.So, here i want to know is there any books or materials from you as hard copy. please suggest me books or materiel so i can enhance my skill and knowledge.

Rajan Dave : We are a manufacturer unite of textile dyes & chemical. During last 6 months we have exported apprx 500 MT dyes to our group companies in Thailand against ARE1 & taken export benefit against these export shipments. Due to low demand & orders cancelled by our Thailand customer, we would like to call back apprx 500 MT goods to our manufacturing plant. We have some orders in local Indian market & we wish to sell this gods in our domestics customer. Could you please advice me on below points. Is it treated as a import or back to town ,We shall responsible only to pay excise duty or customs duty will also applicable, Complete procedure for this transaction?

suresh kumar : I am a reader of your website: How to export import.com. I am a beginner of Export field. I was studied many articles and learnt morethings about export from your website only. This is really very helpful all exporter and importers. Now i have a doubt. Pl kindly clarify this doubt . This is my humble request. 1) When i want to purchase cardamom from my suppliers in Tamilnadu & Kerala . Few of suppliers are asking my buyers Purchase order for exemption of Tax. Some other suppliers are asking to submit H form along with bill of lading documents for tax exemption 2) Some suppliers purposely want to know the buyers address and all. If i give all documents to them my business secracy will be out. In this situation how to i prevent my Business Secrets from them? same time i want to business with them 3) I have registered CST and TIN Number in my own Company name as Sree Agathiyar Exports. My Question is If i purchase the goods in my CST number from supplier, am i eligible to claim tax exemption directly with sale tax department ?. This is correct or not. ( My intention is i don't want to show my business secrets with suppliers. As you know that if i show my buyers address to suppliers, what will happen in future !!!!! ) 4) Who will issue the H form? Whether buyer or Commercial Sales tax department ? 5) For shipment purpose, which format we have to use for Transporting Export goods from Godown to Tuticorin Port trust. This is my clarification. Since I kindly request you to pl clarify my doubts at the earliest

raghu vrr : Sir I want to start a export business and even I don't know basics about exports and imports business. Kindly guide me.

Saif: Hello sir, Thanks, I was searching for IHC on Google and it served me to this website. I am fully satisfied with the information. I studied here too many terms one by one.

Shine Mathew: Thanks & it was very simple to understand.

Manish Barot: Many many thanks,sir yr article is very helpful in my import and export business life. Thanks a lot.

büsra: Thank you for sharing your ideas here. It was helpful for me too. I will be waiting for your new texts. Wishing you the best!

kunal: Dear sir, your all articles are very use full @ easy to understand hear i want to know about different kind of payment terms & conditions world wide. which is best among them. regards kunal pandya Ahmedabad

Venkat: Hi, I want to export nuts(herbal), how and from where can I procure HS code in India and how much would it costs? Regards, Venkat G.

Adeline: Hi, we starts exporting in different countries. GCC is asking for the 8-digits GCC HS code to be mentionned on the invoice. We were thinking about using one same invoice framework for all countries, and therefore using the 6-digits HS code. Is it mandatory to mentionned these 8-digits HS code? Or is it okay if we stay with the 6-digits? Thanks

Vijay: Hi. I would like to import an engine and I have found the HS code for it. My question is if that engine is slightly used, will it be covered under same HS code. And if under that HS code the duty structure would remain the same.

Subha: Dear Sir, I am from Shravan Trading Service, Coimbatore,Tamilnadu,India.Our company is a startup company, we have products like cow ghee, egg, mud pots to export but i don't know how to find HS Code and ITC Code for my Products,i need your help sir.I request you to explain how to find HS and ITC Code for my products to export.Thank You

Datta Sarode: Sir, I want to export green vegetables and fruits ( Daily 300 kgs.all [put together 10/15 commodities.)to london retailer, what would be procedure.

Sohan: why sometimes exported countries company want to cancel imported countries hs code

ravi: I came across your website whenI was searching for HSN and Commodity code related advice. We are looking to import a small sample consignment of a product from India to UK and are not sure of what HSN code will apply, related custom duties and VAT , restrictions, if any? These diyas are manufactured by rural women self-help groups and they have no idea of HSN etc. I would be grateful if you can provide some guidance in this regard. We might need some advice of similar kind on an ongoing basis, so also please do let me know if you have any commercial advisory proposition in place.

paras: I came across your website while researching a few Codes for Nutritional Supplements for Harmonized Tariff Schedule. Really the content on your website is informative and helpful. I was trying to find the code for a branded product "HOLISTROL" . This is a blood pressure related supplement. According to you what may be the best method to find its HS code. Should I first find out ingredients and then try to find the code?

vadim: I'm from Russia. I'm interested in doing business with your company. I need HS code data for my clients in Russia. We are opening a new business and looking for partners who plan to order a lot of HS code. Need data on 6 / 8 digit HS code. The data should include company names and phone numbers. Interested in the whole world. Import and export. Mainly China, Europe, Asia. South and North America, Africa, Australia. I ask you to specify for which countries you can provide me with full data? Do you have a price list-can you send it? Also, please clarify : 1. For what period do you provide HS code? 2. How quickly after payment you provide data HS code? I want to see a demo. Can you send for any product or? For Example, China, Germany.

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