The Harmonized System (HS) Classification, also called the HS Nomenclature, is the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. It is an international customs classification system that allocates a unique 6-digit HS code to each group of products.
HS codes are used for a number of purposes. They enable the customs authorities to identify the product and apply the appropriate import duty as well as other taxes and trade measures.
The HS classification plays an important role in determining the origin of goods. The MFN tariffs as well as preferential tariffs under FTAs are set based on the HS classification. In addition, understanding the HS classification of the product is necessary to determine the appropriate rule of origin under any Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
HS codes are composed of 6 digits and broken down into
Chapters (first 2 digits)
Headings (first 4 digits)
Subheadings (full 6 digits)
The HS codes are further subdivided into 7 to 12-digit items depending on the country (also referred to as commodity codes and national tariff lines).