What exactly is a HS code?
In 1988, the World Customs Organization incorporated a new solution, which was the introduction of appropriate markings for transported products. It was then that the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (in short, HS- Harmonized System) came into effect. Without proper classification, it would not be possible to transport them. Thanks to this, there are no major problems establishing trade cooperation, even with countries from the farthest corners of the earth. This is because the customs codes used are similar for all countries. The HS code also governs what customs duties, restrictions, and exemptions are available for a particular product. Without the right designation for a commodity, its import or export can be significantly delayed.
What does a HS code consist of?
The HS code consists of at least 6 digits. Although this is not a rule, some goods need to be designated with more digits so that they can be assigned to specific categories.
- The first two digits are the designation of the section in question.
- The next two will denote the section's department.
- The last two are the subheadings of the product categories in question.
If we are concerned about the timely shipment of goods, it is worthwhile to ensure that each product has a corresponding customs code designation. This allows us to assign the goods to a particular category. Everything is done under the harmonized system, which is in force in more than 200 countries, including European Union member states, the United States, China, and Japan. All these codes are written down in the World Customs Organization, where most of the goods to be released are categorized. Further digits are added depending on the country. There are times when the HS code has more digits; this occurs when certain items need to be further specified. The more precisely the goods need to be specified, the more digits also appear.
Where can you find a customs code?
HS codes can be found in the tariff systems that apply to a country or the community to which it belongs. We can look up the customs code electronically, and this is made possible by the TARIC tariff system, which is designed to unify all the fees charged on products throughout the European Union. TARIC is designed to integrate the tariffs of the European communities. There are special search engines for determining the relevant HS codes. It is there that you will find all the codes needed for marking goods. The system that operates in Poland and allows us to search for the appropriate customs codes is called Isztar, it works on the basis of the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (TARIC), it contains, in addition to the codes, information on applicable customs and excise duties. To find the right HS code, we can also use the UK Trade Tariff, it helps to search for the codes needed to transport goods within the United Kingdom. For the entire European Union, on the other hand, we can search for customs codes using Tariffnumber.
With the help of HS code, not only is the customs clearance process itself streamlined, but the rate of duty is also affected. It is used in international shipments. When we want to transport goods, we should remember to ensure that they are properly marked with a customs code. In this way, customs procedures will take place much faster and more efficiently, and the goods will arrive at their destination on time.