HS Code

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as the Harmonized System (HS) of tariff nomenclature is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify traded products. It came into effect in 1988 and has since been developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO) (formerly the Customs Co-operation Council), an independent intergovernmental organization based in Brussels, Belgium, with over 200 member countries. The HS is organized into 21 sections, which are subdivided into 99 chapters. The 99 HS chapters are further subdivided into 1,244 headings and 5224 subheadings. Section and Chapter titles describe broad categories of goods, while headings and subheadings describe products in more detail. Generally, HS sections and chapters are arranged in order of a product's degree of manufacture or in terms of its technological complexity. Natural commodities, such as live animals and vegetables, for example, are described in the early sections of the HS, whereas more evolved goods such as machinery and precision instruments are described in later sections.
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