What is HS Code? What is it for? How to find a HS Code?

Create date - 2021-02-09 14:57:51
Update date - 2021-02-09 14:57:51


a.     What is HS Code?

HS code is the abbreviation of Harmonized System Code. It is a code consisting of numbers to identify and distinguish between import and export products in international trade. The Harmonized System is used all over the world and HS code is a tool of the system to distinguish and facilitate global trade products. The Harmonized System, whose official name is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding Systems (HS Code), is used in more than 180 countries which are members of to the World Customs Organization and is a description system applied for all goods exported and imported. Harmonized System arrangements on a global scale are made by the World Customs Organization. In Turkey, the agency responsible for dealing with tariff nomenclature is The Republic of Turkey- Ministry of Trade.

Although the importance of import and export is known by everyone, importing and exporting is an activity that requires experience, effort and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, thousands of products are imported and exported. If we need to make a short definition again, HS code is a tool to classify that many products in an easy way.

The first 6 digits of HS Code are determined by the Harmonized System and cannot be changed by countries. For example, 040510 HS Code is the same for every country and refers to butter. The next 2 digits along with the previous 6 digits may be shared by the countries that are located in the same region (for example, the European Union and Turkey). The next 2 digits indicate the country of origin of the product, while the last 2 digits determine the full statistics code of the product. HS Code is divided into sub-sections consisting of 2 digits to examine the exported or imported products in full details. For example, the HS Code of a frosted colored glass is 700319901011 in Turkey. The first 2 digits are called chapter, whereas the next 2 digits (03) are named heading and the next 2 after that (19) are called subheading. The first 6 digits, that is, 700319, is the part that is commonly used by the whole world and is used for frosted colored glass in every country subject to the Harmonized System in the world. The remaining 6 digits, namely 901011, may differ according to countries. Each country determines this remainder according to its own purposes and statistical measurements. Turkey is using 12-digit HS code, whereas some countries use codes consist of 8,9 or 10 digits.

b.     What is HS Code for?

The HS code provides great convenience to both export and import companies and the countries where these companies are located. The HS code, which enables the Harmonized System to work efficiently, is used in determining customs taxes and keeping international trade statistics. In this way, different countries can tax different products as required and use the statistics obtained to further strengthen exports and imports. In addition, it is used in determining the rules of origin, determining and collecting local taxes, monitoring shipping taxes and in commercial negotiations.


c.    How to find a HS code?

It is a matter of diligence to correctly identify the HS Code. Incorrect detection of the HS Code and incorrect processing of the documents may expose companies exporting abroad to difficult situations. If you do not know the HS code of the product you are looking for, you can access the HS code of the product by entering the product name you want from the link  Also, you can check whether the HS code of the product you want to export to abroad is correct. TradeAtlas constantly monitors the Turkish Customs Tariff published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey and updates its HS codes continuously and offers it free of charge to companies wishing to export abroad.