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. 

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.

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.
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