HS Code, short for Harmonized System Code, is an international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to facilitate the trading of merchandise around the globe.
The product nomenclature serves a number of purposes such as trade policies, quota control, gathering trade statistics, assessing duties, taxes and proper classification of goods so that they can cross the borders successfully. Therefore it’s not only used by governments, but also international organizations, freight forwarders, customs brokers, researchers and the companies that export and import.
HS Code could be identified with up to 12 digits. Let’s take dried apricots for an example identified by standard WCO nomenclature:
Dried Apricots 08.13.10.00.00.00
Section II – Vegetable Products
Chapter 08 – Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons
Heading – 0813 – Dried Fruits
Subheading – 081310 – Dried Apricots
The first 6 digits are standard codes that specify the product. The last 6 may indicate different products depending on every country’s or union’s classification.
By using the HS code above you can look up the trade statistics of dried apricots on Trade Map and see the trade volume around the world.