Every product exported from or imported into the EU is classified under a tariff code. The classification helps you understand which conditions and tariffs apply to your specific product. The tariff code, also called product code, provides information on
- the duty rates and other levies that apply to the product
- any applicable protective measures (e.g. anti-dumping)
- import and export formalities and other non-tariff requirements (health certificates, quality controls, CE marking, etc.)
The global classification system is called the Harmonised System (HS). It is an arrangement developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), comprising about 5,000 commodity groups. It is organised in a hierarchical structure by
- chapter (2 digits)
- headings (4 digits)
- sub-headings (6 digits)
It is supported by interpretation rules and explanatory notes. The World Customs Organisation (WCO) provides a list of countries applying the Harmonised System.
The Combined Nomenclature of the European Union (EU) is the EU's eight-digit coding system, comprising the HS codes with further EU subdivisions and legal notes specifically created to address the needs of the EU.