Harmonized System codes for international products are located at the World Customs Organization website. In addition, users can enter a product keyword in the search field at Foreign-Trade.com to produce a list of possible HS codes for that product.
The Harmonized System is an international numbering system for products and includes 5,000 commodity groups, each containing a six-digit code. The system encompasses over 98 percent of products used in international trade. The code can be broken down into three parts, with the first two digits identifying the good?s ?chapter,? the next two digits signifying the product?s group and the last two digits identifying specific product qualities.
As an example, a keyword search for "shirt? at Foreign-Trade.com results in HS codes ranging from 610510 for ?Men's or Boys' Shirts of Cotton, Knitted or Crocheted,? to 620620 for ?Women's or Girls' Blouses, Shirts, of Wool or Fine Animal Hair.? In the HS code 610510, 61 corresponds to ?articles of apparel and clothing accessories ? knitted or crocheted,? 05 refers to ?men or boy?s shirts,? and 10 specifies "cotton."
Over 200 governments, international trade organizations and private companies use HS codes for customs and trade protocols. Because HS codes are a universal economic standard and nomenclature, the system is essential to international trade. The codes provide vital information about shipments, enabling governments to monitor and quantify their trading.