What is the Harmonized System Code (HSC)?

When we speak of the Harmonized System or by its acronym “SA” we refer to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. It is a nomenclature of international agreement to manage products that has been developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).


This system is governed by the “Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System”, which was defined in June 1983 and entered into force at the international level in January 1988. Since then it has had some modifications based on use and experience.

What is the purpose of the Harmonized Code?

The objective of the HS Convention is to make trade and information exchanges simpler. All through a harmonized description and classification by means of a predefined international code that facilitates and organizes the management of goods in international trade.

The HS code is used to collect statistical information at the level of foreign trade and is the basis for customs tariffs. It has become over the years an indispensable tool of governments, international organizations both governmental and private. It allows the inspection and control of trade policies, internal and external taxes, freight and transport rates and price and quota management. Today it is essential to know these codes for the administration of import and export accounts and for the research and analysis of economic proposals and prices.

The SA nomenclature allows the description, classification and coding of products and goods at the level of all international trade. With more than five thousand product groups separated into 21 sections (Sections I to XXI), we have 97 Chapters, structured into 4-digit titles and 6-digit subtitles. In addition, we have two additional Chapters, 98 and 99 for the exclusive use of each nation. While the harmonized system generates a 6-digit coding for products, it is very normal to see that most customs systems use a system of 10 digits or more, where the first 6 digits are the harmonized code.

Classify! is an App that came to simplify the search for HS Code

Undoubtedly we find ourselves before a complex system that needs explanatory notes and is not always accessible to everyone. Our App seeks to make things easier and helps us to quickly find the code of our products or goods. With an access to the updated database and the help of artificial intelligence our App recognizes the images that we are showing to the application, with photos or our gallery, and is delimiting the section, the chapter and easily locating the correct code that we need.

Today almost 99% of goods traded internationally are classified through the Harmonized System (HS). Coding is indispensable to manage the information and costs of any transport of goods worldwide. This coding is updated on a regular basis and the WCO provides access to change on an ongoing basis. Our harmonized code finder is constantly updated to avoid errors and keep us informed.

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