An HS code is a six-digit code assigned to a group of products under the Harmonized System – a global classification system developed and maintained by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
The Harmonised System is used in more than 200 countries worldwide and serves as the basis for classifying imported and exported goods. It is also used for various other trade policy purposes. The System is updated every five years and the WCO’s Explanatory Notes provide an official interpretation and guidance on the HS.
HS codes are NOT generally used for imports and exports. Countries develop their own classification systems by adding further digits to HS codes. For example, the EU’s Combined Nomenclature or Schedule B in the US. Since the national classification is built on the Harmonised System, the first six digits of commodity codes around the world are generally harmonised.
For more information on the Harmonised System check the WCO website (link