What is a commodity code?

The customs commodity code serves as a unique identifier of goods and is a prerequisite for a successful import or export. The commodity code provides information on possible customs duties, restrictions, and preferences. It’s important to identify the correct customs commodity code, since it affects the amount of customs duties to be paid.

Structure of the 11-digit commodity code

The customs commodity code consists of up to 11 digits used by customs authorities worldwide to identify goods subject to customs. Imports require 11-digit commodity codes, and exports require 8-digit commodity codes.

This code number is based on the Harmonized System (HS), which is administered by the World Customs Organization (WTO). The Harmonized System defines the first six digits of the code number and applies in all WTO member states. The HS code is used to classify the goods, on the basis of which taxes and customs duties are calculated.

The seventh and eighth digits are the European Community’s Combined Nomenclature (CN), which contains special EU-specific subdivisions.

The ninth and tenth digits are the TARIC code (customs tariff database) and contain the EU’s uniform customs duty for goods.

The eleventh digit is used for country-specific purposes such as bans or restrictions.

All digits in the eleven-digit commodity code

49Chapter – Harmonized System
4901Heading – Harmonized System (HS item)
4901 99Subheading – Harmonized system
4901 9900Subheading – Harmonized system
4901 9900 00Subheading – Taric
4901 9900 001Code number – for country-specific purposes