Import Commodity Code, How to Find Right Code

Import Commodity Code, How to Find Right Code

How to Find the Right Import Commodity Code for Your Products

Importing products from other countries can be a profitable business opportunity, but it also comes with some challenges. One of them is finding the right import commodity code for each product you want to import.


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The import commodity code is a 10-digit number that identifies the type, origin and destination of the goods you are importing. It is also used to calculate the customs duties, taxes and other fees that apply to your imports.

Why is the import commodity code important?

The import commodity code is important for several reasons:

  • It helps you comply with the customs regulations of the country where you are importing your products. If you use the wrong code, you may face delays, penalties or fines.
  • It helps you optimize your costs and benefits by choosing the most favorable tariff rates and trade agreements for your products. For example, some products may qualify for lower duties or exemptions under certain trade deals.
  • It helps you avoid trade disputes or conflicts with other countries or organizations. For example, some products may be subject to anti-dumping measures or sanctions if they are imported from certain countries or regions.

How to find the right import commodity code for your products?

The import commodity code is based on the Harmonized System (HS), a global standard for classifying products. The HS consists of 21 sections, 96 chapters and thousands of headings and subheadings. Each product has a unique HS code that describes its characteristics and composition.

But how do you find the right import commodity code for your products? Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Check the product description and specifications. You need to have a clear and detailed description of your product, including its name, function, material, size, weight, shape, color and any other relevant features. You also need to know the country of origin and destination of your product.
  2. Search the online databases. You can use online tools such as the Trade Tariff Lookup Tool or the World Customs Organization HS Database to search for the import commodity code of your product. You can enter keywords, browse categories or use filters to narrow down your search results. You can also compare different codes and see their corresponding duties, taxes and restrictions.
  3. Contact the customs authorities or a trade expert. If you are not sure about the import commodity code of your product, you can contact the customs authorities of the country where you are importing or exporting your product. They can provide you with guidance and clarification on the correct code to use. You can also consult a trade expert, such as a customs broker or a freight forwarder, who can help you with the classification process and handle the paperwork for you.

Tips for finding the right import commodity code for your products

Finding the right import commodity code for your products can be tricky, especially if your products are complex or have multiple components. Here are some tips that can help you:

  • Use specific and accurate keywords when searching online databases. For example, instead of searching for “shoes”, search for “leather shoes” or “sports shoes”.
  • Check the explanatory notes and examples provided by the online databases. They can help you understand the logic and criteria behind each HS code.
  • Use multiple sources to cross-check and verify your results. For example, you can compare the codes from different online databases or from different countries.
  • Keep track of any changes or updates in the HS codes. The HS codes are revised every five years to reflect changes in technology, trade patterns and consumer preferences.
  • Seek professional advice if you have any doubts or questions. The classification process can be complex and subjective, so it is always better to get a second opinion from an expert.

Finding the right import commodity code for your products is essential for complying with the customs regulations and avoiding delays, penalties or fines. It can also help you optimize your costs and benefits by choosing the most favorable tariff rates and trade agreements for your products.

To find the right import commodity code for your products, you need to check the product description and specifications, search the online databases, contact the customs authorities or a trade expert, and follow some tips to make sure you get accurate results.

The Importance of Commodity Codes for Global Trade

Commodity codes are internationally recognised reference numbers that describe a specific product when importing or exporting goods. They are also sometimes called tariff codes or HS codes (Harmonized System codes). Commodity codes are used to:

  • Determine the rate of Customs Duty and import VAT taxes
  • Apply preferential rates which may apply under trade agreements
  • Check if a licence is required to move the goods
  • Monitor and control the trade of certain goods for security, health or environmental reasons

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Commodity codes are based on a common classification system that is used by most countries in the world. However, only the first six digits of the code are used worldwide, and the remaining digits may vary depending on the country of origin or destination. Therefore, it is important to find the correct commodity code for your goods before you import or export them.

How to Find Commodity Codes for Your Goods

The UK government provides a free online tool called Trade Tariff to help you find the commodity code for your goods. You can access it here: https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff

To use the Trade Tariff tool, you will need to provide some details about your product, such as:

  • The type of product
  • What the product is used for
  • The materials used to make it
  • How it is produced
  • The way it is packaged

You can also search by keyword or browse by category. The tool will show you a list of possible commodity codes that match your product description. You can then select the most appropriate one and see more information about it, such as:

  • The duty rate and VAT rate
  • Any suspensions or reductions that apply
  • Any licences or certificates that are required
  • Any additional measures that apply, such as quotas, safeguards or anti-dumping duties

You will need to use the commodity code that you find on any customs declaration form when you import or export your goods. This will ensure that you pay the correct amount of tax and duties and comply with any regulations.

Why Commodity Codes Matter for Global Demand

Commodity codes are not only useful for customs purposes, but also for analysing global trade patterns and trends. By using commodity codes, you can track the volume and value of trade flows between different countries and regions. You can also compare the demand and supply of different products and sectors.

For example, you can use commodity codes to see how the global demand for certain commodities has changed over time. You can also see how different countries have responded to changes in demand by increasing or decreasing their production or imports.

References:

http://www.wcoomd.org/en/topics/nomenclature/overview/what-is-the-harmonized-system.aspx

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aaa3141

http://www.wcoomd.org/en/about-us/wco-members/membership.aspx

https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/statis_bis_e.htm

https://comtrade.un.org/

https://www.intracen.org/

https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff

https://www.wcoomd.org/en/topics/nomenclature/instrument-and-tools/hs-nomenclature-2017-edition/hs-nomenclature-2017-edition.aspx

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Finding-Commodity-Codes



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