Mastering HS code allocation: the key to smooth cross-border shipping

April 20, 2023

In highly regulated cross-border trade, you can not afford to allocate the wrong HS codes. Joom Logistics and Eurora can make sure your business masters HS code allocation so you can avoid delivery delays and errors.

Shipping goods internationally is fairly straightforward, right? Not quite. For example, if a customer in France orders goods from a Japanese manufacturer, the process requires much more than simply attaching a shipping label and taking care of customs. Goods come in all shapes and sizes, and perhaps most importantly, goods come in all types of classifications.

To simplify the process of identifying what type of goods are being shipped, there is in place an international system of classification known as an “HS code”. This system ensures the safety and proper handling of international packages. Let’s learn more about this vital feature of cross-border logistics.

“HS code” stands for “Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System”. This multipurpose system consists of a list of numbers that customs officials use to identify and classify products for international shipping.

HS codes are also to calculate taxes and duties, as well as to apply any necessary restrictions. If the HS code on a commercial invoice and other shipping document isn’t included, it will highly likely cause shipments to be delayed or even canceled.

The number (HS code) has a uniform classification. This is the structure: the first two digits refer to the chapter, the next four digits are the heading and subheading, and the rest of numbers are country-specific identifications.