The Harmonised System is a six-digit identification code. Of the six digits, the first two denote the HS Chapter, the next two give the HS heading, and the last two give the HS subheading.
- Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
- Called the “universal economic language” for goods.
- It is a multipurpose international product nomenclature.
- The system currently comprises of around 5,000 commodity groups.
HS code is used by Customs authorities, statistical agencies, and other government regulatory bodies, to monitor and control the import and export of commodities through:
- Customs tariffs
- Collection of international trade statistics
- Rules of origin
- Collection of internal taxes
- Trade negotiations (e.g., the World Trade Organization schedules of tariff concessions)
- Transport tariffs and statistics
- Monitoring of controlled goods (e.g., wastes, narcotics, chemical weapons, the ozone layer depleting substances, endangered species, wildlife trade)
- Areas of Customs controls and procedures, including risk assessment, information technology and compliance.
Recently, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has allocated a separate Harmonised System (HS) code for Khadi.
The move is expected to boost Khadi exports in the coming years. Earlier, Khadi did not have its exclusive HS code.