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What is an "HS Tariff Code" and is it required for international shipments?
What is an "HS Tariff Code" and is it required for international shipments?

What are HS codes, and how do I enter them?

Nathan Huppatz avatar
Written by Nathan Huppatz
Updated over a week ago

Products shipped internationally are classified under the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding system - generally referred to as the “Harmonised System” (HS). The system is used by more than 200 countries for their customs tariffs and for the collection of international trade statistics and duty revenue.

HS has around 5,000 commodity groups, each identified by a six-digit code arranged in a legal and logical structure. It is supported by well-defined rules to ensure uniform classification. 

Are HS Codes required for each of the items in my exports?

Although they haven't been a requirement until now for most destinations they are quickly becoming one.

They are required now for shipments into the EU and we highly recommend adding them.

They can help with faster processing of shipments and more accurate calculation of taxes and duties payable in the destination country.

An Accurate Goods Description is required as this helps with the classification of items by carriers. 

Codes can be added for individual SKUs (see below) or they can be added at carrier level in Settings ⇒  Carriers.

Where do I add HS codes to my items and orders in ReadyToShip?

Where possible ReadyToShip will import tariff codes when they are already stored against your Products in stores (Shopify is an example of this).

Otherwise you can modify the SKU options in an international order by clicking on the "world" icon like this:

Once the HS Code and Goods Description have been entered for an item ReadyToShip stores it and uses it the next time the item is imported.

HS codes for export in Australia

Australia uses an eight-digit code to classify goods for export. The first six digits align with the international classification and the last two digits are specific to Australian exports. The classifications are subject to change so you need to keep up-to-date.

The Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) is usually updated every January and July and classifications can be found at the ABS Website.

Warning: Failure to properly classify your product could lead to incorrect taxation on your exports and the potential loss of the product.

Customs and Border Protection provides a formal AHECC Advisory Service. This service has been developed specifically for clients who require assistance with the classification of goods for export. For more information, go to AHECC Classification.

How to Find HS Codes for your products

We suggest you start here:

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