Annex A: the Harmonized System and how to classify your goods
Updated 22 April 2021
The Harmonized System (HS)
The Harmonized System (HS) is an internationally standardised system of description and numbers and forms the first part of the 10-digit classification code when importing goods into the UK (8-digits when exporting from the UK).
It is used by customs authorities around the world to identify products when working out tariffs and taxes and for gathering statistics. The HS is administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and is updated every five years. It serves as the foundation for the import and export classification systems used in every country.
The main categorisations for products are chapters (2-digit level or first two digits, of the HS), headings (4-digit level of the HS) and subheadings (6-digit level of the HS).
As an example of how the Harmonized System is structured, household dishwashers are classified under:
Chapter 84 – Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances
Heading 8422 – Dishwashing machines; machinery for cleaning or drying bottles or other containers…