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Can I use the same HS code that I use to export in other countries?

One of the big issues that European exporters may encounter in China is that the HS code used in their country could differ from the one confirmed by the China customs. This is due to the fact that, normally, only the first 6 digits of HS codes are universally equal, but the remaining may vary from country to country, and this is especially the case of China.

From August 2018, the Chinese Customs changed the HS code to be filled on the Import Declaration Form from a 10-digit code to a new 13-digit code:

  • The 7th to 10th digits consist of the national code assigned by China (illustrated in detail in the Import and Export Tariffs of the People’s Republic of China which are adjusted every year in December);
  • The 11th to 13th digits stand for inspection and quarantine code for customs supervision purpose only.

The 2022 version of the Import and Export Tariff of the People’s Republic of China is available at this link. Please keep in mind that the competent Chinese customs will have the final say on the HS classification.

Want to be sure of what HS code applies to your product? Whether mandatory certification requirements apply? Or whether your product can be exported through Cross-border E-commerce? Reach out to the EU SME Centre through our Ask-the-expert service.