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

One common issue encountered by European exporters 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; the remaining may vary, 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 2023 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.