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Roles Played by each Level in the Structure of the HS

Roles Played by each Level in the Structure of the HS

Sections Level

  • The classification of goods nomenclature is a process starting at section level through to subheading level. 
  • The 21 sections of the HS comprise all commodities of international trade, including everything from animals to passenger goods. 
  • The sections are identified by capital Roman numbers like I, III, VI—–XXI with common names as titles covering categories of related goods, for instance 
    • Section I: covers a broad group of Live Animals, Animal products; 
    • Section V: covers a broad group of Mineral Products etc. 
  • The classification at this level cannot be completed as the commodity under review is just referred to the title of group in which it belongs. The process therefore moves to chapter levels as explained below.

Chapters Level

  • Chapters are the next level of the classification of in the HS. 
  • Chapters are titled with common names covering a narrow group of related goods. 
  • Chapter’s numbers are always written using Arabic numerals, i.e. ordinary numbers and they always have two digits, like (01, 02, 15, 16—97). For example; 
    • Chapter 01: covers with few exceptions, a group of Live Animals, 
    • Chapter 25: covers a group of Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement. 
  • At this stage a particular commodity cannot be found as it is named by a common name of the whole group in the chapter. But its name starts to emerge at heading levels.

Headings Level

  • Under each chapter, the terms of headings describe more specifically the types of goods. 
  • The headings are the third level for the classification of goods in the HS. 
  • The headings are identified by 4-digits code number divided by a dot like 02.06 to indicate chapter number and a position of the heading.  
  • The first two digits (02) indicate the Chapter number and the last two digits (06) show the position of that heading within a Chapter. 
  • Specific goods cannot be classified at a heading level as headings cover a general description specific group of related goods but having different characteristics and therefore the heading has to split into subheadings to accommodate the most specific description of goods. 
  • The subdivisions of headings are represented by one dash (-)

Subheadings Level

  • Subheadings are the fourth and last level in the hierarchical subdivision for the classification of goods in the HS. 
  • Subheadings cover the most specific description of goods. 
  • At the subheading level is where goods are given a 6-digit classification number known as the Harmonized System Code number, shortened as HS Code. 
  • To accommodate the most specific description of goods, the heading is subdivided into one dash subheading level. 
  • The heading code number is added with one digit and zero becoming 5 digits; the fifth digit is represented by one dash before the commodity description and one zero is added to comply with an international HS code of 6-digits