Combined Nomenclature, Harmonized System - Structure

How is a customs tariff number or a product nomenclature structured? Why are there 4, 6, 8 or even 10 digits? We'll explain it to you.

HS - Harmonisiertes System

The first six digits of the code numbers of the tariff or TARIC have been regulated by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in the form of the HS nomenclature world-wide since 1988. This means that the tariff tariff is set up in almost all of the first six digits Countries.
HS is currently used in 176 countries. A revision takes place regularly (so far, 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017).


CN - Combined Nomenclatur

The "Combined Nomenclature" shall be published in the Official Journal of the Community in October each year and shall specify the first eight digits of the Tariff/Taric, as well as third country tariff rates for the following year. This eight-digit nomenclature can not be changed over a period of one year and applies both in the EU and the Associated States (BG, RO, TR, etc.).


TARIC - Tarif Intégré Communautaire / Tarif intégré des Communautés européennes

Taric, the tariff rate of the European Communities, is the same as the CN in the first eight digits. There is, therefore, a uniform marking for customs purposes and statistics. The Taric is subdivided however by the Taric sub-positions (from the ninth place) more deeply.
The ninth and tenth digit encrypts collaborative measures, e.g. Anti-dumping rules, customs duties or tariff quotas.

The eleventh digit of the code number is used for national purposes, if this is necessary, for example, for statistical or VAT reasons (including national prohibitions and restrictions). In the normal case, there is a zero, so no further subdivision is necessary.


In an Import Declaration, always enter the 11-digit number.
In the Export Declaration, only the 8-digit code number is to be entered.


In which countries are these tariff codes valid?

Les numéros du Système harmonisé (c'est-à-dire les 6 premiers chiffres) sont valides dans le monde entier.
Les numéros de la nomenclature combinée (c'est-à-dire les 8 premiers chiffres) sont valables au sein de l'Union européenne.



Example: Smartphones

Code Number 8517 12 00
01 Chapter - Harmonized System (HS)
0101 Position - Harmonized System (HS)
0101 90 Subheading - Harmonized System (HS)
0101 9019 Subheading - Combined Nomenclatur (CN)
Where a heading or subheading of the HS is not subdivided for Community purposes, the seventh and eighth digits shall be marked "00".
0101 9019 00 Subheading - TARIC / Common characteristics
This ten-digit code encodes Community measures, which are not coded in the eight-digit code of the CN. If there is no shared subdivision, the ninth and tenth digits are marked "00".
0101 9019 00 9 National Code Number
Code for national measures, eg prohibitions and restrictions, encryption of import turnover tax rates. If no national subdivision is foreseen, this location is marked "0".