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Harmonized System of Nomenclature Code

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Harmonized System of Nomenclature Code:


It has been made mandatory for a GST taxpayer having a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore in the preceding financial year, to furnish 6 digits HSN Code (Harmonized System of Nomenclature Code). This comes into effect from April 1.

What does the HS code mean?- Harmonised System, or simply ‘HS’:

It is a six-digit identification code. Of the six digits, the first two denote the HS Chapter, the next two give the HS heading, and the last two give the HS subheading.

  • Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • Called the “universal economic language” for goods.
  • It is a multipurpose international product nomenclature.
  • The system currently comprises of around 5,000 commodity groups.

Need for and significance:

  • Over 200 countries use the system as a basis for their customs tariffs, gathering international trade statistics, making trade policies, and for monitoring goods.
  • The system helps in harmonising of customs and trade procedures, thus reducing costs in international trade.


Prelims Link:

  1. About HSN Code.
  2. Features.
  3. Applicability.
  4. Significance.

Mains Link:

What does the HS code mean? Discuss its significance.

Sources: the Hindu.