Harmonzied System Codes (or HS Codes) is an internationally standardized system to keep track of trade products. It is a system of both numbers and names, and came into effect in 1988.

It is developed and maintained by the World Custom Organization (WCO), which was formerly known as the Customs Co-Operation Council.

Those party to the HS convention are obligated to base their tariff schedule using HS nomenclature, although they set their own rates of duty. The code itself can be up to 10 digits long. The first four digits are known as the heading, and comprise of the most general categories. More specific categories are added two digits at a time, for either six or eight digit codes at the tariff-level line. The final two digits are optional, and can be used as statistic reporting numbers if desired, to bring the code up to 10.


All existing products can be classified using HS codes by using the General Rules of Interpretation. The code to use for each product can be found either through research of the product’s form or function. For products that cannot be classified using current codes, there is an “other” classification that encompasses all products under the header and sub-header.

Classification of products also determines licensing requirements and the duties paid. A small difference in classification can lead to a large different in the duties that have to be paid.

For any doubt about the HS code of the cargo you need to import or export to Spain, please don`t doubt contact us.