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What is the importance of the ITC-HS Code?



And if you are one of those, who have no hint about the term ITC-HS Code, no problem you don’t have to take any stress as I will tell you everything about the code today. The term ITC-HS stands for Indian Trade Clarification based on Harmonized System of Coding and was adopted by India to enhance and improve the condition of import and export activities.
The department of Indian Customs makes use of the eight-digit ITC-HS Code to fit the national trade requirements. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also goes by the name of Harmonized System (HS) of tariff nomenclature.

What is the ITC-HS system all about?

It is an internationally standardized system of names that was brought into the picture by the respected authority that is the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to classify the large variety of goods that are exported or imported from one place to another.

The ITC-HS Code saw the light of the day in the year 1988 and over the last couple of years, this system has been developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The organization was previously known as Customs Co-operation Council. It is an independent intergovernmental organization based in Brussels, Belgium, with over 200 member countries.

The main function of this entire system is to provide a helping hand to the customs authorities to identify the products and assess the right duties and taxes on them. In the Harmonized System, each product is assigned a unique numerical code called the HS code. This code has 8 digits (though China has a 13-digit code). The HS Code is necessary for the shipping of goods from one point to another.

How many schedules are present in the ITC-HS Code?

The ITC-HS Code has been segregated into 2 schedules.  ITC (HS) Import Schedule I states the rules and guidelines related to import policies. On the other hand, Schedule II talks about the rules and regulations related to export policies. Schedule I of the ITC-HS code has been divided into 21 sections and every section is further divided into chapters.

Schedule I has a total of 98 chapters in it.  These chapters have further been divided into sub-headings under which different HS codes are mentioned. When we ponder over the Export Policy Schedule II of the ITC-HS code, it consists of 98 chapters that will provide you with all the details regarding the guidelines related to the export policies.

All the decisions from the commodity description to weeding out of defunct codes, the addition of new codes, and change of product description are taken up periodically as a part of the ongoing process towards perfection by the DGFT.

How many sections are there in the ITC-HS Code?

There are 21 major sections of the ITC-HS Code and they are as follows: Live Animals & Animal Products, Vegetable Products, Animal Vegetable or Microbial Fats and oils, Prepared Foodstuffs, Mineral Products, Chemical or Allied Industries, Plastics & Rubber, Raw Hides & Skins, Wood & Wood Products, Wood Pulp Products, Textiles & Textile Articles, Footwear, Headgear, Articles Of Stone, Plaster, Cement, Asbestos, Pearls, Precious Or Semi-Precious Stones, Metals, Base Metals & Articles Thereof, Machinery & Mechanical Appliances, Transportation Equipment, Instruments – Measuring, Musical, Arms & Ammunition, Miscellaneous and Works Of Art.

How can you find the ITC-HS Code for any product?

I know you might be thinking about how you can figure out the ITC-HS Code for any product. You can simply go to the official website of the DGFT and look out for the several non-governmental portals for the ITC (HS) code list.


If you are someone who is involved in the business of exporting and importing goods, then you would be familiar with the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System but if you are not then make it a point to be well-versed with the whole system of ITC-HS Code. It is always better to be a person who knows it all than someone who is clueless. It is a universally accepted method of classifying traded goods so it will be beneficial for you in the long run.

DGFT Consultants

Authors Bio:-

Sudheer Varma Vegesna 

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