How do customs and regulatory authorities know what is actually being imported into their country in order to impose the applicable duty or product standards?
The answer lies in the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, also referred to as the Harmonised System or HS for short. The HS is a numeric-based coding system that allows us to uniformly classify all goods. It is currently used by over 200 countries and economies, to code more than 98% of all trade. The Harmonised System, upon which tariffs are based, is actually a convention managed and updated by the World Customs Organisation and its 183 members.
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