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What are HS Codes, CN Codes, and TARIC Codes?

Unlock the essentials of HS, GN, and TARIC codes for customs compliance.

When importing and exporting goods, it's essential to use the correct commodity codes to comply with customs regulations and tax obligations. In this article, we'll discuss the key commodity codes used by customs authorities: HS codes, CN codes, and TARIC codes.

Wat zijn taric hs code gn codeHS Codes: Harmonized System Codes

Let's start with "What is an HS code?" HS codes, also known as Harmonized System codes, are a standardized system of codes used to classify goods for import and export. Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), HS codes consist of six digits and are used worldwide by more than 200 countries. These codes can be found on the WCO website and are used to identify and classify products.

It's worth noting that HS codes are sufficient for B2C e-commerce import declarations. If you need to make customs declarations for your e-commerce shipments, regardless of via the IOSS scheme or not, you only need to fill in the 6-digit HS codes in the H7 dataset of the DECO system.

CN Codes: Combined Nomenclature Codes

In the European Union, HS codes are extended with additional digits to form CN codes. CN stands for Combined Nomenclature. These extended codes consist of eight digits and are used for export shipments from the EU to countries outside the EU. CN codes are essential for export declarations at customs and are used to check if there are special requirements for the export of certain products, such as permits or certificates.

So, if you want to make an export declaration, make sure you have the 8-digit CN code at hand.

TARIC Codes: Integrated Tariff of the European Community Codes

When goods enter the EU, they require a TARIC code for the import declaration at customs. TARIC codes consist of ten digits and contain detailed information on import duties, taxes, and any import measures for specific products. These codes can be found in the customs tariff of the Dutch Customs and are crucial for determining the duties and taxes due upon import.

The 10-digit TARIC codes are required for import declarations. Also, keep in mind that if the intrinsic value of your e-commerce shipment exceeds 150 euros, you need to submit a DMS import declaration instead of a DECO declaration, for which you must always fill in the 10-digit goods codes.

Codes in Practice

To better understand how these codes are applied, let's look at an example with different codes for cotton jackets:


Example Code


Customs System

HS Code


B2C e-commerce import (IOSS)


CN Code


Export from the EU

DMS export



Import into the EU

DMS import

In trade between EU countries, CN codes with eight digits are used as Intrastat codes. These codes are used for collecting data and compiling statistics on the trade in goods between EU member states. They are essential for providing Intrastat declarations to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

Consequences of Incorrect Commodity Code

Using the wrong commodity codes can lead to various problems, such as paying incorrect rates of import duties, non-compliance with import or export measures, and possibly having to pay extra duties to customs.

Ensuring the Correct Commodity Code

It's crucial to use the correct commodity code to avoid problems. If necessary, you can seek advice from customs consultants and freight forwarders, and even request a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) from Dutch Customs to confirm the correct code.

Also, keep in mind that commodity codes can change. For declarants and freight forwarders making customs declarations, we have prepared a list of new customs goods codes for 2024.

Understanding and correctly applying HS codes, CN codes, and TARIC codes is essential for smooth and compliant international trade. By using the right codes, importers and exporters can comply with customs regulations and tax obligations, while avoiding potential problems and extra costs.

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