Harmonized Code, Certificate Of Origin, NAFTA


Something unique to international shipping is the use of the Harmonized System (HS), as well as certificates of origin that let carriers know which country the product being shipped was created.

The Harmonized System (HS) is a way of classifying products that was developed by the World Customs Organization. Virtually every product has an HS code and virtually every country determines import duties based on these codes. To ship your products internationally you must know their HS codes. Learn more HERE and look up codes HERE.

Potential documentation needed for international shipping

  • Certificate of Origin and NAFTA Certificate of Origin: The most important document other than a customs form or commercial invoice is the certificate of origin, which is required by some countries.
  • Other forms and documentation: Your specific destination country may require additional documents to accompany international shipments. Be sure to keep up-to-date on the rules for the specific countries you ship to.

Where to place international documentation

  • All carriers provide clear plastic pouches you can use to affix your documentation to your shipment

Harmonized Code System

The HS code consists of 6-digits. The first two digits designate the HS Chapter. The second two digits designate the HS heading. The third two digits designate the HS subheading. HS code 1006.30, for example indicates Chapter 10 (Cereals), Heading 06 (Rice), and Subheading 30 (Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed). SOURCE: Wikipedia

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