Goods Classification System
In its role as producer of UK international trade statistics, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) produces data in accordance with two major classification systems: The Combined Nomenclature (CN) which is EU 'owned'; and the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) which is owned by the United Nations Statistical Division.
The CN is used by the EU’s statistics wing, Eurostat and publishes data of all EU trade with the world, including at country level. The Integrated Tariff of the United Kingdom also uses the 8-digit CN coding system, which is also used to detail duty rates and other tariff arrangements.
The CN is, itself, based on the Harmonised System (HS). The HS is a high-level international nomenclature owned by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), comprising of 6 digits and used by the majority of trading nations. These exact same 6 digits form the first part of the 8-digit CN code; however, often the EU requires greater detail than what’s provided in the HS, either for statistical or tariff reasons. For these reasons many HS codes undergo a further 'split' into 8-digit CN codes.
The HS forms the actual basis of the CN. However, as this system is at a higher 'world' level, thus needing to meet the needs of some 200 countries, the review cycle usually takes place in five yearly cycles – the next restructure aimed for 2017. As with the CN page, this part provides information on the high-level proposals taking place to amend the HS, and, again information on how to participate in the process.
Established by the United Nations, the SITC was intended to be used by governments for their external trade statistics.
More About the HS/CN/SITC
Detailed descriptions of these systems have been provided in the About CN, SIC and SITC from the main menu.
Customs Information Papers
Customs Information Papers are a method by which HMRC advise the trade of changes to customs processes and practices.
The correlation area allows you to compare products and/or datasets within different classifications.
Classification Guides contain information about how to classify your goods correctly are available on the GOV.UK website.
The Commission in Brussels have made available Binding Tariff Information (BTI) rulings on the classification of various goods.
You can search by goods description, tariff classification code, specific country, validity date, keyword, or BTI reference.
To access the decisions, click here
If you require a UK classification ruling (BTI) for your product please click on Apply for a Binding Tariff Ruling in the Related Links box.