How do I find the correct HS Code?

As of 2023, all shipments departing Blackship must include HS codes as part of their customs declaration. This will ease customs clearance and reduce shipping delays.

We allow customers to search using HS codes or keyword phrases (book, sweatshirt, etc). For the vast majority of items you buy, we hope a product type will already exist in our database and be easy to find. But if you are purchasing an obscure or unique item, it can be difficult to find the correct code within our system. Some codes are very specific, while others are exceptionally broad.

With practice, it should become easier to choose a code. If you come against a situation where you can’t find an item with keywords or an HS code you know you want to use, we have included a guide below.

When searching for codes, you should use the term for the item and any similar terms to find the best match. For some, like “rice cooker” you may get an exact match in Blackship, but others will be harder to find. So you may need to search for kitchen, appliances, and other similar phrases.

Remember that we use HS6 codes. So, if you find a recommended code 6307.90.9889, you should take the first six numbers and remove the punctuation to become 630790. In most cases, that should give you the correct HS6, but in some rare cases, it may differ. In that case, search for the HS4 (first four numbers) in Blackship or the WCO (linked below) and try to find the HS6 that matches your item from there.

How to read HS codes

HS codes directly relate to the chapter and headings used to find that item. For instance, the previous HS6 630790 can be broken down as follows.








Subheading (Item group)

Knowing how to break down the code may help you find a more relevant section under a Chapter or Heading if you find a similar item to the one you are searching for or want to be sure another option isn’t better for you.

The below is taken from the WCO:

And this is from the UK Integrated Online Tariff:

Sections are not included as part of the HS code.

Resources to find codes

Use the sites below to find the correct code for your item!

  • World Customs Organization - be sure to use the 2022 edition of the HS code list. This site is the official list of HS codes and should match the one in Blackship.

Any resources used below should be cross-checked with the WCO to ensure the code is current and matches the numbers we use in the 2022 edition of the HS code list.

  • UK Integrated Online Tariff - similar to the WCO, this site gives clear breakdowns of chapters and headings and is easy to read. The navigation may be easier than WCO for some people.
  • CustomsMobile - a database of US customs law rulings on what HS code to use for items. You can search freely and review detailed rulings on items. Some of these rulings are old, so the HS codes may be outdated. But they may point you to the correct chapter.
  • Google Search - if all else fails or you have a particularly unusual item, a simple Google search such as “item name hs code” can be a great starting point to get ideas on where to look. But you will quickly see that there are a lot of different codes people use for the same thing, so always double-check the category from an official source.

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