Set up Harmonised System (HS) Codes for international shipments

Overview

  • HS Codes are used for international customs purposes to describe the type of items in a shipment using an industry standard numbering system.
  • Defining the correct HS Code helps to ensure the correct duties and taxes are applied by Customs.
  • Learn about the various methods to add HS Codes to your items including importing them from your integrated platform, using rules, using a default option, or manual entry.

Why are HS Codes important?

HS (Harmonised System) Codes are used by international shippers to help Customs identify the type of items contained within a shipment. The usage of HS Codes across Customs Jurisdictions is almost universal. Every item will have an HS Code, and the exact code for a specific item will be based on several factors including material composition, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), use, and whether it is a finished or unfinished item.

If you are unsure on what HS Codes you should be using for your items, please consult with your courier account manager (e.g. DHL Express account manager).

Where can I find HS Codes?

It is best to visit your local government website to find the most correct HS Codes for your items. Here are some common country links:

Import HS Codes from your integrated platform

Starshipit can import HS Codes from some platforms if it is available. Follow the instructions for your platform below to set up HS Codes to import:

BigCommerce

Starshipit will automatically import an HS Code for each item if present as a product option. The product option field name must be called hs code or hs codes. The field names are not case sensitive.

CSV Import

Map the Code field to the column you have HS Code present in your CSV files. Use our preformatted CSV template, or change the mapping by following the below:

  1. In your Starshipit account, go to Settings, then select CSV File Setup.
  2. Select Map your own customised CSV.
  3. Enter your mappings as desired.
  4. Click Save.

See CSV file integration for more information on setting up your CSV import.

Magento1 & Magento2

Starshipit will automatically import an HS Code for each item if present as a product attribute. The product attribute code name must be set to hs_code for Magento2 and commodity_code for Magento1.

NetSuite

Starshipit will automatically import an HS Code for each item if present in the manufacturerTariff field at the InventoryItem level.

Peoplevox

Starshipit will automatically import an HS Code for each item if present as a item attribute. To map your Peoplevox item attributes to the HS Code field in Starshipit:

  1. In your Starshipit account, go to Settings, then select Integrations.
  2. Click Settings, next to Peoplevox.
  3. Scroll down until you see Import HS code from.
  4. Select an item attribute field.
  5. Click Save towards the bottom of the page.

Shopify

  1. Set up HS Codes in Shopify using this guide.
  2. In your Starshipit account, go to Settings, then select Integrations.
  3. Click Settings, next to Shopify.
  4. Under Advanced settings, select Import HS Code.
  5. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

Note: Due to the way Shopify works the new HS Codes will not import through into Starshipit for orders which existed before their products were updated. Only new orders with those products will display the HS Code in Starshipit.

Starshipit API

Include the HS Code in the field tariff_code under each item in your items array. e.g.

"items":[
{
"description":"Test Item",
"sku":"Test-SKU,
"quantity":"1",
"weight":"1",
"value":"10",
"tariff_code":"123456789"
}
]

TradeGecko

Starshipit will automatically import an HS Code for each item if present on a variant. Follow these steps from TradeGecko to setup HS Codes.

WooCommerce

Starshipit will automatically import HS Code for each item if present as a product attribute. The product attribute code name must be set to hs_code. See this guide for how to set up the attribute in WooCommerce.

Set up rules to assign HS Code based on SKU

The advantage of using rules is it saves you time entering an HS Code into your integrated platform for every single SKU. If most of your SKUs have the same HS Code, then only a handful of rules should be required. We recommend using the Item SKU condition with the Starts with operator to minimise the number of rules needed.

To setup a rule based on Item SKU prefix:

  1. In your Starshipit account, go to Settings, then select Rules.
  2. Click Add a new rule.
  3. Under Condition(s) select Item SKU.
  4. Enter the prefix on your SKUs (eg. ABCD)
  5. Set the Action as Set HS Code  and enter a value.
  6. Click Save.

To setup a rule to assign a unique HS Code for each SKU:

  1. In your Starshipit account, go to Settings, then select Rules.
  2. Click Add a new rule.
  3. Under Condition(s) select Item SKU, and change the operator from Starts with to Is.
  4. Enter the SKU. For multiple enter the SKUs each separated by a semi-colon (eg. DEF-01234;GHI-5678;JKL-9101)
  5. Set the Action as Set HS Code and enter a value.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for each HS Code.

Set up a default HS Code

A default HS Code can be applied to items when this has not been overwise specified or imported from your integrated platform. The default HS Code wil be automatically applied upon clicking print for any items where there is a blank HS Code field.

To setup a default HS Code:

  1. In your Starshipit account, go to Settings, then select Options.
  2. Scroll down to the HS Code field.
  3. Enter the HS Code in the field.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.

Manually add an HS Code within an order

  1. Open the order you would like to edit from the New orders grid.
  2. Click Expand next to the Items section.
  3. Select Edit, next to the item you would like to edit.
  4. In the HS Code field enter the HS Code.
  5. Click anywhere to save your changes to the item.
  6. When finished click Save Order in the bottom left of the order dialogue or continue editing other items.

See How to update an order for more information on updating items.

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