10 HS Search & Classification Software You Should Know

In this article, we list down 10 online self-service portals for performing queries on HS classification.

This list is collated with the following considerations:

Mendel Online

Mendel Online is an international trade portal provided by German company Mendel Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. It supports searches in the HS nomenclature of various countries.

Furthermore, Mendel Online offers information on customs tariffs, import formalities, and rules of origin.

Operates with a prepaid model, users are required to make payment upfront before performing the query in their portal.

Based on our market research, their pricing seems to be on the high side.

Pricing of Mendel Online
Pricing of Mendel Online[2]

Global Trade Helpdesk

An initiative by International Trade Centre (ITC), this helpdesk offers free-to-use self-help on classifying descriptions into HS code.

The input fields on Global Trade Helpdesk
The input fields on Global Trade Helpdesk

Besides, it provides various statistics on your targeted markets.

Country-specific statistics for Sub-heading 851711
Country-specific statistics for Sub-heading 851711

However, it does have some limitations. For instance, its input field doesn't support layman descriptions such as "iPhone".

No result is shown for layman description such as 'iphone'
No result is shown for layman description such as "iphone"

The system only supports a product description that matches one or more words in the official nomenclature, only then this system can recognize your input.

The result is shown when input texts are found in official HS nomenclature
The result is shown when input texts are found in official HS nomenclature

TradeNet SG

This HS search tool by Singapore Customs is an interesting choice.

The input fields on TradeNet’s HS Code Search tool
The input fields on TradeNet’s HS Code Search tool

It provides an option to search with Competent Authorities (CA) Product Descriptions. These are product descriptions supplied by Singapore's CA for the corresponding HS codes.

CA Product Descriptions, alongside recommended HS codes
CA Product Descriptions, alongside recommended HS codes

However, as the website suggests, this tool is limited to Singapore HS codes. Therefore, if you try searching for a China HS code such as the following, the tool won’t return any records:

Expected behavior of no result when searching a non-Singapore HS code
Expected behavior of no result when searching a non-Singapore HS code

Furthermore, it doesn't support brand names.

Searching by a brand name eg. 'iphone' yields no results
Searching by a brand name eg. "iphone" yields no results

SimplyDuty

SimplyDuty is designed with 2 input methods, namely Excel-upload-download, and API. The portal provides minimum info - no further info such as the official description of the recommended HS code is displayed.

For example, after uploading an Excel file containing product description, destination, and origin countries as the input, SimplyDuty returns an HS code 2103.90.9000 with no corresponding official description eg. "Sauces and preparations therefor" etc

The input fields on SimplyDuty
The input fields on SimplyDuty
The output fields of SimplyDuty
The output fields of SimplyDuty

customsdutyfree

Customsdutyfree’s HS Code Search covers 100+ countries.

The input fields on customsdutyfree
The input fields on customsdutyfree

Its' search results include additional basic info such as general duty.

The HS search results and general duty
The HS search results and general duty

However, the HS codes returned in search results consist of only 6 digits, which is at the Sub-heading level.

For example, the HS code of corn snack is 1905900000, whereas customsdutyfree shows 195900. This might not be useful if you are planning to use it for declaration purposes.

FTA Portal AU

FTA Portal offers trade advisory information for 20 countries that have ratified free trade agreements with Australia.

In addition to HS search, info such as tariffs, import market statistics, rules of origin, and required documentation are also provided.

Tariff info of an HS code
Tariff info of an HS code

FTA Portal has some room for improvement. For example, as indicated by the portal itself, it is incompatible with the Microsoft Edge browser.

Furthermore, its HS search function does not support layman description or searching by product brand such as "iPhone". It does, however, offer good accuracy for users who know the HS description of the product.

Tariff Finder NZ

This Tariff Finder provides HS search and basic tariff information for trade lanes between New Zealand and 100+ other countries.

Users indicate whether the query is for exporting from New Zealand or importing into New Zealand.

HS search results organized in Chapter, Heading, and Sub-heading
HS search results organized in Chapter, Heading, and Sub-heading

Zauba

With India being the second-most populous economy in Asia, it is little wonder that Zauba is focusing its HS classification on India.

Zauba is free-to-use. But it shows Google Ads among the contents.

A banner showing caption on the input field and 'sponsored searches' which are advertisements
A banner showing caption on the input field and "sponsored searches" which are advertisements

Search results show the number of shipments for each possible HS codes.

India HS code search results with corresponding shipment count
India HS code search results with corresponding shipment count

ESG Tariff Finder

Enterprise Singapore's "Tariff Finder is a foreign trade application which provides and links extensive information on global tariff and non-tariff measures."[3]

The input fields on Tariff Finder
The input fields on Tariff Finder

It offers a range of data based on user-input country pair and product keyword/HS code. Apparently, those data include nomenclature, duties, taxes, rules of origin, formalities, etc.

Further info upon clicking on an HS code search result
Further info upon clicking on an HS code search result

GeTS CALISTA IA

Global eTrade Services (GeTS) offers CALISTA intelligent advisory (CALISTA IA). It offers several logistics services in addition to trade advisory services. These include but are not limited to shipment tracking, and port adverse news monitoring.

Services of CALISTA IA
Services of CALISTA IA

CALISTA IA has some strengths which are elaborated in another article previously posted.

Searching by brand name
Searching by brand name

Interestingly, CALISTA IA is programmed to support the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI)*. The GRI is a set of 6 rules widely adopted in international trade to identify the HS code of products.

Selection of chapter, heading, subheading, and then HS code
Selection of chapter, heading, subheading, and then HS code

HS classification steps in CALISTA IA works by drawing references from the GRI.

Given a generic description of "Beef", CALISTA IA prompts the user to select the closer Chapter. This is because "Beef" can either be in Chapter 16 which stands for "Preparations of Meat...", or Chapter 02 which stands for "Meat and edible meat offal".

Once the user selects a Chapter, say, 02, it then shows possible headings relevant to "Beef" under chapter 02.

Assuming the user selects Heading 0202, The engine will then go on to further provide recommendation for the HS Code on the Sub-heading level(6 Digits). But since the engine detects only 1 Sub-heading that has significantly higher confidence than other recommended Sub-headings it will skip the Sub-heading level(6 Digits) and recommend the Dutiable HS Code(10 Digits for US Import HS Code).

At the time of writing, CALISTA IA is the only software tool in the market that supports GRI as part of the HS classification feature.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article has provided you with some insights into the various tools currently available in the market. Using the right tool for the right job, we hope that you can identify the tool that best suits your declaration needs.

References

* GRI is a feature estimated to be available in CALISTA IA around Q1 2021.

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