HStrade is a new service for HS codes classification via a simple API integration. HStrade can be provided as a stand-alone service solution to supply chain members, such as postal service and eCommerce logistics companies and also offered as an integral part of X7trade platform.

Why HS codes?

The new EU VAT eCommerce package will enter into force on July 1, 2021 thus marking a new era in customs processes for eCommerce goods imported into the EU from third countries. One of the most crucial data elements in the new customs import declaration process is the use of HS codes or Harmonized System codes which represent a standardized and internationally recognized numerical method of classifying traded products. Ecommerce trade is not exempt from using this system of HS codes.

Under the new EU VAT eCommerce package, non-EU e-sellers like marketplaces and webshops or their EU-based intermediaries are liable for providing the correct 6-digit HS codes for customs clearance procedures. Supply chain members who fail to provide correct 6-digit HS codes will have their import declarations rejected by EU Customs. This is because the customs administrations of the EU member states require correctly assigned HS codes on every customs declaration. HS codes help the EU controlling agencies to quickly determine whether imported goods fall under restrictions or not. During the validation process, prohibited goods will be subjected to a special customs regime and separated from regular low-value goods.

To fill that gap and help non-EU e-sellers with missing or incorrect HS codes, the X7trade platform has a built-in service – HStrade – offering HS codes search, validation and automated matching. HStrade can also be provided as a stand-alone service to supply chain members, such as postal service and eCommerce logistics companies, via a simple and secure API integration.

How can EU postal service operators and eCommerce logistics companies benefit from the HStrade service?

As a non-EU e-seller intermediary

In assuming the role of intermediary for a non-EU e-seller, thus largely being liable for the accuracy of the import data, EU-based postal services and eCommerce logistics companies need to ensure that declared products have the correct 6-digit HS codes on import customs declarations. This is where HStrade comes into play. The HStrade service checks and assigns 6-digit HS codes to the product descriptions manifested in the import declarations.

Ecommerce logistics enters a new era with new regulations

Demand for transparency and accountability in eCommerce logistics is growing across the supply chain; controlling government agencies included. Even if a postal service operator is not acting as an intermediary for a non-EU e-seller(s), the role of HS codes in daily business operations can hardly be overlooked. HS codes are seen as a vital piece of data that allow for quick product identification. This is key not only in import customs processes, but also in last mile, track and trace, reporting and other postal and logistics related fields.

Also, as the number of globally traded products constantly increases, so do the HS codes. In this respect, HStrade provides postal service and eCommerce logistics companies with a reliable, securely stored and constantly expanding database of product descriptions backed by 6-digit HS codes.