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Find the right commodity code in the Customs Tariff

To classify goods you use the Customs Tariff to find the commodity code. Once you have the correct commodity code you will find, among other things, the duty rate and if any restrictions apply.  

If you intend to import goods online for personal use as a private individual, you may find out what you should pay in duties and taxes using our import calculator

What is the Customs Tariff?

The Customs Tariff is a reference tool for coding and describing goods (classification). It is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), who is used by most countries.

The Customs Tariff consists of 97 chapters and starts with live animals in chapter 1 and ends with antiques in chapter 97. You will find commodity codes in the Customs Tariff for all goods. It is only availible on our website and you will find information on both customs duty and excise fees (if any) to each commodity code.  

What is a commodity code?

A commodity code is made up of eight digits, the first six of which are international. This means that the first six digits in a commodity code on a foreign invoice should in principle be identical to the first six digits given in the Norwegian Customs Tariff.

The first four digits are called the heading. These are shown in bold in the Customs Tariff. The associated text (also in bold) is called the heading text. The next two digits are called the subheading. All eight digits together are referred to as the commodity code.

Example of a commodity code:
61.09.1000 – T-shirts of cotton

Why is it important to have the right commodity code?

The duty rate and a number of import and export demands are associated with the various commodity codes. The correct commodity code will provide you with the correct customs duty and tax information. If Norwegian Customs carries out a tax audit and sees that you have not declared the item using the right commodity code and have paid too little tax, you may be retrospectively charged an additional amount to cover the difference. Additionally, you may also be charges with a contravention fine.

Using the right commodity code also means that the official trade statistics will be as accurate as possible, this also benefits the industry.

How do I find the right commodity code?

First you need to know exactly what you will be importing or exporting. Some products, particularly foodstuff, can be put together in complex ways. It is therefore important that you have a list specifying the contents as percentages. Incorrect or missing information may lead to the wrong commodity code being used.

What are all the dashes in front of the text for each commodity code in the Customs Tariff?

You will often see several commodity codes under one heading. These commodity codes may have different numbers of dash subheadings. These should be read as follows:

At the first one-dash subheading, ask yourself: is the item covered by the text next to the one-dash subheading?

If the answer is no, then read the next subheading at the same level, i.e. one dash.
If the answer is yes, the one-dash subheading has no commodity code to the left of it and the text ends with a colon, you will need to continue reading in the same way until you reach a commodity code.

For example:

You are importing uncooked pasta stuffed with, by weight, less than 20% meat. Heading 19.02 looks like this:

19.02 Pasta, whether or not cooked or stuffed (with meat or other substances) or otherwise prepared, such as spaghetti, macaroni, noodles, lasagne, gnocchi, ravioli, cannelloni; couscous, whether or not prepared.

     -  Uncooked pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared: 
.1100  - -   Containing eggs
.1900  - -   Other
     -  Stuffed pasta, whether or not cooked or otherwise prepared:
.2010  - -   Stuffed with, by weight, more than 20% of meat or edible meat offals
   - -   Other:
.2091 - - -   Cooked
.2099 - - -   Other
     -  Other pasta:
.3001   - -   Cooked
.3009   - -   Other
.4000    -  Couscous


As you can see, pasta is mentioned at several places in the heading. To find the right commodity code, you therefore need to know what kind of pasta you are importing. In the example, the text in bold shows you how to find the right commodity code for uncooked pasta stuffed with less than 20% meat by weight: commodity code 19.02.2099.You can look up that commodity code in the Customs Tariff to find out what the customs duty is and what taxes and restrictions apply to the commodity code.

It can sometimes be difficult to find the right commodity code. You are welcome to contact us. 

Verbal advice is not a binding decision. If you are looking for predictability with regard to your item`s commodity code in the Customs Tariff, you can apply for a binding tariff information for the item you wish to import. This service is free of charge.

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