Classify your product

When thinking of exporting you need to classify your product. This means you have to define what the product actually is. This is in many ways the starting point if you want to find information about your product.

Why is it important to classify your product?

By correctly classifying your products, you will find:

  • correct customs duty and other taxes and fees that apply to your product
  • technical and other requirements for your product
  • what rules of origin that applies to your product to know if your product benefits from lowered tariffs
  • statistics on products and how much of the products are imported and exported, which helps you to do proper research.

Knowing your product code gives you advantages when exporting – you will be able to find out which tariff the importer needs to pay. You can also see if there is a reduction of tariff due to a free trade agreement, a piece of information you can use when negotiating. You can find out what product specific requirements there are and prepare for export. So, knowing your product code opens up to lots of information.

The international customs code system

All products have a customs code according to an international system, called The Harmonized System (HS). Everything from live animal, food and clothing to cars and cell phones have a code. The Harmonized System is developed by the World Customs Organization and is applied by most countries in the world. It comprises of about 5 000 commodity groups, organised by Sections, Chapters (2 digits), Headings (4 digits) and Sub-headings (6 digits).

The EU customs tariff system

The European Union has specific numbers for all products which is composed of the HS codes and some additional EU subdivisions/digits. In the 10-digit customs tariff system of the European Union, TARIC, the codes reveal information concerning anti-dumping, duty suspension or customs duties applicable in the EU. To know what customs duties your product will have when being imported into the EU, you need to know its TARIC code.

Search for your tariff code and view rates and requirements applicable to your product at the website Access2Markets, a free online tool from the European Commission.


Where to find free of charge trade data

To be able identify the correct statistics you will need to know the customs code (HS code) under which your product is traded internationally. If you do not know your product´s HS code, please check here on how to find out: Classify your product 

Trade Map by International Trade Center

One of the best sources of statistics is Trade Map which is designed to provide statistics for international business development. Here you will find statistics regarding international trade for all countries in the world, for all types of products. You can easily find data on: exports from your country, largest importers of your product, most important competitors, developments in recent years and seasonal fluctuations.
Video tutorials: Entering Trade Map (YouTube)
Go to Trade Map

Access2Markets by the European Commission

If you are specifically interested in the EU and/or the Swedish market, you can also use the Access2Markets portal where you can find detailed trade flows for all EU countries both between EU member states and with countries outside the EU. You can also get information on custom duties, import procedures and product specific requirements for imports to the EU.
Video presentation: Access2Markets presentation (
Go to Access2Markets

Get further support

Contact us at Open Trade Gate Sweden in case you need help getting started with your research. We can assist you in looking up trade data and guide you how to use it with help of practical templates. You will need to share with us information on your products. Try to be as specific as you can in your question in order for us to provide a relevant answer.

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Open Trade Gate Sweden

Phone: +46 8 690 48 00

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