How to Find HS and Commodity Codes Using the ECICs Database

The ECICs database is a great free resource in international trade for businesses operating in the chemical industry, providing HS and commodity codes for common chemicals. In this blog post, we'll explore the purpose of the ECICs database, how to find  HS codes and commodity codes (CN numbers) within it, the challenges associated with this process, and how our software solutions can help if you can’t find what you need in ECICs.

Understanding the ECICs Database and Its Importance

The ECICs database, or the European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substances, is a valuable resource for companies involved in the international trade of chemicals. It utilizes the European implementation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), a globally standardized classification system developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The HS code consists of a series of digit codes, enabling businesses to classify their products based on the commodity description and coding system. ECICs contains the HS / CN number of chemicals which have been manually assessed over 15 years by EU customs officials.

The ECICs database is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Customs Tariff: It can help businesses determine the appropriate HS/CN code for their products imported into the EU, ensuring compliance with EU and international trade regulations.
  2. Trade Agreements: Accurate HS codes facilitate the application of preferential tariffs under various trade agreements and customs unions.
  3. Statistical Reporting: HS codes are used in statistical reporting by governments and international organizations, enabling the collection of data on imports, exports, and global trade.

Finding HS and Commodity Codes in the ECICs Database

To find HS and commodity codes in the ECICs database, follow these steps:

  1. Access the ECICs database through the European Commission's website.
  2. Use the search function to search a specific chemical substance by name, CAS number, or EC number.
  3. Browse the results to locate the relevant chemical substance and its associated HS code.

Challenges in Finding Accurate HS and Commodity Codes

Despite the ECICs database's usefulness, it has several major limitations when searching for HS and commodity codes:

  • Very limited coverage:  The system only allows you to search for chemicals that someone has previously requested a HS code for. As such it will only likely work for relatively common chemicals. It currently has around 50,000 chemicals, a tiny fraction of even commonly traded chemicals
  • Name search only:  As it relies on keyword searching, you need to search with the same name or identifier which is already entered in ECICs.  As there are many possible identifiers and ways to name a chemical, this makes searching difficult and error prone
  • Constant Updates: The HS codes are updated regularly, and companies must stay abreast of these changes to remain compliant with international trade regulations. The HS / CN codes in ECICs are a “point in time” manual determination, often from many years ago
  • EU only: The codes its provides are only valid for the European Union, there are often subtle and important differences if you plan to use them in other countries
  • Only 8 digit codes.  The full CN codes for Europe run to 10 digits, but ECICs only contains the first 8.

How to Expedite Your ECICs Searches

Scitegrity's ExpediChem software tool simplifies the process of finding HS and commodity codes for chemical substances. ExpediChem offers several advantages:

  • Any chemical: Rather than trying to name match to an existing HS/CN result, ExpediChem calculates the correct HS/CN code based on the chemical’s structure and the rules in the HS system. This means any chemical, even novel and proprietary can be instantly assessed.
  • Quick and Accurate HS Code Retrieval: ExpediChem automates the process of finding HS codes, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring compliance with international trade regulations.
  • Regular Updates: ExpediChem is updated regularly, providing users with the most current HS code information, eliminating the need for manual monitoring.
  • Seamless Integration: ExpediChem integrates with Controlled Substances Squared and other Scitegrity software solutions, streamlining the chemical compliance process for businesses operating in the chemical industry.

Identifying accurate HS and commodity codes is critical for businesses in the chemical industry. Our ExpediChem software tool simplifies the process, ensuring compliance with international trade regulations and reducing the risk of misclassification.

If you cannot find what you're looking for in ECICs, then you can use ExpediChem to generate your HS / CN / ECCN code instantly.

Interested in ExpediChem?

If you're looking for a solution to streamline your chemical compliance process and find HS and commodity codes with ease, ExpediChem is the answer. Contact us today to learn more about how our software can revolutionize your chemical compliance process and keep your business ahead in the ever-changing world of international trade regulations. Take the first step towards a more efficient and compliant future with Scitegrity's ExpediChem.