As of Mar 1, 2023 Harmonized System (HS) codes on customs forms will be required for most European Union (EU) bound goods. This change is coming directly from the EU and in addition to HS codes being required, vague descriptions of goods on customs forms will no longer be acceptable.
Harmonized codes are internationally recognized codes used to classify an item for tax purposes. Once an order reaches an international border, a country's customs office uses the HS code to identify and assess taxes, duties, and fees for what you are shipping.
Properly filled-out customs forms with the correct HS codes and customs descriptions allow your products to pass through customs quickly and efficiently. To avoid delayed or returned shipments, you will need to include the correct HS codes and detailed descriptions on your customs forms.
Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Descriptions
Vague item descriptions on custom forms such as “gifts,” “clothing,” and even “none” will no longer be considered acceptable descriptions. It’s best practice to have accurate and specific product descriptions that clearly describe the item being traded.
Men’s cotton shirts, boys’ denim jackets
Basil, thyme, parsley
Detergent, toothbrush, towels
One scented candle, remote-controlled car, silk scarf
If you are shipping to the EU, we strongly recommend taking the time now to update the customs section of your product records. If you have a larger list of products, this can be accomplished via a CSV Export and Import.
For GlobalPost shippers you can get a HS code automatically assigned using their free HS Code fulfillment service. They offer an On Demand HS Classification Tool that is perfect for sellers who only ship a handful of products internationally.
Please note that there are no current changes to in-app functionality at this time, however, any in-app changes that would support this new regulation will be communicated when they are pushed out.
We have added some resources below that we believe will be useful for everyone who will be affected by this change.