The customs tariff number, also called the goods number, forms the basis for the clear identification of goods and for their correct customs clearance and taxation on import and export. For every cross-border trade, companies therefore need the corresponding customs tariff numbers for all traded products for the customs declaration. In addition, the customs tariff numbers are recorded in the foreign trade statistics of the European Union (EU).
Within the EU, customs tariff numbers have eight digits for exports and eleven digits for imports. The first six digits are regulated worldwide uniformly in the „Harmonized System of Tariffs and Trade Codes“, managed by the World Customs Organization (WZO), and are also called HS code. The EU ranks seventh and eighth, and the ninth and tenth in the export of goods represent EU customs policy measures. In this respect, the first ten digits of the customs tariff number correspond to the Taric, the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities. The eleventh digit encodes national regulations, for example on export restrictions in the respective EU country.
The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) provides an updated version of the list of goods for foreign trade statistics on its website every year. Companies can use this nomenclature to determine the correct tariff numbers for their goods.