Available Classifications
Alternate structures
Alphabetical Indexes
Correspondence Tables
Free downloads
International Family of Classifications
  Best practices

National classifications

  Statistical Commission
  Expert Group
  Technical Subgroup
  Workshops and Training


Contact us

   Back to regional overview

National Classifications

香港貨物協調制度(港貨協制) / Hong Kong Harmonized System

Country / Area: China, Hong Kong SAR

Classification category: Product classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Chinese: 香港貨物協調制度(港貨協制)
English: Hong Kong Harmonized System (HKHS)
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?Chinese and English
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.Publications, namely Hong Kong Imports and Exports Classification List (Harmonized System), in two volumes provide details of the classification list of HKHS. It can be downloaded from the website of Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). The URL is as follows:
http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sc230.jsp?productCode=B2XX0011 (Volume One)
http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sc230.jsp?productCode=B2XX0012 (Volume Two)
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?The HKHS is an 8-digit coding system which is structured into 5 levels including 22 Sections, 97 Chapters, 1 225 Headings, 5 206 Subheadings and 7 284 Items. The first two digits denote the ‘Chapter’; the first four digits denote the ‘Heading’, the first six digits denote the ‘Subheading’ and the entire eight digits denote the ‘Item’.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.For example, snakes are classified as item 0106 2010 in subheading 0106 20 (Reptiles (including snakes and turtles)), which is under heading 0106 (Other live animals) in Chapter 1 (live animals) of Section I (Live animals, Animal products).
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.It is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, or Harmonized System (HS) in short which has been designed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)The classification structure of HKHS is identical to the international standard. While the HS specifies the commodity classification up to the 6-digit subheading level for international comparison, individual countries/territories are free to use additional digits for more refined classification to meet their specific needs. The HKHS uses an 8-digit classification system with the first six digits complying fully with the HS designed by the WCO; and one level (i.e. 7th and 8th digits) has been added to meet requirements for more detailed commodity classification in Hong Kong.
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.Not applicable. There is no deviation at 6 digit level.
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)Data can be reported at 6-digit level HS level for international comparison.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future.Not applicable.
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.HKHS is for uses by importers/exporters in classifying commodities during the lodgement of import/export declarations in Hong Kong. Data collected in import/export declarations would be used for compiling trade statistics by Census and Statistics Department.

As for publishing of trade statistics, information is published in terms of Hong Kong Standard International Trade Classification which is at 5 digit level, following international standard and recommended practice. On the other hand, trade statistics at 8 digit HKHS level are available upon request and accessible by the public at the Service Centre on Trade Statistics of Census and Statistics Department.

4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)- Customs and Excise Department for trade control
- Trade and Industry Department for trade negotiation
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?No other alternative classifications for data collection on trade related matters.
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)Date of the official adoption of the classification is 1 January 1992.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.Same date as Q5(a).
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Each year, updating of HKHS is made to take account of changes in trade pattern, technological development, and local and international requirements. Updated version would be taken effect from 1 January of each year.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)香港標準國際貿易分類 (貿易分類)
Hong Kong Standard International Trade Classification (HKSITC)
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsHKSITC is based on the Standard International Trade Classification recommended by the United Nations.
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))HKSITC was a 5-digit coding system which was structured into 4 levels including 10 Sections, 67 Divisions, 263 Groups and 2 972 Items. The first digit denotes the ‘Section’; the first two digits denote the ‘Division’, the first three digits denote the ‘Group’ and the entire five digits denote the ‘Item’.
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Yes.
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?In 1953.
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.Statistical data are collected in terms of HKHS, but no longer in terms of HKSITC. However, trade statistics are published under HKSITC.
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?Yes. Publications, namely Hong Kong Imports and Exports Classification List (Harmonized System), in two volumes provide details of the classification list of the 2012 edition of HKHS. General rules and explanatory notes are given in these publications.
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Not applicable. HKHS fully complies with HS at 6 digit level.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?Correspondence tables between HKHS and HKSITC are available.
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?No such provision.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, it is available in PDF format. It can be downloaded free of charge from the C&SD website (www.censtatd.gov.hk).
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes. the correspondence tables are available in PDF format free of charge from the C&SD website.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationTrade Classification Section,
Trade Statistics Branch (1),
Census and Statistics Department
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryTrade Classification Section,
Trade Statistics Branch (1),
Census and Statistics Department,
17/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Tel: (852) 3178 8933
Fax: (852) 2824 2782
E-mail: trade-declaration@censtatd.gov.hk
Website: www.censtatd.gov.hk
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevantNil.

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/10/2012