What are the Specific HSN Codes that Apply to Chemical Products?

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Published Date:  04-12-2023   Author:   swati-goyal
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Harmonised System of Nomenclature, or HSN codes, are six-digit identification codes that categorize goods in international trade. It was in 1988 that the World Customs Organization (WCO) introduced the HSN, also known as HS codes. The HSN codes classify more than 98% of goods in modern-day and global trade.

 In India, in a bid to replace several indirect taxes that were prevalent earlier in the country, the government introduced the Goods and Service Tax, also known as the GST. Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST), State Goods and Service Tax (SGST), and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) are the three types of GST. One of the HSN codes aims to make the GST systematic and universally accepted. Furthermore, HSN codes will eliminate the need to upload a detailed description of the goods. Besides saving time, it will make filing easier since GST returns are automated.

Under India’s GST system, all registered taxpayers involved in the supply of goods are eligible to use HSN codes. These codes classify goods and services for taxation purposes, making determining the applicable GST rate easier. Specific HSN codes apply to chemical products. A substance obtained by a chemical process or that produces a chemical effect is a chemical.

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HSN codes that apply to chemical products

The Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) codes play a pivotal role in classifying and identifying chemical products in India. Under the HSN, chemical products are systematically categorized to facilitate international trade and ensure uniformity in customs procedures. The HSN code for chemical products in India generally falls under Chapters 28–38.

 Chapter 28 encompasses inorganic chemicals, while Chapter 29 covers organic chemicals. Agrochemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, are classified under Chapters 31 and 38, respectively. Dyes and pigments are classified in Chapter 32, while plastics and polymers are classified in Chapter 39. Pharmaceutical products, including bulk drugs and formulations, are categorized under Chapter 30 or 3003.

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Essential oils, perfumery, cosmetics, or toilet preparations are assigned HSN codes in Chapter 33, while rubber and rubber products are covered under Chapter 40. Paints, varnishes, and inks fall under Chapter 32 or 3210, and explosives and fireworks are classified in Chapter 36.

The specificity of HSN codes ensures accurate identification during import and export processes, aiding in efficiently applying taxes and duties. Importers and exporters must diligently use the appropriate HSN codes for their chemical products to comply with regulatory requirements and enjoy smooth cross-border transactions. Regular updates to the HSN code list are essential, reflecting changes in the chemical industry and international trade practices and ensuring precision and alignment with global standards. The HSN code system not only simplifies customs procedures but also enhances transparency and coherence in the classification of chemical products, contributing to the overall efficiency of India’s trade ecosystem.

Categories of HSN code for chemicals

Chemicals fall under different categories in the HSN code system, each with its own set of codes. Here are some general categories of chemicals and their corresponding HSN codes:

Inorganic Chemicals (HSN Code: 28)

 Examples of inorganic chemicals

  • Common Salt (Sodium Chloride)
  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Ammonia  
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Aluminum Oxide
  • Hydrochloric Acid  
  • Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda)
  • Potassium Nitrate

A diverse range of inorganic chemicals are used in different industries, from agriculture and manufacturing to healthcare and construction.

Organic Chemicals (HSN Code: 29)

Here are a few examples of organic chemicals:

  • Methane
  • Ethanol
  • Acetone  
  • Glucose
  • Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid)  
  • Polyethylene
  • DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)
  • Caffeine

These examples illustrate organic chemicals’ diverse nature and significance in various aspects of our daily lives and industrial processes.

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Agrochemicals

Fertilizers: HSN Code 31

Pesticides: HSN Code 38

Here are a few examples of agrochemicals

  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Fungicides
  • Herbicides

Dyes and Pigments (HSN Code: 32)

Examples of dyes include:

  • Reactive Dyes
  • Direct Dyes
  • Acid Dyes  
  • Disperse Dyes

Pigments

Examples of pigments include:

  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Iron Oxide Pigments
  • Cadmium Pigments
  • Phthalocyanine Pigments
  • Carbon Black

Plastics and Polymers (HSN Code: 39)

Here are a few examples of polymers and plastics:

Polymers

  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Plastics

  • Acrylic (Polymethyl Methacrylate, or PMMA)
  • Polystyrene
  • Polyurethane
  • Nylon (Polyamide)
  • Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)

Pharmaceuticals

Bulk drugs: HSN Code 30

Formulations: HSN Code 30 or 3003

Here are a few examples of pharmaceuticals:

  • Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid)
  • Paracetamol (Acetaminophen)
  • Lisinopril
  • Omeprazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Atorvastatin
  • Insulin
  • Morphine
  • Vaccines (e.g., Influenza Vaccine)  
  • Ibuprofen

Essential Oils and Perfumery, Cosmetics, or Toilet Preparations

Essential oils: HSN Code 33

Perfumes and toiletries: HSN Code 33 or 3303

Here are a few examples of essential oils:

  • Lavender Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Lemon Oil

Perfumery, Cosmetics, or Toilet Preparations

Here are a few examples:

  • Perfumes and Eau de Toilette
  • Lipsticks
  • Moisturizers
  • Shampoos and Conditioners
  • Deodorants
  • Foundation
  • Toothpaste
  • Body Lotions

Rubber and Rubber Products

Natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and rubber products: HSN Code 40

Here are a few examples of rubber and rubber products:

  • Natural Rubber
  • Synthetic Rubber (e.g., Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR), Polybutadiene Rubber (BR))
  • Tires
  • Rubber Conveyor Belts
  • Rubber Hoses
  • Rubber Seals and Gaskets
  • Rubber Boots and Footwear
  • Rubber Flooring
  • Rubber Insulation
  • Rubber Bands
  • Rubberized Fabrics
  • Rubber Gloves

Paints, Varnishes, and Inks

HSN Code: 32 or 3210

Here are a few examples of paints, varnishes, and inks:

  • Latex Paint (Water-based)
  • Oil-based Paint
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Epoxy Paint

Varnishes

  • Polyurethane Varnish
  • Shellac
  • Spar Varnish
  • Marine Varnish

Inks:

  • Printing Ink
  • Ballpoint Pen Ink
  • India Ink
  • Watercolor Ink

Explosives and Fireworks (HSN Code: 36)

Here are a few examples of explosives and fireworks

Explosives

  • TNT (Trinitrotoluene)
  • C-4
  • Dynamite
  • ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil)
  • PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate)

Fireworks

  • Roman Candles
  • Aerial Shells
  • Firecrackers
  • Sparklers
  • Fountains
  • Mortars
  • Smoke Bombs

Why is there a separate HSN code for import and export?

Using separate Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) codes for imports and exports serves several practical and administrative purposes.

Customs Classification

HSN codes are a standardized international system for the classification of products. Having separate codes for import and export helps customs authorities and traders accurately classify and identify goods during both inbound and outbound shipments.

Customs Documentation

Customs documentation, including invoices and shipping declarations, requires the inclusion of HSN codes. Separating the codes for import and export ensures that the correct code is specified according to the direction of the trade, helping customs authorities in the destination and origin countries process shipments efficiently.

Tariff Determination

Countries may have varying tariff rates and import/export regulations for the same product. Using separate HSN codes, customs authorities can apply the appropriate tariff rates and regulatory measures specific to the importing or exporting country.

Trade Statistics

Separating import and export HSN codes facilitates the compilation of accurate trade statistics. Governments and international organizations use this data to analyze trade trends, monitor economic activity, and formulate trade policies. Distinct codes help in generating precise import and export statistics.

Risk Assessment

Customs authorities use HSN codes to conduct risk assessments and ensure compliance with trade regulations. Having separate codes for import and export helps in conducting targeted assessments based on the direction of trade, allowing authorities to focus on potential risks associated with specific goods.

Alignment with National Policies

Some countries may have specific policies or regulations related to the imports or exports of certain products. Separate HSN codes allow for the alignment of classification systems with national policies and regulatory frameworks, enabling better control over the movement of goods.

Separate HSN codes for import and export streamline customs procedures, facilitate accurate documentation, and ensure that trade activities align with the exporting and importing countries’ specific regulatory requirements and tariff structures. This separation enhances the efficiency and accuracy of international trade transactions.

Also Read: What Are the Benefits of Using HSN Codes?

HSN codes for chemicals for both import and export

Here’s a general overview of HSN codes for chemicals for both import and export. However, it must be noted that specific codes can vary based on the chemical product and its nature, composition, and use. You can refer to the latest HSN code list provided by the customs authorities or official trade organizations in the relevant country. 

Table with broad categories of HSN codes for chemicals

Here is a simplified table with broad categories of HSN codes for chemicals, covering both import and export: 

Category HSN Codes Range for Import HSN Codes Range for Export
Inorganic Chemicals 2801 to 2829 2801 to 2829
Organic Chemicals 2901 to 2942 2901 to 2942
Agrochemicals 3101 to 3825 3101 to 3825
Dyes and Pigments 3204 to 3207 3204 to 3207
Plastics and Polymers 3901 to 3926 3901 to 3926
Pharmaceuticals 3001 to 3006, 3101 3001 to 3006, 3101
Essential Oils and Perfumery 3301 to 3307 3301 to 3307
Rubber and Rubber Products 4001 to 4017 4001 to 4017
Paints, Varnishes, and Inks 3208 to 3210, 3215 3208 to 3210, 3215
Explosives and Fireworks 3601 to 3604, 3606 3601 to 3604, 3606

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the specific HSN codes that apply to chemical products is essential for businesses and professionals in the chemical industry. The Harmonized System of Nomenclature is a globally recognized language for classifying and categorizing products, facilitating seamless international trade. 

By accurately identifying the appropriate HSN codes for chemical products, businesses can ensure compliance with customs regulations, minimize the risk of errors in documentation, and streamline the import-export process. This knowledge also plays a crucial role in tariff determination, enabling organizations to make informed pricing and cost structure decisions. 

Moreover, staying updated on the evolving HSN codes for chemicals is crucial, given the industry’s dynamic nature and the frequent changes in regulatory frameworks. Regularly reviewing and adapting to these updates ensures that businesses comply with the latest standards, fostering smooth operations and international trade relations. 

In a landscape where precision and efficiency are paramount, a comprehensive understanding of HSN codes empowers businesses to navigate the complexities of the chemical industry, promoting accuracy and transparency and ultimately contributing to the overall success of global trade in chemical products.

Also Read:

What is an HSN Code?

How are HSN Codes Used?

FAQs

1. What is an HSN code?

HSN stands for Harmonized System of Nomenclature. It is a globally accepted classification system for products to facilitate international trade.

2. Why are HSN codes necessary for chemical products?

HSN codes help systematically categorize chemical products, ensuring accurate classification for customs, pricing, and regulatory purposes.

3. How can I find the HSN code for a specific chemical product?

You may refer to official HSN publications, consult customs authorities, or use online databases to find the appropriate HSN code for a particular chemical.

 4. Do HSN codes for chemical products vary by country?

While the first six digits of the HSN code are standardized globally, countries may add additional digits for specific national regulations. It’s essential to check the particular requirements of the country in question.

 5. What are the consequences of using an incorrect HSN code for chemical products?

It can result in customs delays, fines, and compliance issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to classify products accurately to avoid these complications.

 6. Are there specific HSN codes for organic or inorganic chemicals?

Yes, HSN codes provide distinct categories for organic and inorganic chemicals, allowing for precise classification based on the nature of the chemical.

 7. How often do HSN codes for chemical products change?

HSN codes can be updated periodically to align with international trade and regulations changes. It’s advisable to stay informed about these updates.

 8. Can a single chemical product have multiple HSN codes?

Complex chemical products may sometimes have multiple HSN codes if they contain various components. It’s essential to identify each component’s classification accurately. 

9.  Do small businesses need to worry about HSN codes for chemical products?

Yes, even small businesses should be aware of HSN codes, as they are crucial for customs clearance and adherence to trade regulations.

 10.  How can I stay updated on changes to HSN codes for chemical products?

To stay informed about changes to HSN codes relevant to chemical products, check official publications, subscribe to updates from customs authorities, and utilize online resources.

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Swati Goyal

Swati Goyal is an experienced financial reporter, who writes on the Australian share market (ASX), as well as global equity movements and trends more broadly. She also covers commodities, currencies, bonds, and the private market space. As a business writer and financial analyst, Swati has also published on FX Empire, TipRanks, Inquisitr, and many more. Swati holds a Bachelor of Commerce. She previously worked as a research analyst and trader at Angel Broking and led an accounts team at Cox & Kings.

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