Understanding NCM Code: What it is and How it Works

The NCM Code, also known as the Harmonized System (HS) code or the Tariff Schedule, is an internationally recognized coding system used to classify products for import and export purposes. This code plays a crucial role in facilitating international trade by providing a standardized method of categorizing goods. In this article, we will delve into what the NCM Code is and how it works.

Introduction to NCM Code

The NCM Code is a numerical system that assigns a unique code to each product based on its characteristics, composition, and intended use. It was developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to simplify and streamline customs procedures worldwide. This coding system ensures uniformity in classifying goods across different countries, making it easier for customs officials to identify and assess duties on imported or exported products.

Structure of NCM Code

The structure of the NCM Code follows a hierarchical format with six digits. Each digit signifies different levels of classification, providing increasingly detailed information about the product being classified. The first two digits represent the chapter level, which broadly defines the category of goods. As we move further down the code, additional digits are added to provide more specific information about the product.

For instance, let’s consider an example where “8703” represents motor vehicles for transport of goods. The first two digits “87” indicate that it belongs to Chapter 87 – Vehicles Other Than Railway or Tramway Rolling Stock. Further classification can be done using additional digits such as “8703” representing motor vehicles designed for transporting goods.

Importance of NCM Code

The NCM Code serves as a common language for traders and customs authorities worldwide. It helps in determining applicable customs duties, tariffs, restrictions, and regulations associated with specific products during import or export processes. By accurately classifying products using the NCM Code, businesses can ensure compliance with customs regulations, avoid penalties or delays, and calculate import or export costs more effectively.

Additionally, the NCM Code enables governments to collect accurate trade statistics. By tracking imports and exports based on the assigned codes, authorities can analyze trade patterns, identify emerging trends, and make informed policy decisions. This information is valuable for businesses looking to enter new markets or explore potential opportunities in specific industries.

Finding the NCM Code

Determining the correct NCM Code for a product can be a complex task as it requires understanding the product’s composition, function, and intended use. However, there are resources available to simplify this process. Many countries have online databases or search tools provided by customs authorities that allow businesses to look up specific products and find their corresponding NCM Codes.

Furthermore, consulting with experts in international trade or customs consultants can provide valuable guidance in correctly classifying products according to the NCM Code. These professionals possess extensive knowledge of customs regulations and can help navigate through complex classification scenarios.


The NCM Code is an essential tool for international trade facilitation. Its standardized classification system ensures consistency in categorizing goods across different countries. By accurately identifying and assigning the correct NCM Code to products, businesses can streamline their import-export processes while remaining compliant with customs regulations. Understanding the structure and importance of the NCM Code is crucial for companies engaged in global trade operations.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.