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Understanding the Importance of HSN Codes for Businesses in India

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

HSN stands for "Harmonized System of Nomenclature." It is a standardized system for classifying goods that are traded internationally. The HSN code is a six-digit code used to classify goods under this system. The HSN code is used by customs authorities around the world to identify goods for the assessment of taxes and duties and for statistical purposes.

Is it mandatory to use HSN codes?

Yes, the use of HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) codes is mandatory in India for certain types of businesses. Under India's Goods and Services Tax (GST), businesses with an annual turnover of more than INR 1.5 crore (or INR 75 lakh for businesses in certain states) must use HSN codes when filing their GST returns.

HSN codes facilitate the identification and classification of goods for tax purposes and make it easier for businesses to comply with GST regulations. HSN codes are used to classify goods into different tax brackets based on the type of product, which in turn helps in calculating GST.

For example, businesses in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Tripura with an annual turnover of more than INR 75 lakh are required to use HSN codes while filing their GST returns.

How to find HSN Codes?

You can look up the HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) code for a particular product by following these steps:

  1. Visit the official GST portal of India at

  2. Click on the "Services" tab and then click on "Search HSN/SAC Code".

  3. Enter the name of the product or a brief description of the product for which you want to find the HSN code.

  4. The system will provide you with a list of HSN codes that match your search criteria. You can select the appropriate HSN code based on the product description and other details provided.

  5. You can also search for HSN codes on the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) website at

Alternatively, you can also consult a tax professional or an expert in the field who can help you identify the correct HSN code for your product.


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