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A Simple Guide to Confirming HSN Codes


A Simple Guide to Confirming HSN Codes
Simple Guide to Confirming HSN Codes
December 5, 2023


Before the advent of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), managing HSN codes was a different ball game. However, since the introduction of GST in 2017, several significant changes have occurred, one of them being the organisation of HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) and SAC (Services Accounting Code) codes into chapters.
HSN codes serve the purpose of classifying goods for taxation. Globally recognized, the HSN system simplifies international trade through standardisation. These codes typically consist of 6 to 8 numeric digits, with the first 2 digits signifying the chapter and the subsequent digits specifying subcategories. For example, the HSN code for rice could be 1006, where '10' denotes the cereal chapter and '06' pinpoints rice.
SAC codes, on the other hand, are used to classify services for taxation purposes. Unlike HSN codes, SAC codes consist of 6 digits and aid in identifying the precise nature of services provided by a business. For instance, the SAC code for legal services is 998212.


The Importance of HSN and SAC Codes for GST Compliance

1. Accurate Tax Calculation:
  The primary objective of HSN and SAC codes is to ensure precise tax calculation under GST. By correctly classifying goods and services, businesses can determine the applicable GST rates-whether they are 5%, 12%, 18%, or 28%.

2. Reduced Errors:
  Using the right HSN and SAC codes minimises the likelihood of errors in GST returns. Accurate return filing is crucial to avoid penalties and legal repercussions.

3. Seamless Input Tax Credit (ITC):
  Accurate HSN and SAC codes streamline the process of claiming Input Tax Credit. Businesses can claim ITC only if their suppliers have reported the correct HSN and SAC codes.

4. Government Compliance:
  Complying with prescribed HSN and SAC codes is mandatory under GST law. Non-compliance can result in legal issues, including fines and penalties.


How to Determine HSN and SAC Codes

Coming to the challenge of determining the relevant HSN and SAC codes for your business’ products and services. It is especially difficult for businesses dealing with a wide array of products and services. Here's a step-by-step guide to assist in this process:

1. Identify Your Products/Services:
  Start by identifying the products or services your business deals with.

2. Refer to GST Rate Schedule:
  Consult the GST rate schedule to determine the applicable GST rate for your products or services.

3. Access the HSN/SAC Code List:
  The GST portal offers an extensive list of HSN and SAC codes. Search for the code that best matches your product or service description.

GST portal has a feature of searching HSN codes

GST portal has a feature of searching HSN codes or, alternatively, searching for words in the code description.

4. Seek Professional Advice:
  If you're uncertain about classification, consider seeking advice from tax professionals or experts.

5. Check HSN Codes on the EaseMyGST Solution
You can enter the HSN codes and see detailed information related to the code and its sub-codes or vice-versa, you can search by description.

EaseMyGST app has a feature of searching HSN codes

EaseMyGST app has a feature of searching HSN codes or, alternatively, searching for words in the code description.

Seek Professional Advice
If you're uncertain about the classification, consider seeking advice from tax professionals or experts.

In conclusion, maintaining GST compliance is essential for the smooth operation of businesses in the Indian taxation landscape, and it all begins with accurate HSN and SAC codes. Taking the time to confirm these codes correctly can save you from potential complications and ensure smooth business operations. There are multiple ways to verify the HSN and SAC codes but taking help of professionals during the setup of products in your transaction and accounting softwares is always fruitful. HSN codes impact the tax calculations and also facilitate seamless compliance with government regulations.

Chapter-wise distribution of goods using HSN codes

Section I. Animals and Animal Products


Chapter 1


Chapter 2

Meat and edible offal

Chapter 3

Fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and other aquatic invertebrates

Chapter 4

Dairy produce, birds' eggs, honey and other edible products of animal origin that are not specified elsewhere

Chapter 5

Other products of animal origin that are not specified elsewhere

Section II. Vegetables and Vegetable Products


Chapter 6

Live trees and plants, bulbs, roots, etc., cut flowers and ornamental foliage

Chapter 7

Edible vegetables, certain roots and tubers

Chapter 8

Edible fruit and nuts, the peel of citrus fruits or melons

Chapter 9

Tea, coffee, mate and spices

Chapter 10


Chapter 11

Milling products, malt, wheat gluten, starches, and inulin

Chapter 12

Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, grains, straw and fodder, seeds and fruit, and industrial or medicinal plants

Chapter 13

Lac, gum, resin, and other saps and extracts

Chapter 14

Vegetable plaiting materials, and vegetable products that are not specified elsewhere

Section III. Animal or Vegetable Oils, Their Cleavage Products, Waxes, and Prepared Edible Fats


Chapter 15

Animal or vegetable oils, their cleavage products, waxes, and prepared edible fats

Section IV. Prepared Food, Beverages, Spirits, Tobacco and Tobacco Substitutes


Chapter 16

Preparation of meat, fish or crustaceans, molluscs, or any other aquatic invertebrates

Chapter 17

Sugar and sugar confectionery

Chapter 18x

Cocoa and cocoa preparations

Chapter 19

Preparations of cereals, starch, flour, milk, and pastry products

Chapter 20

Preparation of vegetables, fruits, nuts, or plant parts

Chapter 21

Miscellaneous edible preparations

Chapter 22

Beverages, vinegar, and spirits

Chapter 23

Residue and food waste, prepared animal fodder

Chapter 24

Tobacco and tobacco substitutes that are manufactured

Section V. Minerals


Chapter 25

Salt, earths and stones, sulphur, plastering material, lime, and cement

Chapter 26

Ores, slag, and ash

Chapter 27

Mineral fuel, mineral oils and products of their distillation, mineral waxes, and bituminous substances

Section VI. Chemical Products or of Allied Industries


Chapter 28

Inorganic chemicals, organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, rare-earth metals, radioactive elements, or isotopes

Chapter 29

Organic chemicals

Chapter 30

Pharmaceutical products

Chapter 31


Chapter 32

Tanning or dyeing extracts, tannins and their derivatives, dyes, pigments, and other colouring matter, varnishes and paints, inks, putty and other mastics

Chapter 33

Essential oils and resinoids, cosmetic or toilet preparations, perfumery

Chapter 34

Soap, washing preparations, organic surface-active agents, lubricating preparations, prepared waxes, artificial waxes, polishing or scouring preparations, candles and similar items, modelling pastes, dental preparations and dental waxes with a basis of plaster

Chapter 35

Albuminoidal substances, glues, enzymes, and modified starches

Chapter 36

Explosives, pyrotechnic products, pyrophoric alloys, certain combustible preparations, and matches

Chapter 37

Photographic or cinematographic goods

Chapter 38

Miscellaneous chemical products

Section VII. Plastics, Rubber, and Articles Thereof


Chapter 39

Plastics and plastic articles

Chapter 40

Rubber and rubber articles

Section VIII. Raw Hides and Skins, Furskins and Articles Thereof, Leather, and Related Goods


Chapter 41

Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather

Chapter 42

Articles made of leather, travel goods, handbags and similar containers, saddlery and harnesses, articles made of animal gut (other than silkworm gut)

Chapter 43

Furskins and artificial fur and articles thereof

Section IX. Wood and Wooden Articles, Wood Charcoal, Cork and Articles of Cork, Basket Ware and Wickerwork, Manufacturers of Straw, Esparto or Other Plaiting Material


Chapter 44

Wood and wooden articles, wood charcoal

Chapter 45

Cork and articles of cork

Chapter 46

Manufactures of straw, esparto or other plaiting materials, basket ware and wickerwork

Section X. Pulp of Wood or Other Fibrous Cellulosic Material, Recovered Paper or Paperboard (Waste and Scrap), Paper and Paperboard and Articles Thereof


Chapter 47

Pulp of wood or other fibrous cellulosic material, recovered paper or paperboard (waste and scrap)

Chapter 48

Paper and paperboard, articles made of paper pulp, or articles made of paper or paperboard.

Chapter 49

Printed books, pictures, newspapers, and other products of the printing industry, typescripts, manuscripts, and plans

Section XI. Textile and Textile Articles

Chapter 50


Chapter 51

Wool, fine or coarse animal hair, horse hair yarn and other woven fabrics

Chapter 52


Chapter 53

Other vegetable textile fibres, paper yarn and woven fabrics made of paper yarn

Chapter 54

Man-made filaments

Chapter 55

Man-made staple fibres

Chapter 56

Wadding, felt and nonwovens, twine, cordage, special yarns, ropes, and cables and articles thereof

Chapter 57

Carpets and textile floor coverings

Chapter 58

Special woven fabrics, lace tapestries, tufted textile fabrics, trimmings, and embroidery

Chapter 59

Impregnated, covered, coated, or laminated textile fabrics, textile articles made for industrial use.

Chapter 60

Knitted or crocheted fabrics

Chapter 61

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories that are knitted or crocheted

Chapter 62

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories that are not knitted or crocheted

Chapter 63

Other made up textile articles, sets, worn clothing and textile articles, and rags

Section XII. Footwear, Headgear, Umbrellas, Walking Sticks and Seat Sticks, Whips, Riding Crops and Parts Thereof, Artificial Flowers, Articles of Human Hair, Prepared Feathers and Articles Made Thereof


Chapter 64

Footwear, gaiters, etc., and the parts of such articles

Chapter 65

Headgear and parts thereof

Chapter 66

Umbrellas and sun umbrellas, walking sticks, seat sticks, riding crops and parts thereof, and whips

Chapter 67

Prepared feathers and down and articles made thereof, artificial flowers, and articles made of human hair

Section XIII. Articles Made of Stone, Plaster, Asbestos, Cement, Mica, or Other Similar Materials, Glass and Glassware, Ceramic Products


Chapter 68

Articles made of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials

Chapter 69

Ceramic products

Chapter 70

Glass and glassware

Section XIV. Natural or Cultured Pearls, Precious Metals Clad With Precious Metal and Articles Thereof, Precious or Semi-Precious Stones, Coins, Imitation Jewellery


Chapter 71

Natural or cultured pearls, precious metals, metals that are clad with precious metal and articles thereof, precious or semi-precious stones, imitation jewellery, coins

Section XV. Base Metal and Articles Made of Base Metal


Chapter 72

Iron and steel

Chapter 73

Articles made of iron or steel

Chapter 74

Copper and articles thereof

Chapter 75

Nickel and articles thereof

Chapter 76

Aluminium and articles thereof

Chapter 77

(Reserved for possible future use)

Chapter 78

Lead and articles thereof

Chapter 79

Zinc and articles thereof

Chapter 80

Tin and articles thereof

Chapter 81

Other base metals, cermets, and articles thereof

Chapter 82

Tools, implements, spoons and forks, cutlery, of base metal, and parts thereof

Chapter 83

Miscellaneous articles made of base metal

Section XVI. Machinery and Mechanical Appliances, Electrical Equipment and Parts Thereof, Sound Reproducers and Recorders, Television Image and Sound Reproducers and Recorders, and Parts and Accessories of Such Articles


Chapter 84

Nuclear reactors, machinery and mechanical appliances, boilers, and parts thereof

Chapter 85

Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof, sound reproducers and recorders, television image and sound reproducers and recorders, and parts and accessories of such articles

Section XVII. Vehicles, Aircraft, Vessels, and Associated Transport Equipment


Chapter 86

Tramway or railway locomotives, tramway or railway track fixtures and fittings and parts thereof, rolling stock and parts thereof, mechanical (including electro-mechanical) traffic signalling equipment of all kinds

Chapter 87

Vehicles other than tramway or railway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof

Chapter 88

Aircraft, spacecrafts, and parts thereof

Chapter 89

Ships, boats and floating structures

Section XVIII. Optical, Photographic, Cinematographic, Checking, Measuring, Precision, Medical or Surgical Instruments and Apparatus, Musical Instruments, Clocks and Watches, Parts and Accessories Thereof


Chapter 90

Optical, photographic, cinematographic, checking, measuring, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus, parts and accessories thereof

Chapter 91

Clocks and watches and parts thereof

Chapter 92

Musical instruments, and parts and accessories of such articles

Section XIX. Arms and Ammunition, Parts and Accessories Thereof


Chapter 93

Arms and ammunition, parts and accessories thereof

Section XX. Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles


Chapter 94

Furniture, mattresses, mattress supports, bedding, cushions and similar stuffed furnishing, lamps and lighting fittings, which are not elsewhere specified or included, illuminated signs and name-plates and the like, prefabricated buildings

Chapter 95

Toys, games and sports requisites, parts and accessories thereof

Chapter 96

Miscellaneous manufactured articles

Section XXI. Works of Art, Collectors’ Pieces and Antiques


Chapter 97

Works of art, collectors' pieces and antiques

Chapter 98

Project imports, laboratory chemicals, personal imports by air or post, passenger's baggage, ship stores

Chapter 99


While there are multiple ways to verify HSN and SAC codes, seeking the assistance of professionals during the setup of products is always beneficial. They not only ensure accurate tax calculations but also facilitate seamless compliance with government regulations. Staying GST compliant is essential for the smooth operation of businesses in the Indian taxation landscape, and it all starts with the right HSN and SAC codes.