Classify your commodity

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How the Government classifies goods

Taxes can be imposed on any goods that are moved across a political boundary, and local customs authorities enforce their collection. The calculation of duties depends on the assessable value of a dutiable shipment. For the purpose of determining this estimate, dutiable goods in the shipment are given a classification code (up to ten digits) known as a Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code, Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) or Schedule B number.

Goods are not classified by their use, stage of manufacture or place of origin, but rather by the category under which they fall. Some examples of these are:

  • Mineral products
  • Plastics and rubber
  • Raw hides, skins, leathers
  • Wood and straw
  • Textile
  • Stone, plaster and cement

When determining a classification code, commodity descriptions might appear to be similar, but they can have significantly different rates of duty. The more information you have about your product, the easier it will be to find the proper code and help your shipment get through customs smoothly. 

Obtain a commodity classification code using DHL Express Global Trade Services.


Exporting Dual-Use Goods

Regulation (EU) No. 2021/821 contains the control provisions applicable to all EU Member States for the export, brokering, transit, technical assistance and, in some cases, the intra-Community transfer of dual-use goods. These are goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes due to their high technical performance.

Various authorization, notification and information obligations apply to dual-use goods. You can find more information on this and on how to apply at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs.

If you are shipping dual-use goods subject to authorization (Regulation (EU) No. 2021/821) via DHL Express, we require advance information by e-mail to atcustoms.export@dhl.com to ensure that your shipment can be processed in compliance with customs regulations and exported without additional delay.