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Top 10 HS Codes You Need When Shipping Internationally

September 15, 2023

International shipping can seem like a daunting task, especially when it comes to dealing with customs and regulations. Understanding Harmonized System (HS) codes can make this process much simpler. 

In this user-friendly guide, we'll introduce you to HS codes and walk you through the top 10 HS codes for common internationally shipped items. Plus, we'll show you how to use these codes with Terminal Africa, your go-to logistics partner in the region.

What Are HS Codes?

Think of HS codes as universal labels for products. They're like barcodes that help customs officers quickly identify what you're shipping. These codes are used worldwide to classify goods for customs and trade purposes, making international shipping smoother and more organized.

Now, let's break down the top 10 HS codes you need when shipping internationally with Terminal Africa:

1. T-Shirt (HS Code 610990):

  • Category: Clothes
  • Sub-Category: T-Shirts
  • HS Code: 610990

2. Ankara, Adire, Lace, and Aso oke Fabric (HS Code 52081300):

  • Category: Fabric
  • Sub-Category: Special African Fabrics
  • HS Code: 52081300

3. Iro and Buba, Native Attire (HS Code 620422):

  • Category: Clothes
  • Sub-Category: Traditional African Wear
  • HS Code: 620422

4. Perfume Oils (HS Code 330300):

  • Category: Beauty Products
  • Sub-Category: Fragrances
  • HS Code: 330300

5. Bar Soap (HS Code 34011900):

  • Category: Personal Care
  • Sub-Category: Soap Bars
  • HS Code: 34011900

6. Lipstick (HS Code 33041000):

  • Category: Beauty Products
  • Sub-Category: Lip Makeup
  • HS Code: 33041000

7. Eye Shadow (HS Code 33042000):

  • Category: Beauty Products
  • Sub-Category: Eye Makeup
  • HS Code: 33042000

8. Dried Fish (HS Code 030553):

  • Category: Food
  • Sub-Category: Dried Seafood
  • HS Code: 030553

9. Snails (HS Code 030721):

  • Category: Food
  • Sub-Category: Edible Snails
  • HS Code: 030721

10. Egusi (HS Code 12077000):

  • Category: Food 
  • Sub-Category: Seeds 
  • HS Code: 12077000

How to Ship using HS codes on Terminal Africa

Now, let's see how to use these HS codes when shipping with Terminal Africa, step by step:

Step 1: Choose Your Item Category

Start by logging into Terminal Africa's app. Go to the "Shipments" section and pick the category that matches your product, whether it's clothes, fabric, cosmetics, or food.

Step 2: Specify Your Item Type

Once you've selected your category, narrow it down further by choosing the specific type of item you're shipping. For example, if you're sending T-shirts, click on "T-Shirts" within the "Clothes" category.

Step 3: Find the Right HS Code

Simply search for the HS code that matches your product precisely. If you're sending T-shirts, look for HS code 610990.


Shipping internationally can be less intimidating when you have a firm grasp of HS codes. By using the appropriate code for your product with Terminal Africa, you simplify customs procedures and reduce the risk of delays.