September 8, 2023

When to report 2,4,and 6 digit HSN code

The Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) plays a crucial role in our country’s Tax Regime. Our country has been a member of the World Customs Organization (WCO) since 1971. It was originally using 6-digit HSN codes to classify commodities for Customs and Central Excise. Later Customs and Central Excise added two more digits to make the codes more precise, resulting in an 8 digit classification. 

As per Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax, dated June 28, 2017, and amended by Notification No. 78/2020-Central Tax, dated October 15, 2020, taxpayers are required to declare specific digits of HSN codes on tax invoices, depending on their aggregate turnover. In this blog let's dive deep into when to report 2, 4 and 6 digit HSN codes according to the GST Regime.

What is HSN Code ?

The HSN code is a numeric identification system used to classify goods and services for taxation purposes.  The HSN structure contains 21 sections, 99 Chapters, about 1,244 headings, and 5,224 subheadings. Each Section is divided into Chapters. Each Chapter is again divided into Headings. Where Each Heading is divided into subheadings.

Here, Section and Chapter titles describe broad categories of goods, while headings and subheadings describe products in detail.


Ceramic products with  Of A Water Absorption Coefficient By Weight Exceeding 10% with a GST of 18%. 

HSN Code: 69072300

HSN Code structure

The Significance of HSN Reporting in GST

The HSN code system simplifies the taxation process by providing a common language for classifying goods and services. It enables a uniform approach to taxation, enhances trade facilitation, and improves compliance. Under the GST regime, the HSN code to be reported on invoices depends on the taxpayer's aggregate turnover.

HSN Reporting Based on Aggregate Turnover

Turnover up to INR 5 crores:

Taxpayers with an aggregate turnover up to INR 5 crores are required to report 4-digit HSN codes on their invoices.

Turnover more than INR 5 crores:

Taxpayers with an aggregate turnover exceeding INR 5 crores are required to report 6-digit HSN codes on their invoices.

Mandatory HSN codes reporting from October 1st

In a recent update, the GST E-way bill system issued a reminder to GST taxpayers regarding the incorporation of 6-digit or 4-digit HSN codes, which will soon become mandatory. This mandate stems from Notification No. 78/2020 dated October 15, 2020. Here's the breakdown:

1. taxpayers with Aggregate Annual turnover (AATO) exceeding Rs 5 Crore must use at least 6-digit HSN codes in e-Invoices and e-Waybills.

2. Other taxpayers, not meeting the AATO threshold, must use at least 4-digit HSN codes in e-Invoices and e-Way Bills.

The enforcement of this mandate is set to take effect on October 1, 2023 for both e-Waybills and e-Invoices.

Validity of HSN Codes

Taxpayers must ensure that the HSN codes they report are valid and available in the system. The HSN codes should correspond to the goods and services being supplied. Specifically:

1. 6-digit HSN codes must be valid and available in the HSN/Customs Tariff, along with the corresponding description of goods.

2. Truncated 6-digit HSN codes, derived from 8-digit codes, are not permissible if they are not available in the tariff at the 6-digit level and lack a corresponding description of goods.

The Minimum Digits to be Reported

The notifications (No. 12/2017 and 78/2020 - Central Tax) specify the minimum number of digits of HSN to be mentioned on the invoice, based on the taxpayer's turnover. However, taxpayers have the flexibility to include HSN codes with more digits than the minimum requirement, as long as they are valid.

Examples of HSN Reporting

If 6-digit HSN codes are specified to be reported on the invoice:

Taxpayers can mention valid HSN codes available in the tariff, both at 6-digits and 8-digits.

If 4-digit HSN codes are specified to be reported on the invoice:

Taxpayers can mention valid HSN codes available in the tariff at 4-digit, 6-digit, and 8-digit levels.

Reporting Invalid HSN Codes

Taxpayers should not report 4/6-digit HSN codes that are not available in the tariff and lack a corresponding description of goods. Such codes are considered invalid and will not be accepted in the system.

Chapter Wise distribution using HSN Codes

Section I 

Animals and Animal products 
Chapter 1Animals
Chapter 2Meat and edible offal
Chapter 3Fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and other aquatic invertebrates
Chapter 4Dairy produce, birds' eggs, honey and other edible products of animal origin that are not specified elsewhere
Chapter 5Other products of animal origin that are not specified elsewhere

Section II

Vegetables and Vegetable Products
Chapter 6Live trees and plants, bulbs, roots, etc., cut flowers and ornamental foliage
Chapter 7Edible vegetables, certain roots and tubers
Chapter 8Edible fruit and nuts, the peel of citrus fruits or melons
Chapter 9Tea, coffee, mate and spices
Chapter 10Cereals
Chapter 11Milling products, malt, wheat gluten, starches, and inulin
Chapter 12Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, grains, straw and fodder, seeds and fruit, and industrial or medicinal plants
Chapter 13Lac, gum, resin, and other saps and extracts
Chapter 14Vegetable 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 15Animal or vegetable oils, their cleavage products, waxes, and prepared edible fats

Section IV 

Prepared Food, Beverages, Spirits, Tobacco and Tobacco Substitutes
Chapter 16Preparation of meat, fish or crustaceans, molluscs, or any other aquatic invertebrates
Chapter 17Sugar and sugar confectionery
Chapter 18xCocoa and cocoa preparations
Chapter 19Preparations of cereals, starch, flour, milk, and pastry products
Chapter 20Preparation of vegetables, fruits, nuts, or plant parts
Chapter 21Miscellaneous edible preparations
Chapter 22Beverages, vinegar, and spirits
Chapter 23Residue and food waste, prepared animal fodder
Chapter 24Tobacco and tobacco substitutes that are manufactured

Section V

Chapter 25Salt, earths and stones, sulphur, plastering material, lime, and cement
Chapter 26Ores, slag, and ash
Chapter 27Mineral fuel, mineral oils and products of their distillation, mineral waxes, and bituminous substances

Section VI

Chemical Products or of Allied Industries
Chapter 28Inorganic chemicals, organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, rare-earth metals, radioactive elements, or isotopes
Chapter 29Organic chemicals
Chapter 30Pharmaceutical products
Chapter 31Fertilisers
Chapter 32Tanning or dyeing extracts, tannins and their derivatives, dyes, pigments, and other colouring matter, varnishes and paints, inks, putty and other mastics
Chapter 33Essential oils and resinoids, cosmetic or toilet preparations, perfumery
Chapter 34Soap, 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 35Albuminoidal substances, glues, enzymes, and modified starches
Chapter 36Explosives, pyrotechnic products, pyrophoric alloys, certain combustible preparations, and matches
Chapter 37Photographic or cinematographic goods
Chapter 38Miscellaneous chemical products

Section VII

Plastics, Rubber, and Articles Thereof
Chapter 39Plastics and plastic articles
Chapter 40Rubber and rubber articles

Section VIII

Raw Hides and Skins, Furskins and Articles Thereof, Leather, and Related Goods
Chapter 41Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather
Chapter 42Articles made of leather, travel goods, handbags and similar containers, saddlery and harnesses, articles made of animal gut (other than silkworm gut)
Chapter 43Furskins 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 44Wood and wooden articles, wood charcoal
Chapter 45Cork and articles of cork
Chapter 46Manufactures 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 47Pulp of wood or other fibrous cellulosic material, recovered paper or paperboard (waste and scrap)
Chapter 48Paper and paperboard, articles made of paper pulp, or articles made of paper or paperboard.
Chapter 49Printed books, pictures, newspapers, and other products of the printing industry, typescripts, manuscripts, and plans

Section XI

Textiles and Textile Articles
Chapter 50Silk
Chapter 51Wool, fine or coarse animal hair, horse hair yarn and other woven fabrics
Chapter 52Cotton
Chapter 53Other vegetable textile fibres, paper yarn and woven fabrics made of paper yarn
Chapter 54Man-made filaments
Chapter 55Man-made staple fibres
Chapter 56Wadding, felt and nonwovens, twine, cordage, special yarns, ropes, and cables and articles thereof
Chapter 57Carpets and textile floor coverings
Chapter 58Special woven fabrics, lace tapestries, tufted textile fabrics, trimmings, and embroidery
Chapter 59Impregnated, covered, coated, or laminated textile fabrics, textile articles made for industrial use.
Chapter 60Knitted or crocheted fabrics
Chapter 61Articles of apparel and clothing accessories that are knitted or crocheted
Chapter 62Articles of apparel and clothing accessories that are not knitted or crocheted
Chapter 63Other 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 64Footwear, gaiters, etc., and the parts of such articles
Chapter 65Headgear and parts thereof
Chapter 66Umbrellas and sun umbrellas, walking sticks, seat sticks, riding crops and parts thereof, and whips
Chapter 67Prepared 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 68Articles made of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials
Chapter 69Ceramic products
Chapter 70Glass and glassware

Section XIV

Natural or Cultured Pearls, Precious Metals Clad With Precious Metal and Articles Thereof, Precious or Semi-Precious Stones, Coins, and imitation jewelry
Chapter 71Natural 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 72Iron and steel
Chapter 73Articles made of iron or steel
Chapter 74Copper and articles thereof
Chapter 75Nickel and articles thereof
Chapter 76Aluminium and articles thereof
Chapter 77(Reserved for possible future use)
Chapter 78Lead and articles thereof
Chapter 79Zinc and articles thereof
Chapter 80Tin and articles thereof
Chapter 81Other base metals, cermets, and articles thereof
Chapter 82Tools, implements, spoons and forks, cutlery, of base metal, and parts thereof
Chapter 83Miscellaneous 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 84Nuclear reactors, machinery and mechanical appliances, boilers, and parts thereof
Chapter 85Electrical 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 86Tramway 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 87Vehicles other than tramway or railway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof
Chapter 88Aircraft, spacecrafts, and parts thereof
Chapter 89Ships, 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 90Optical, photographic, cinematographic, checking, measuring, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus, parts and accessories thereof
Chapter 91Clocks and watches and parts thereof
Chapter 92Musical instruments, and parts and accessories of such articles

Section XIX

Arms and Ammunition, Parts and Accessories Thereof
Chapter 93Arms and ammunition, parts and accessories thereof

Section XX

Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
Chapter 94Furniture, 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 95Toys, games and sports requisites, parts and accessories thereof
Chapter 96Miscellaneous manufactured articles

Section XXI

Works of Art, Collectors’ Pieces and Antiques
Chapter 97Works of art, collectors' pieces and antiques
Chapter 98Project imports, laboratory chemicals, personal imports by air or post, passenger's baggage, ship stores
Chapter 99Services


The proper reporting of HSN codes on tax invoices is crucial for complying with the GST regulations. Taxpayers must accurately determine their aggregate turnover to determine the required number of digits for HSN reporting. Additionally, they should ensure that the HSN codes reported are valid, available in the system, and correctly correspond to the goods and services being supplied. For any cases where valid HSN codes are not accepted on the GST Portal, e-invoice Portal, or e-way Bill portal, taxpayers can raise a ticket on the GST Self-Service Portal and report the issue. 


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