Revamped HSN code search functionality

Updated on: Feb 16th, 2022 - 10:59:16 AM

3 min read

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Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) codes and Service Accounting Codes (SAC) are globally accepted techniques for naming and classifying goods and services. HSN codes and SAC are widely used in GST to identify goods and services. With effect from 1st April 2021, it is mandatory to mention the HSN code and SAC of the supply in tax invoices and furnish the same in GSTR-1. Hence, an efficient way of finding code and product descriptions was required for taxpayers.

Introduction to Search HSN on GST portal

The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has enhanced the ā€œSearch HSNā€ functionality on the GST portal. This aims to mitigate the challenges taxpayers face in finding HSN codes, including SAC and the related descriptions. It also links e-invoicing and artificial intelligence tools to provide easy search and application of HSN codes.

The Search HSN function helps the taxpayers search the HSN code to find the technical description provided in the HSN descriptions and trade descriptions commonly used by businesses.  HSN codes can be searched by giving the code itself or partial descriptions of the goods or services. This option is available before login and after login. One can navigate the functionality by going to Home >> Services >> User Services >> Search HSN.

Changes in the Search HSN code functionality

The Search HSN option was initially available to taxpayers to help search the HSN code for goods/services and their Technical Description, i.e., HSN descriptions per the Customs Tariff Act. However, differences between Technical Descriptions and descriptions of the supply commonly used in trade made it difficult for the taxpayers to find the correct HSN codes.

  • The revamped Search HSN functionality allows taxpayers to search HSN and technical descriptions by providing trade descriptions of goods/services commonly used in trade.
  • The taxpayer can search for the HSN code/descriptions in two ways:
    1. Search HSN Description by HSN code: 
      • Taxpayers can enter the HSN code in the search field and obtain the Technical Description and Trade Description. 
      • The drop-down list will suggest the five nearest descriptions and let the person choose. The list appears only when a minimum of three characters are entered in the search field.
      • The functionality allows the entry of only numbers. A maximum of eight digits can be entered. 
    2. Search HSN code by Trade/Technical Description:
      • Taxpayers can select the description option and search for either goods or services.
      • Taxpayers can enter the name, category, or description of the goods/services in the search field. The drop-down list suggesting
      • The drop-down list suggests the five nearest HSN codes and descriptions based on the text typed. The list appears only when a minimum of three characters are entered in the search field.
      • The functionality allows the entry of only alphanumeric characters. A maximum of forty characters can be entered in the field. Entry of special characters is not allowed.
  • Once the HSN or description is searched, the function displays the HSN Code, technical description, and the top three descriptions of the goods/services that are most commonly used in trade. 
  • The previous version of the functionality provides hyperlinks to the related 6 digit and 8 digit HSN codes. The functionality also allows the taxpayer to download the list of all HSN codes in excel format as before.
  • If taxpayers cannot find HSN codes for their goods/services, they can raise a ticket on the GST Self Service Portal.

The enhanced Search HSN functionality has new changes to mitigate the differences between the Technical Descriptions and commonly used trade descriptions. This will help taxpayers search for HSN codes with ease and provide detailed information regarding the same.


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