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1233.0 - Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) - Electronic Publication, Jan 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2007   
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20/01/2011 Note: The presentation of Table 8 has been updated. Previously the labels for AHECC codes 38089130 and 38089220 were not fully expanded. This meant that the full labels of these two new commodity codes was not being printed. There has also been a correction to spelling in the label for AHECC code 38247.

Note that these changes are to presentation only.

26/11/2010 Note: Periodically the ABS updates the AHECC. These changes can result from requests from users or exporters, accommodating Government reporting requirements or the ABS improving the overall quality of the classification.
Table 2 (Key of changes) has been updated to include the correspondence between the statistical codes taking effect from 1 January 2011 and the codes they are replacing.
In Table 8 new codes to monitor the trade in pesticides have been introduced into Chapters 29 and 38, and new statistical codes to provide information on tea tree oil have been added to Chapter 33. See the Key of changes for the correspondence of/to new codes.
In Table 24 changes have been made to incorporate the changes to Chapters 29, 33 and 38. The table has been renamed to show the new reference date.


Periodically the ABS updates the AHECC. These changes can result from requests from users or exporters, accommodating Government reporting requirements or the ABS improving the overall quality of the classification.

Table 22 has been updated with new statistical codes in Chapter 95 of the AHECC taking effect from 1 January 2008. Table 2 has been updated to include the correspondence between the old and new statistical codes and the explanatory notes have been revised.

In addition, following an internal review changes have been made to Table 24 which presents free standing descriptors. Selected free standing descriptors in Chapters 1 to 15 of the AHECC have been modified. Changes to the free standing descriptors have no impact on AHECC headings or classification codes used to classify goods.

Statistical codes changing in Chapter 95 are:

New code 95030025 replacing 95030020 and 95030021
New code 95030027 replacing 95030021

If you have any difficulties accessing the AHECC on the ABS web site, please contact the ABS Classification Manager on (02) 6252 5409 or email


The Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) is designed for use by exporters, customs brokers and freight forwarders in the classification of goods when providing export declarations to the Australian Customs Service, and to assist users interpret export statistics published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The classification is based on the six digit international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) for describing internationally traded goods. The ABS extends the six digit international HS by two digits to provide a finer level of detail to meet Australian statistical requirements.

The most significant changes to the AHECC occur when the WCO periodically updates the international HS. The international HS and the AHECC have been updated in 1992, 1996 and 2002 and will be updated again in 2007. The next international update is scheduled for 2012. The 2007 review resulted in the creation of 1,036 new eight digit statistical codes and the deletion of 826 eight digit statistical codes. The AHECC, revised to accommodate the HS 2007 review, becomes operative on 1 January 2007.

Between the major HS reviews, the ABS implements minor updates to the statistical codes of the AHECC on 1 January and 1 July each year. These minor updates result from the evaluation of requests from users of export statistics for additions or changes to commodity information. Information on how requests can be submitted, and are assessed, is available from Information paper: International Trade Classification Feasibility Studies, 2001 (cat. no. 5499.0.55.001).


The AHECC is only available electronically in Excel spreadsheet format. The AHECC is presented in a number of tabs, as follows:

    • The 'Details' tab displays the following spreadsheets:
      Table 1 AHECC Summary of Classification Codes and Abbreviations with separate worksheets for:
        1.1 Summary of Classification
        1.2 Unit of Quantity
        1.3 Abbreviations
        1.4 FOB Currency Codes
        1.5 Countries.
      Table 2 Key of Changes with separate worksheets for:

      2.1 Correspondences between AHECC 2006 and 2007 which shows those codes which have changed as a result of the HS 2007 review. The correspondences are shown in two directions. The columns are:

Column headingDescription

AHECC 2007the statistical codes which will commence on 1 January 2007
AHECC 2006the statistical codes which will be replaced by them on 31 December 2006
AHECC 2006the statistical codes which will close on 31 December 2006
AHECC 2007the statistical codes which will replace them on 1 January 2007

      2.2 Historical Table which presents the following columns:

Column headingDescription

Previous code the statistical code that closed
Replacement codethe statistical code(s) created as a result of the closure of the previous code
Date replacedthe date the replacement code became operative (this is the day after the previous code closed)
Expiry dateindicates when a code used to replace a previous code is subsequently closed (if blank this indicates the replacement code is still operative)

      Tables 3 - 23 AHECC Sections each of which comprises the following worksheets:

Worksheet headingDescription

Section notesinformation relevant to classifying goods in that section
Chapter notesoutlines the broad structure of the classification and provides information specific to classifying goods in each chapter within the section
Chapterpresents the classification of a chapter within the section. Each worksheet shows 2, 4, 6 and 8 digit codes, unit of quantity and description in different columns. This format facilitates electronic sorting and searching of the classification

      The chapter notes and chapter classification are in sequential order for each chapter within that section.

      Table 24 AHECC Complete File
      which includes the complete AHECC, with 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 digit codes, headings and free standing descriptors in different columns for use by exporters and agents to upload into their own computer system. The free standing descriptors were developed as a guide for statistical clients only and standard classification principles should be applied when classifying goods. This is not a print friendly version and has been zipped due to its size.

    • The 'Explanatory Notes' tab provides information from the Australian Customs Service about classifying goods and completing export declarations.

The classification can be accessed in two ways from the ABS web site <>:
    1. select Statistics, By Catalogue Number, 12. Classifications and work manuals, 1233.0 or
    2. select Themes, Economy - Foreign Trade, Using Foreign Trade Statistics, Classification.


Exporters, agents or statistical users requiring a hard copy of the AHECC can print their own copy via the Details tab. For the AHECC Sections spreadsheets it is recommended that users select 'page set-up' and change the view to 85%. Then select 'File', 'Print', then select 'Entire Workbook', as this will speed up the process of printing. This needs to be repeated for each Section spreadsheet required to be printed. Note that the complete AHECC comprises about 1,000 pages.

Correspondences between the 2007 AHECC and related classifications, like the Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3, Broad Economic Categories and the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1993, will be available in December 2006 from the 'Details tab' of the Information paper: Changes on 1 January 2007 to Statistical Codes in the Export and Import Classifications (cat. no. 1233.0.55.001).


If you have any difficulties accessing the AHECC on the ABS web site, please contact the ABS Classification Manager on (02) 6252 5409 or email

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