A guide to the classification of chemicals in the Combined Nomenclature
ECICS the European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substances is an information tool managed by the European Commission's Directorate General (DG) for Taxation and Customs Union which allows users to:
- clearly and easily identify chemicals;
- classify them correctly and easily in the Combined Nomenclature;
- name them in all EU languages for regulation purposes.
It was first published in 1974 and became an activity of the Customs Laboratories European Network (CLEN - Action 6) in 2009. It is available freely as part of DG Taxation and Customs Union's Data Dissemination System.
ECICS lists chemical names in a number of EU languages (currently mainly eleven) along with their tariff classification in the European Community's Combined Nomenclature (eight-digit CN codes). As the CN codes are based on the "Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System" emanating from WCO, the ECICS tariff classifications are helpful throughout the world.
Each product listed in ECICS is identified by the CUS number, assigned by DG Taxation and Customs Union, which is an easy identifier to search the database and to communicate with Customs. Products are also identified by the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS RN), a system used to identify chemical products the world over, as well as by other numbers like EC numbers, UN numbers...
Names are usually recognised internationally like International Nonproprietary Names for pharmaceuticals, International Organization for Standardization names for pesticides and chemical names constructed according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) nomenclatures.
ECICS database mainly contains pure chemicals. However, as it becomes a cornerstone for Customs, Customs Laboratories and economic operators dealing with trade of all chemicals, its coverage is being constantly extended. It currently contains more than 49 000 records. Do not hesitate to send your suggestions for new products to TAXUD-DDS-ECICS@ec.europa.eu mailbox.
The Inventory covers:
- All pesticides and other plant protection products listed by the International Organization for Standardization under ISO 1750;
- All the International Nonproprietary Names (INN) assigned to pharmaceuticals by the World Health Organization;
- Salts and esters of INNs, known as INNMs ("M" standing for "Modified");
- Pharmaceuticals intermediates, i.e. compounds used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals;
- Narcotic and psychotropic substances and their precursors;
- Ozone-depleting substances;
- Toxic/dangerous chemicals controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention;
- Chemicals subject to the international prior informed consent (PIC) procedure;
- Other products subject to import/export controls;
- Colour Index dyes and pigments;
- Other commercially significant products.
ECICS is regularly updated by DG Taxation and Customs Union, assisted by the Member States' representatives in the Customs Code Committee - Tariff and Statistical Nomenclature Section (agriculture/chemical sector).