Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)
The International HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) contains 97 chapters divided into 21 sections. The first 2 digits is the number of the chapter. The next 2 digits define the chapter heading and the next 2 digits thereafter define the chapter sub-heading. These first 6 digits are standard for all countries. So when we come across 4202.92, we know it is some kind of a bag anywhere in the world.
The US HTS has one additional section containing two extra chapters, i.e. 22 sections with 99 chapters. The HTSUS number has 10 digits. The 8-digit code is the tariff item number and the duty rate is connected at this level. Since each country sets its own duty level, the 8-digit code cannot be part of the harmonized system and is different from country to country. The last two digits are used for statistical purposes only. All countries do not have 10-digit codes. They can have 8, 9, 10 or even 11 digits.
HTS is the number used for imports and Schedule ‘B’ is the number used for exports. They are usually the same number, though not always.
The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every item that exists. The HTS is a reference manual that is the size of several unabridged dictionaries.
The U.S. International Trade Commission – Tariff Database link, http://dataweb.usitc.gov/ will take you to an interactive data base that will enable you to get an approximate idea of the duty rate for a particular product. Please be aware that the duty rate you request is only as good as the information you provide. The actual duty rate of the item you import may not be what you think it should be as a result of your research. Customs makes the final determination of what the correct rate of duty is, not the importer. For very specific duty information on a particular item you may request a Binding Ruling. You may also receive guidance by calling your local Customs port.
For our assistance in helping you classify your product line and to create your own specialized database of product model numbers aligned against HTS numbers or to conduct an evaluation of your existing product/HTS file, please contact us.