What is the Harmonized Tariff Schedule?

HTS Codes: Examples and How to Read Them

HTS codes are assigned to goods based on their classification within the world customs organization (WCO). There are thousands of potential classifications within the harmonized commodity description and coding system. Each one has its own nomenclature code. When you’re shipping goods, you need to make sure that you have the correct HTS code for your shipment. If you don’t, you could face delays or even fines.

To find the right HTS code for your goods, you can use an online search tool like the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule Search Engine. Once you’ve found the right code, be sure to include it on all of your shipping documents.

With a little research, you can make sure that your commercial shipments are properly classified and avoid any potential problems. HTS codes may seem confusing at first, but once you get the hang of them, they can be a valuable tool for your business.

For example:
6603.20.9000 is the JTS classification for hand-held umbrellas. This 10-digit code can be broken up into several sets of code numbers representing trade data. Understanding what these sets of numbers refer to can aid you in learning how to read them as well as classifying your shipment. So let’s break down this product classification.

The first two digits here (66) is the Chapter, the second set of two digits (03) is the heading, the next set (20) is the subheading, and the last set (3000) is “extra digits”. The extra digits are the suffix. These will often be used in addition to the main six digits for country-specific categorizations like the harmonized tariff schedule of the United States.


HTS Codes vs. HS Codes

HS Codes are used by Customs and Border Protection to identify products that are imported into the United States. HTS Codes, on the other hand, are used by commercial shippers to classify products being exported. The Harmonized Tariff Schedule is an international system that is used to classify different types of products. Typically, HS Codes will match up with HTS Codes, making it easy to identify products when they’re shipped internationally. However, there may be some cases where the two codes don’t match up exactly. In these cases, it’s important to consult with a customs broker to make sure that you’re using the correct classification code.


Reasons to use the HTS

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) is the primary resource for determining tariff classification of goods imported into the United States. The HTS provides the applicable tariff rates and statistical category for all merchandise imported into the United States. By using the HTS, commercial trucking companies can properly declare their imports to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and avoid delays and penalties. In addition, the HTS can be used to determine if a particular item is eligible for a reduced tariff rate or duty exemption. The HTS is also a valuable tool for identifying potential trade barriers and developing strategies to address them. As such, the HTS is an essential resource for companies engaged in international trade.


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