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What are Harmonized Tariff Schedules (HTS) Codes?

Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes are a classification system used for goods imported into the United States

The U.S. International Trade Commission oversees the administration of HTS codes to classify products accurately according to their composition, form, and purpose. 

What is an HS Code?

Harmonized System (HS) Codes play a vital role in international trade, particularly in the export process. They are a numerical classification system established by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to categorize products for global trade. These codes are essential for customs procedures, taxation, and facilitating trade, as they ensure consistent product identification and the assessment of duties and tariffs. 

HS vs HTS Code

HS Codes and HTS Codes differ mainly in their scope and the number of digits used:

  • HS Code (Harmonized System Code): This code is internationally recognized and consists of 6 digits. It's used by customs authorities worldwide to classify products.

  • HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule): This code is specific to the United States and provides a more detailed classification at a 10-digit level, primarily for customs and tariff purposes within the US. They are made up of a chapter, heading, and up to three subheadings. The first 6 digits of an HTS code match the corresponding HS code.

Have A Look At An Example:

Let's say you're importing electronic tablets into the United States. If you classify them under HTS code 8471.30.10 (Portable automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard, and a display), they may be subject to a duty rate of 0%. 

However, if you mistakenly classify them under 8471.30.90 (Other), you could end up paying a duty rate of 2.6%. Therefore, accurately classifying your tablets under the correct HTS code can make a significant difference in the amount of import tax you owe.


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