The US customs as all countries across the world use numerous customs terminologies and codes which are often confusing especially start-up importers and exporters. Some of the most used terminologies or codes are the HS or Harmonized System Code, HTSUS or Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Code, Schedule B Code etc. which you need to understand essentially so that you can determine whether to use the codes or not and where to use them. However, if you have partnered with a professional and experienced customs brokerage such as Clearit USA they can help you understand the customs terminologies and codes and guide you whether to use them or not and in what context you should use them.
The Harmonized System Code or Harmonized System Classification is a standard code often called subheading comprising six-digit number. The HS or also called HS number is used for the classification of global trading of products and necessarily used by the customs across the world. The HS code along with other codes determine the classification of various products in order to impose appropriate duties and taxes rates on specific products.
The HS codes are recognised and used by 98% of countries around the world and they are administered by the world customs organization. You will find 6 digits in the HS code which are used as a universal tool in international trade. Most customs across the world add additional codes after the HS code to identify products and categorise them as per the customs law of their country. However, the country-specific codes may differ from one country to the other. The HS codes are essentially used in almost all international import and export invoices and documentation.
The HTSUS or the Harmonised Tariff Schedule Code is the 10-digit code that is specific to the US and used for classification of goods. The HTS is also called a HTS number and they are administered by the US ITC or the International Trade Commission. The HTS is comprised of two basic components. The first 6 digits of the HTS are the HS which is similar to all the countries and the last 4 digits are the US specific-codes.
The US, as well as global HS codes, have four components which are identified by green numerals under the digits. The first two digits is known as chapter and second two digits as a heading. The third two digits are called sub-heading and the fourth and final two-digit is identified as extra digits.