HS codes: HTS vs. Schedule B
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
The world of logistics has no shortage of acronyms.
Harmonized Schedule (HS) Codes
HS codes are a six-digit system of classifying all goods which are traded internationally. They are essential to customs for tracking products and calculating any duties or value added tax (VAT) that must be paid.
Many governments add digits to HS codes to further distinguish goods being exported and imported. The series of unique codes that the U.S. government uses are called Schedule B codes and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes.
Schedule B codes
Each Schedule B code is comprised of 10 digits to further distinguish goods being exported from the U.S. These codes are administered by the U.S. Census Bureau and used for export statistics purposes.
Schedule B codes are essential for filing the Electronic Export Information (EEI) through the U.S. Automated Export System (AES).
HTS codes are 7 to 10 digit codes that further classify U.S imports and are regulated by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC). These codes inform customs of what type of good is being imported, the tariffs/duties/restrictions that good is subject to and more.
It is extremely important to provide the appropriate HS code on your shipping documentation. Otherwise you can face penalties, delays, cargo seizure, and more.
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