The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS)
The Harmonized Tariff System is a series of 6-digit codes assigned and used classify exports/imports for customs purposes. Most countries recognize the 6-digit codes and some add extra digits to the end for more precise classification such as the United States that uses a 10-digit number known as the "Schedule B number".
There are three main reasons an exporter should be aware of their product's Schedule B and HS number:
- To find if and what the import tariff rate is for the product, and also determine whether or not the product falls under a preferential tariff under a Free Trade Agreement.
- The Schedule B number is required for the Shipper's Export Declaration, Certificates of Origin, and other various shipping documents.
- The HS number is also sometimes required on shipping documents such as the Certificate of Origin.