Best Practices in Global Classification Compliance

This afternoon I participated in a webinar presented by Customs Info/Descartes on “Best Practices in Global Classification Compliance”. The first half of the webinar consisted of a good refresher about classification compliance. The Customs Modification Act requirement of reasonable care was defined as a solid process of research support and documentation. The presenter reminded the audience that:

  • Classification is subjective- tariff schedules do not necessarily keep up with technology
  • Customs definitions can differ from industry definitions
  • Different interpretations exist between countries and also between ports within the same country


The basic components of a best in class process are:

  1. Break down items from universe into groups
  2. Research- even if you think you know the correct classification is a good tool
  3. Identify necessary info needed for classification such as materials, dimensions, intended use, etc
  4. Documentation- needed to support your determination
  5. Automation- implementing a software classification tool will improve efficiency and productivity
  6. On-going maintenance and monitoring for changes in HTS binding rulings and in your products is essential


Supporting documentation includes

  • spec sheets, drawings, photos
  • info requests from engineers, scientists, chemists, etc
  • HTS chapter and section notes that apply to your product
  • explanatory notes
  • informed compliance publications
  • customs rulings that apply to your product
  • record keeping (5 years)


Contact Ad Hoc Logistics for help with classification and compliance.