As an independent consultant and Licensed Customs Broker my most frequent client requests are for classification help.
There are 3 ways to classify: 1) self classify, 2) consult with commodity manufacturer, 3) request rulings from CBP (imports) or BIS (exports).
HTS and Schedule B best practices include checking and confirming commodity classifications at least annually. Here is some info which will help:
- 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:
- Break down items from universe into groups
- Research- even if you think you know the correct classification customsinfo.com is a good tool
- Identify necessary info needed for classification such as materials, dimensions, intended use, etc
- Documentation- needed to support your determination
- Automation- implementing a software classification tool will improve efficiency and productivity
- 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 mitch@adhoclogisticsfor immediate assistance.