HTS Best Practices

As an independent consultant and Licensed Customs Broker my most frequent client requests are for classification help. While some commodities are easy to classify, most require research and interpretation. Here is an example of an easy one with no research or interpretation needed:

9506.69.2040 Baseballs

Here is one which is more challenging and time consuming:

8532.10.00 00 Fixed capacitors designed for use in 50/60 Hz circuits and having a reactive power handling capacity of not less than
0.5 kvar (power capacitors)

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 starting with a few universal principles:

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  

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@adhoclogistics for immediate assistance.