What is an HTS Code?

by | May 31, 2019 | Compliance, Freight Forwarder, Logistics, Supply Chain Dictionary

Confusing numbers of HTS Codes

Anatomy of an HTS Code

HTS is the abbreviation for Harmonized Tariff Schedule. The HTS is a master list of 10-digit codes that classifies internationally traded goods. It was developed in 1988 by the World Customs Organization – not only to determine the duty rates, but to track the value, weight, and quantity of the product being traded. This data is critical for evaluating the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.

The HTS code designates a good by its name, material, or intended use. Currently, there are around 20,000 unique codes. To comply with Customs and Border Protection, proper declaration of the good must be made. That is, you have to classify your product based on its condition as imported. With the consult of an experienced customs broker, your goods can be produced in a way to achieve the lowest duty rate at the time of import. This strategy is better known as tariff engineering.

HTS Code Break-down

The first 6-digits are universal and known as the HS Code. The first two digits indicate the chapter, which broadly range from 01 (Live Animals), to 99 (Special Import Reporting Provisions). The next two sets of digits are the headings and subheadings respectively. These further refine the classification of the good and determine the duty rate.

Below is a visual representation of the anatomy of a 10-digit HTS code 9504.90.60.00 table games – other, such as chess or checkers.

      95                         04                            90                            60                                   00

 Chapter                Heading              Subheading            Subheading             Statistical Suffix

To make sure your goods are properly declared, it is important to partner with an international freight forwarder with a robust network of customs brokers. You can get more information about the HTS by scheduling a consultation