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Exporting With Import Classification Numbers

Mon Jul 09 2018
Written by: Taylor Martin, International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch, Economic Indicators Division
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If you focus on U.S. trade compliance, you learn Schedule B numbers are U.S. export classification codes and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers are U.S. import classification codes. Yet, as you may have discovered, HTS codes can also be used for exporting in most cases. In this blog, we are going to dive into the details of why this is true.

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The first six digits of an HTS and Schedule B number will always be the same for a particular product. A key difference between the HTS and Schedule B 10-digit classification systems is the number of codes. There are approximately 19,000 HTS codes, compared to about 9,000 Schedule B codes. The additional detail for HTS classifications means multiple HTS numbers can correlate to a single Schedule B number. After you file your export shipment with an HTS number, we convert the HTS number to a Schedule B number for statistical purposes. Allowing dual use of HTS codes can save filers time in completing required forms.

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Brass-Wind Instruments Example

Below are the HTS numbers for brass-wind instruments. As you can see, there are two codes for the instruments based on price.

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In the Schedule B, only one code is available for brass-wind instruments.

 

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We convert HTS codes 9205.10.0040 and 9205.10.0080 to Schedule B number 9205.10.0000 for statistical purposes.

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Does it always work?

In most cases, HTS numbers have more detail than Schedule B numbers. However, there are goods where additional detail exists on the export side. Let’s look at aircraft turbines.

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Aircraft Turbine Example

HTS numbers for turbojets with a thrust not exceeding 25kN have two options, aircraft turbines and other.

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The Schedule B numbers for turbojets with a thrust not exceeding 25kN have more detail under aircraft turbines to differentiate between those used in civil aircraft and those not.

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We cannot accept the aircraft turbine HTS number for an export shipment because the code does not provide the specific detail required by the Schedule B.

To know which HTS numbers cannot be used for export, see HTS codes that are not valid for Automated Export System on the Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade website.

Alternatively, the Notice to Exporters found in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule at the U.S. International Trade Commission website lists the Schedule B numbers needed for export in place of HTS numbers.

For more information about Schedule B classification, visit census.gov/scheduleb or contact the Micro Analysis Branch at 800-549-0595, option 2.

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