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An Overview of HTS Codes

HTS codes are a tool used globally. The World Customs Organization (WCO) manages and maintains the Harmonized Tariff Description and Coding system (HTS). At least 170 countries are involved in the WCO’s HTS system. The first six digits of the HTS code refer to the goods in international trade, and they are the same for all countries that use the HTS. The two or four suffix digits provide the duty rate and balance of trade statistical reporting suffix for the imported goods. As an importer, you are responsible for establishing the correct HTS classification to be used on your import entries and ISF security filings. This supports why it is mandatory to establish that correct details about your goods is reported to CBP. Moreover, do not leave it up to third parties to guess about your products and give HTS classifications for you. It is up to you as the importer to give comprehensive information about the imported goods so that the customs professional determines the correct classifications for that merchandise.

You may be overpaying by using an incorrect HTS code and that is why a lot of attention is needed. The HTS is a classification system to uniformly recognize goods and secondarily a tariff system on imported items. When you use the wrong HTS, it results in an incorrect payment of duties whether a little or a lot. Such an error arises in the CBP during revenue collection, and it can lead to issuing of penalties for not providing the correct and accurate information to CBP. The HTS codes you were utilizing might not be the right ones, you still have time to amend this so that you eliminate extravagant penalties. When you find out that you have been using wrong HTS codes and been paying exceedingly or little, you have two options to amend this issue. You can file for a Post-Entry Amendment (PEA) to pay any extra owed duties or to request a refund for overpayments. If the entry has been liquidated which usually happens 315 day after entry, you can file an administrative protest up to 180 days after liquidation of the entry.

HTS codes keep changing. Worldwide, the HTS is being updated and changed to enable creativity and technology. Also, states are reviewing new income avenues and they desire to balance their trade with other countries. In the U.S when an HTS code is created, it has a date when it will expire to enable any updates to be implemented. Accordingly, constantly ensure that the codes you are using are still valid and correct. Classification of imported goods is continuous.

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