More Glossary Terms

Harmonized Tariff Schedule

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States determines tariff classifications for imported goods based on name, use, or materials used in production.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) sets the tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States. More than 17,000 unique 10-digit HTS classification code numbers exist in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

Updated semi-annually, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. is based on the international Harmonized Commodity Coding and Classification System. The U.S. International Trade Commission publishes the HTSUS. Nearly all international countries base their tariffs on this commodity coding system for global trade in goods.

What is a harmonized system?
A harmonized system is an international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity-coding scheme. This standard numerical method of classifying traded products is a hierarchically structured nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings.
The harmonized system is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections reflect industries. Chapters reflect materials and products within the industry section. A basic harmonized system code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. Many countries add digits for Customs tariffs and statistical purposes.
The harmonized system is the current U.S. tariff schedule for imports and is the basis for the export code.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) administers the Harmonized Commodity Coding and Classification System, which is updated every five years.

Who uses the harmonized tariff schedule?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses the harmonized system to classify imported goods. Each good is organized by a Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code, which determines the duty rates applied to imported goods at the U.S. port of entry.

What is HTS Code?
HTS Codes identify goods imported to the U.S. based on their industry and materials used in their production. A 10-digit U.S. HTS code consists of numerals representing chapter, heading, subheading, and U.S. specific categorization.
How do I find the HTS Code?

Access a chapter-by-chapter listing of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule and general notes provided by the U.S. International Trade Commission and updated in 2022.

What Happens if you use the wrong HTS Code?

Import duties imports are determined by the HTSUS and each HTS Code. Importers using the wrong HTS code on their product may overpay or underpay duties. Product with the incorrect classification may be penalized for wrongful usage of free trade agreements or other trade violations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection initiates audit referrals for products imported with incorrect HTS codes, and steep penalties may result.

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How MercuryGate TMS Supports Shippers Using the Harmonized Tariff Schedule
MercuryGate’s Transportation Management platform enables international shippers and freight forwarders to automate workflows while sharing data easily with their trading partners, agents, and customs enforcement.

As a cloud-based solution, MercuryGate TMS integrates transportation data to provide real-time visibility to shipment details and access to electronic HTS documentation required in trade.

  • Directly file Electronic Export Information (EEI) via the Automated Export System (AES) and submit Importer Security Filings (ISF) to comply with 10+2 regulations.
  • Generate all necessary import and export paperwork with MercuryGate’s template management tool.
MercuryGate TMS users expedite the process of screening for denied parties and embargoed or sanctioned companies. MercuryGate customers can utilize continuous screening and access to comprehensive denied party sources.

MercuryGate’s global TMS solution resolves other common global logistics challenges by using localized terms, languages, currencies, and units of measure according to geography and requirements.

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