The HTS schedule is in hierarchal order. The higher the number (2, 4, 6, 8, 10), the more specific the product will be. Search results will be displayed by their numeric order in the HTS schedule.
Contains All - all of the words in the search must be present in the item description to generate results. The more specific the search, the more specific the results will be.
Contains Any - any of the words may be present in the item description to generate results. If you type in multiple, unrelated words such as "eggs" and "steel", the results will be displayed by their numeric order in the HTS schedule. If you type in a search that generates results, such as "steel", followed by a word that does not generate results, such as "crocodiles", the search will generate results for "steel". The more words you type in the search browser, the less specific the results will be.
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) was enacted by Congress and made effective on January 1, 1989, replacing the former Tariff Schedules of the United States.
The HTS comprises a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes. This structure is based upon the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), administered by the World Customs Organization in Brussels ; the 4- and 6-digit HS product categories are subdivided into 8-digit unique U.S. rate lines and 10-digit non-legal statistical reporting categories. Classification of goods in this system must be done in accordance with the General and Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation, starting at the 4-digit heading level to find the most specific provision and then moving to the subordinate categories.
The "general" rates of duty subcolumn contains U.S. normal trade relations duty rates; products of some NTR countries may be eligible for preferential tariff programs, as reflected in the "special" subcolumn. Column 2 (the so-called "statutory rates") applies to countries listed in general note 3(b); the general notes set forth the rules for applying the HTS. Embargoes, anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, and other very specific matters administered by the Executive Branch are not contained in the HTS.
The USITC maintains and publishes the HTS (in print and on-line) pursuant to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988; see the preface to the HTS for additional explanatory material. However, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the HTS.
Hints for proper classification of goods:
- Remember that the Tariff Schedule is hierarchical. The context of words is important.
- Read the General Rules of Interpretation and apply in order.
- Do not rely on word search only (follows from 1 and 2).
- Customs and Border Protection has classification authority. Check with them for advice if necessary.