Q:

How do you look up a Harmonized Tariff Schedule code?

A:

Quick Answer

The U.S. International Trade Commission, or USITC, provides a search of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, or HTSA, on its website. The tool returns the Commodity Description and Code as established by the World Customs Organization plus additional HTSA coding; a description of the goods; and duties imposed on the goods.

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Full Answer

The World Customs Organization attempts to classify all goods traded worldwide with category codes. According to the European Commission, the system of naming or coding each good type is known as Harmonized System, or HS, Nomenclature and is made up of approximately 5,000 main commodity groups, each represented by a six-digit number. The HS codes are updated about every five years, most recently in 2012, states Export.gov.

In the United States, the USITC expands the six-digit code of the HS to 10 digits in the HTSA for greater specificity. The first six digits of an up to 10-digit HTSA code are always the same as the HS code, Export.gov. For example, code 8711.20 is used for motorcycles with or without sidecars that have internal combustion piston engines between 50 and 250 cc. In the United States, 8711.20 motorcycles are further categorized to distinguish motorcycles with engines between 50 and 90 cc, classified as 8711.20.00.30, from those with engines sized 90 and 190 cc, classified as 8711.20.00.60.

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