Harmonized System Codes are widely utilized by exporters as part of their product categorization system of choice. Harmonized System numbers are used to categorize items uniformly for commerce. Customs agencies use it to assign values to goods calculate taxes and fees and compile statistical information.
The Harmonized System Code are maintained and revised every five years by the World Customs Organization (WCO). It is the basis for the United States and many other trade partners’ systems of importing and exporting goods.
The HS uses unique six-digit numbers to categorize and identify various goods and services. Countries may extend the initial six-digit code with additional characters for more precise categorization.
The first six digits of the Schedule B number represent the HS number used by the United States when exporting goods. Everything from paper clips to aircraft has a unique Schedule B number. The U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade Group is in charge of Schedule B.
Methods for Applying the Harmonized System (HS) Codes
When exporting a product from the United States, you’ll need both the Schedule B number and the HS code used in the destination country. To: determine how to categorize physical products for export;
If the total value of your cargo is above $2,500 or if you need a license to export the item in question, you must register it in the Automated Export System (AES).
Prepare shipment documents such as a letter of instruction from the carrier, a business invoice, or a certificate of origin;
Calculate the rates of import tariffs (duties) and ascertain whether or not a product is eligible for a purchase option under the terms of a free trade agreement.
Gather market data and import/export statistics; Act following the letter of the law in the United States.
How to Look for the Schedule B Number for Your Product in the United States
Schedule B Search Tool is a free and extensively used online resource provided by the Census Bureau that may assist you in determining the appropriate classification for your goods. Product classification is most often performed using the Schedule B search tool. You may get help identifying your Schedule B number and accessing training materials on the site.
You may look for the Schedule B code for a hard-to-categorize good in the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) database. Requests for Schedule B codes made by other exporters and importers are reflected in CROSS along with the final, legally binding decisions made by the US Commerce Department. Find out whether other importers or importers have asked for a judgment on the same or comparable products and, if so, what the outcome was by searching our database.
In rare cases:
Sending a group of products together in one package: Finding the Schedule B classification for a product is usually simple. An unassembled bicycle delivered in a box that includes the frame, handlebars, pedals, and the seat is considered a bicycle (since it is sold as a whole) rather than a collection of parts. However, some sets are more difficult to organize. Rule 3 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule’s General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) covers compound products, combinations, and sets. The relevant line may be found in the preface to the official Schedule B publication, which details the three-step method developed by the GRI for identifying the appropriate Schedule B code in such cases.
Sets of clothing or other textiles for shipment: Schedule B codes for textile and garment sets are subject to special guidelines. For more reading, please see Note 14 in GRI Chapter 50.