Earlier we learned that in the US market, in addition to the HS code，which is a universal commodity classification system, there are two codes HTS and Schedule-B. So how do you query these different codes? Let's take a look at the customs HTS code first!
First, the first way is: directly search and query on the official website of HTS. HTS is a unified tariff table developed by the US International Trade Commission (USITC). We can find the product name on the website. If you can't search for a specific product name, you can try to search for the product's material, function, composition, etc.
The second way is: Find the first 6 digits of the HS code of the product, and then find the 4 digits of the subdivision after the HTS. Because the first 6 digits of HTS and Schedule-B are based on HS codes, that is to say, the first 6 digits are the same as HS. One thing to note here is that the first 8-digit coded numbers are really valid in the US Tax Laws. In the 10-digit HTS code, the last two digits are suffix numbers used for statistics and have no substantial impact on Tax Laws.
There are many ways to find the first 6 digits of the HS code. For example, you can find the exact 6 digits of the commodity code in the order of chapters, heads; you can also directly search for the HS code of China ’s export declarations; or find the Schedule-B code of the US Bureau of Statistics.
In fact, the difficulty of finding the customs HTS code of the product lies in the following 4 digit codes. When the classification of products is particularly detailed, it is easy to make mistakes. Let's take a look at an example below.
Here we directly enter hts.usitc.gov in Google's search bar and search to enter the HTS official website page.
You can see that the function bar mainly has four functions: search, view, export, and feedback. Generally, the two we use most are search and view.
First look at the view, you can see that it is a unified tariff table listed in chapters one by one. When we look for our products, we find the chapter category of the product in the list, directly download the corresponding chapter PDF file, and then find the corresponding HTS code from the file.
The other is the search function, and we can use the coffee product to search.
You can see 31 search results on the left, which are displayed in data order according to HTS number.
First, the first one is Chapter 09, you can check the corresponding chapter notes to determine whether it is the chapter to which the product we are looking for belongs.
The second is to look at the product description under the corresponding chapter code to find the HTS code that matches our products.
Looking down, when looking at the search results, you can see that there are 21 chapters and 99 chapters, which are coffee extracts and coffee machines. We will find that sometimes these detailed product codes will interfere with the search results, for example,
As shown in the figure, the subdivision code on the left is 2101.11.21. You can see that it is instant coffee. Does it mean that this is the HTS code of coffee? We need to go back to the higher level to see the classification description corresponding to the 6-digit code 2101.11, which refers to extracts, flavors and concentrates. Continue to look at the 4-digit code 2101, which is the extract of coffee, tea, Mate. In other words, it is not the finished product of coffee, but the coding of coffee extract.
Therefore, if you export roasted coffee or decaffeinated coffee, the product cannot be classified under 2101.11.21, or it is inaccurate to be classified under this code. If you are exporting instant coffee, you can search for instant coffee on the HS coded website.
You can see that it really belongs to the category 2101, not the category 0901.
Finally, to summarize that when we search for HTS codes, after searching for product results, if there are some other search results for us to choose, in addition to looking at the relevant description of refined product codes, it is best to return to the upper chapter directory, seeing the logical relationship between upper and lower levels, chapters and category catalogs, which can effectively help us to eliminate some non-conforming interference items, so as to quickly find the HTS code of the accurate matching product.