What is a HTS code?
HTS (or HTSUS - Harmonized Tariff Schedule of US) codes are 10 digit codes used by the United States government to track the goods being imported into the country. Each code describes a particular type of product, allowing the government to charge different tariffs for different trade goods.
If you’re planning on importing goods into the US, you’ll need to find the right HTS code to use.
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HTSUS number format
HTS codes are made up of 4 parts, adding up to 10 digits in total. Each part provides more detailed information about the product — starting with the ‘chapter’, which describes the industry, and ending with the ‘statistical classification’, which describes the particular product. HTSUS numbers are an extension of internationally recognized HS codes that were developed by World Customs Organization (WCO).
Here, we’ve given a breakdown of the HTS code for chocolate confectionery with peanut butter.
18 - Cocoa and Cocoa Preparations
1806 - Chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa
1806 31 - Filled
1806 31 0041 - Confectionery: containing peanuts
What are HS codes?
Harmonised System (HS) codes are an international standard for calculating tax on imported goods. Controlled by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the system was first introduced in 1988.
The HS code system forms the basis for all tariff codes in the US, which means that HTS codes are part of the international HS code system. They’re only used for Importing goods into the US, however.
How to use HTS code
You can find the right HTS code by searching for the product in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Search, managed by the US government.
Taking chocolate confectionery as an example, you’d start by searching for the section and chapter that represents the industry. In this case, it would be section 4 (Prepared Foodstuffs) and chapter 18 (Cocoa and Cocoa Preparations).
Next, you’d search for the right Heading and Subheading, both of which would continue to describe your product in greater detail. In this case, the Heading would be 06 (Chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa), and the Subheading would be 31 (Filled).
Finally, you’d look for the Statistical Classification, in this case 0041 (Confectionery with peanuts). Combining these digits will give you the HTS code — 1806 31 0041.
Animal & Animal Products
Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils
Chemicals & Allied Industries
Plastics / Rubbers
Raw Hides, Skins, Leather, & Furs
Wood & Wood Products
Pulp of Wood or of Other Fibrous Material
Footwear / Headgear
Stone / Glass
Natural or Cultured Pearls
Machinery / Electrical
Arms and Ammunition
Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
Works of Art
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Schedule B numbers, HS codes, and HTS codes — what’s the difference?
Depending on the type of international trade you’ll be doing, there are a few numbers and codes you might need.
Schedule B numbers help the US government to track trade exports leaving the country, and charge the right tariffs each product. If you’re planning on exporting goods abroad from the US, you’ll need to have the right Schedule B numbers.
HS codes are an international system for tracking trade goods. They form the basis for all tariff codes, including the first 6 digits of Schedule B numbers and HTS codes in the US. You’ll often find HS codes on invoices and shipping documents around the world.
HTS codes are like Schedule B numbers, but for importing goods into the United States instead. They’re also made up of 10 digits, and they help the US government to track imports and apply the right tariffs to different products.