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An Overview of HTS Codes

HTS codes are a tool used globally. The World Customs Organization (WCO) is responsible for the Harmonized Tariff Description and Coding system (HTS). Over 170 countries take part in the WCO’s HTS system. The first six digits of the HTS code refer to the goods in international trade, and they are the same for all countries that use the HTS. The two or four suffix digits provide the duty rate and balance of trade statistical reporting suffix for the imported goods. As an importer, you are responsible for establishing the correct HTS classification to be used on your import entries and ISF security filings. This is the reason why it is essential to establish that right information about your goods is reported to CBP. Also, you should not depend on third parties to guess about your products to give HTS classifications for your sake. It is up to you as the importer to give comprehensive information about the imported goods so that the customs professional determines the correct classifications for that merchandise.

Maybe you overpaid by using the wrong HTS code. The HTS is a classification system to uniformly recognize goods and secondarily a tariff system on imported items. When you use the incorrect HTS, it leads to a wrong payment of duties whether more or less. Such an error arises in the CBP during revenue collection, and it can lead to issuing of penalties for not providing the correct and accurate information to CBP. The HTS codes you were utilizing might not be the right ones, you still have time to amend this so that you eliminate extravagant penalties. If you realize that you have been using inappropriate HTS codes and been paying high or low, you have two ways to rectify it. You can file for a Post-Entry Amendment (PEA) to pay any extra owed duties or to request a refund for overpayments. When the entry is already liquidated which tends to happens 315 day after entry, you can seek for an administrative protest up to 180 days after liquidation of the entry.

HTS codes are dynamic in a way. In the entire world, the HTS is being updated and altered to pave way for creativity and technology. Moreover, governments are exploring new revenue sources and they are considering balancing their trade with other countries. In the U.S when an HTS code is created, it has a date when it will expire to enable any updates to be implemented. As per this, always confirm that the codes you use are the right ones. Classification of imported goods is continuous.

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