Understanding HTS Codes
HTS codes are a tool used globally. The World Customs Organization (WCO) manages and maintains the Harmonized Tariff Description and Coding system (HTS). More than 170 countries participate in the WCO’s HTS system. The initial six digits of the HTS code identifies all the items in international trade and they are similar for every country that uses the HTS. The final two or four digits give the duty rate and balance of trade statistical reporting suffix for the imported products. If you are an importer, you are in charge of establishing the right HTS classification to be used on your import entries and ISF security filings. Due to this, it is critical to determine that accurate information about your products is reported to CBP. Additionally, you shouldn’t rely on third parties to guess about your goods and provide HTS classifications on your behalf. It is your duty as the importer to give sufficient details of the imported goods so that the customs expert can establish the suitable classifications for those goods.
Maybe you overpaid by using the wrong HTS code. The HTS is primarily a classification tool to uniformly identify products and the other secondary function is that it is a tariff system on imported goods. When you use the wrong HTS, it results in an incorrect payment of duties whether a little or a lot. The effect of this is seen in the CBP during revenue collection, and it may lead to them to giving fines for lack of giving the recommended and right information to CBP. Maybe you have been using incorrect HTS codes, it is not too late to correct this so that you avoid expensive penalties. When you find out that you have been using wrong HTS codes and been paying exceedingly or little, you have two options to amend this issue. You can file for a Post-Entry Amendment (PEA) to pay any extra owed duties or to request a refund for overpayments. If the entry was already liquidated which normally occurs 315 day after entry, you can file an administrative protest up to 180 days after liquidation of the entry.
HTS codes are not static. In the entire world, the HTS is being updated and altered to pave way for creativity and technology. Also, states are reviewing new income avenues and they desire to balance 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. Accordingly, constantly ensure that the codes you are using are still valid and correct. Classification of imported items is an ongoing project.