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Unlocking Import Success: Navigating the Harmonized Tariff System 〈HTS〉 for US Goods

The classification of an item using the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) is a crucial step for importing goods into the US. The HTS determines various aspects of the import process, such as:

  • The applicable duty rates and exemptions for different products.
  • The antidumping and countervailing duties (ADD/CVD) that may apply to certain imports from specific countries.
  • The participation of other government agencies (PGA) that regulate the safety and quality of imported goods, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and others.
  • The eligibility for free trade agreements (FTA) that may offer preferential treatment for imports from certain countries or regions.
  • The additional duties under Section 301 that may apply to certain imports from China.
  • The quota restrictions that may limit the quantity of certain goods that can be imported.
  • The documentation requirements for entry clearance and customs declaration.

Therefore, it is essential to have a correct and accurate HTS classification for your products. An incorrect or inaccurate HTS classification can result in overpaying or underpaying duties, facing penalties or fines from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or having your goods delayed or seized at the border. To avoid these risks, you should consult a reputable company or person who has expertise in HTS classification.

Contributor: Jeff Beakley


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