HTS Codes versus Schedule B Numbers

December 3, 2015

Do you understand the difference between the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and Schedule B? Exporters often use these terms interchangeably. Technically, however, they serve very different purposes.

HTS codes and Schedule B numbers are both comprised of 10-digit numbers. The HTS is another classification system used in the U.S. to identify imported goods based on their material composition, product name, and/or intended function. It is used to determine the rate of duty applied to an imported good. The HTS is administered by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Schedule B numbers, on the other hand, are used by the U.S. Government to track statistics of exported goods. These statistics are collected and compiled in terms of approximately 8,000 commodity classifications in “Schedule B: Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States,” which is maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division.

HTS codes should be included on shipping documents for every import. Schedule B numbers are reported as part of the Electronic Export Information (EEI) in the Automatic Export System (AES). Schedule B numbers need to be filed with EEI when the value of the commodity classified under each individual Schedule B number is over $2,500 or if a validated export license is required to export the commodity.

It’s critical to use the correct HTS codes because the rate of duty applied to imported goods is assessed based on this classification. The failure to use the proper HTS code could lead to costly delays in getting your import shipment cleared through Customs. It is equally important to report the correct Schedule B number for exports because it enables the USG to provide industry with valuable data regarding globally traded goods. Finally, the failure to properly use HTS codes and Schedule B numbers could potentially lead to fines and other penalties.

For more information on HTS codes and Schedule B numbers, visit CTP’s HTS and Schedule B section or download our FAQ.

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