Teach Yourself How to Read the Harmonized Tariff Schedule

July 20, 2012
By Michelle Kelley

Let’s face it: Import tariff classification is no cakewalk. It involves knowing your product and poring over the mammoth text known as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. If you get it wrong, you could face serious penalties and fines from Customs.

To get it right, you need to know how to read the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (known as HTS).

Enter a new government resource that’s going to knock your socks off. It’s a new e-learning tool from the U.S. International Trade Commission that shows you how to read the HTS.

Originally developed for Commission staff, this online tool will not only teach you how to read the HTS, it will visually walk you through the basics of classification, quiz you on what’s important, and then entice you to try it yourself with a few examples.

See it in action, here.

As you step through the four sections, you’ll learn

  • what the HTS is and how it relates to product classification
  • how to read the HTS
  • how to determine duty rates
  • how to access the HTS online tool
  • how trade agreements and programs are treated in the HTS
  • which chapters have special provisions

On screen examples of the HTS help to make you comfortable with its layout and better understand how to read it.

There’s also a brief quiz at the end of each chapter.

You can ‘try it yourself’ by using the online HTS to complete the classification examples.

This guide is excellent example of concise, clear, and interactive online learning. Check it out at www.usitc.gov/elearning/hts/menu/