C5—Harmonized Tariff (HTS) Classification

Subscriber price: $300.00, Non-subscriber price: $390.00
Estimated total study time: 22 hours 35 minutes [Enroll now]

This course is designed for all personnel who perform customs tariff classification in the course of their duties. The precepts of classification are methodically addressed in order to provide learners with an in-depth knowledge of the structure and the rules of legal Harmonized Tariff classification.

The World Customs Organization updates the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System approximately every five years. It is the foundation for the import and export classification systems used in the United States. This course reflects the most recent revision in 2012. Students may use any recent national Harmonized System (HS) or Schedule B for the many practical exercises in this course. This basic training covers the structure of the HS, how to apply the General Rules of Interpretation, the difference in classifying parts and accessories, and many practice classification questions up to the first six digits which are the same internationally.

Note: We provide links to download tariffs of several countries. To complete some course exercises, full chapter and heading notes are required, so on-line tariffs that do not show notes will not suffice.

The Structure of the Harmonized System

The Harmonized Tariff System is subdivided into various elements which together form the structure of the nomenclature. In order to perform accurate classification it is essential to understand the relation between the elements. These elements are sections, chapters, subchapters, headings, subheadings, and notes. This first lesson deals with the general overall structure, and the breakdown by sections and chapters.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 10 minutes)

Harmonized Tariff System: Headings, Subheadings and Notes (C5)

This second lesson continues with the breakdown of the Harmonized System (HS) by headings and subheadings and chapter subdivisions. Then we take a look at section, chapter and subheading notes. Notes hold the key to exclusions and definition of terms. Practical application of notes to classification will be discussed.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 42 minutes)

HTS Language and Punctuation (C5)

Apart from the very structure of the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS), classifying involves the knowledge of the meaning of some Latin expressions, attention to punctuation, and awareness of the language of the Harmonized Tariff System and its different versions (in national tariffs). These are the characteristics of the HTS that we will review in this lesson.

(Estimated study time: 51 minutes)

The General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 1 (C5)

Classification in the Harmonized Tariff System is governed by six General Rules of Interpretation. The General Rules provide a uniform and mandatory system to read and interpret all the elements of the HTS. Knowledge and understanding of those rules is the single most important prerequisite to accurately classify goods. We will begin with Rule 1 which deals with the legal elements.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 25 minutes)

The General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 2 (C5)

This lesson details how General Rule 2 expands the scope of headings. It covers incomplete, unassembled, mixed or composite goods. Rule 2 tells us that some goods should be classified in headings even though they do not perfectly match the terms of those headings.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 3 minutes)

General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 3 (a) (C5)

In this lesson we will discuss the first part of Rule 3. Rule 3 is the referee. When a good is at first glance classifiable in two or more headings, it is Rule 3 that will tell us which heading to use. Rule 3(a) directs us to the heading whose text better identifies the goods.

(Estimated study time: 45 minutes)

General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 3 (b) (C5)

As discussed in the previous lesson, Rule 3 tells what to do when goods are classifiable in two or more headings. This lesson will provide training on when to use essential character to determine the proper heading.

(Estimated study time: 55 minutes)

General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 3 (c) and Rule 4 (C5)

Rule 3 tells what to do when goods are classifiable in two or more headings. This lesson will provide training on when to move past essential character and look at the third part of Rule 3 to classify numerically in the last heading. Then we will learn when to use the rule that applies when all else truly fails. Rule 4 helps classify something that can absolutely not be found elsewhere in the nomenclature.

(Estimated study time: 40 minutes)

General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 5 (C5)

In this lesson we will learn how to classify packing materials and containers. This will include containers specially made for articles, as well as reusable and non-reusable containers.

(Estimated study time: 54 minutes)

General Rules of Interpretation - Rule 6 and More (C5)

Rule 6 goes into determining the proper HTS subheading, but only after finding the proper HTS Heading first! We also want to point out a special note in chapter 62 and summarize the General Rules.

(Estimated study time: 47 minutes)

Putting It All Together (C5)

After learning the theory of the HTS the next step is to put it all together to make it work as a coherent ensemble. This is where we define some common pitfalls and discuss irregular situations.

(Estimated study time: 18 minutes)

Factors Influencing Classification (C5)

How goods are presented is a big part of determining the correct classification. The use and purpose of the good is also an important factor. We will discuss these and show that even when all the facts are given, the outcome can still be subjective.

(Estimated study time: 45 minutes)

Classifying Parts and Accessories (C5)

Parts and accessories are classified according to what they are, of and by themselves, or according to the article of which they are a part of, under conditions that vary from commodity to commodity. In this lesson, we will review section and chapter notes as they apply to parts, residual parts headings and the double approach to the classification of parts.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

More on Classifying Parts and Accessories (C5)

It is essential to understand that the principles for classifying parts vary throughout the nomenclature and that what is a rule in one section or chapter may not apply in another section or chapter. There are specific section and chapter conditions to consider, special classifications for parts of general use, and we must also understand the terms solely and principally in defining parts' classification.

(Estimated study time: 34 minutes)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 1 (C5)

The best way to learn Tariff Classification (or anything else, for that matter) is through practice.

(Estimated study time: 58 minutes)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 2 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 3 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 4 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 5 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 6 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

The WCO Explanatory Notes and Other References (C5)

There are documents (paper and electronic) that provide authoritative guidance in HTS classification. This lesson is an overview of those documents.

(Estimated study time: 39 minutes)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 7 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 8 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 1 minute)

Harmonized System Classification Case Study 9 (C5)

These harmonized system classification case studies consist of several six digit classification exercises.

(Estimated study time: 1 hour 2 minutes)