Tariff Classification is a highly specific area that involves multi-levels of item classification. Making use of the correct tariff classifications requires accurate and detailed knowledge,
not only of the item being classified but also of the classification system itself.
The following information outlines the importance of tariff classification and a description of the purpose of the Harmonized System of Tariff Classification.
There are also very specific rules of interpretation for classifying your goods under the Harmonized System.
The primary division of goods in the Tariff is into Sections and Chapters. There are 21 Sections in all, comprising 98 Chapters. The Harmonized System is a global classification system where products are grouped according to what they are,
what they are made of, and how they are manufactured or processed. These sections and chapters are accompanied by both Legal Notes and Explanatory Notes.
Legal Notes define the precise scope and limits of each Chapter, Section, Heading or Subheading. Explanatory Notes are included to aid in the understanding of the classification.
Within each Chapter, goods are listed according to a hierarchical classification system, broken down into finer and finer categories. The lowest breakdown level is called the Classification Number. This is the number that must be used on the Customs documents.
There is a Classification Number for every product that anyone could ever wish to import. The proper classification of items can be complicated and specific item descriptions apply.
The following Tariff Resources can help you to understand and make sense of the multi-level Harmonized System of Tariff Classification.