USITC to Implement Updated Harmonized Tariff Schedule Effective January 27, 2022

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Sweeping changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US (HTSUS) will go into effect this week when the US International Trade Commission (USITC) implements the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) five-year overhaul of the Harmonized System tariff nomenclature.

The modifications will modernize the tariff code for hundreds of imported products and product groups, add tariff headings and subheadings for new categories of imported products, and clarify interpretive legal notes throughout the tariff code. Importers would do well to identify products now that may be impacted by the new or revised HTSUS classifications and ensure their importing systems are appropriately updated.

The USITC maintains the official publication of the HTSUS and all modifications to implement the US’ obligations under the WCO’s International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity and Coding System (HS Convention).[1] In April 2021, the USITC reported the proposed modifications to the tariff code resulting from the WCO’s latest 5-year review,[2] and subsequently published corresponding modifications to the HTSUS in December 2021, as Publication 5240.[3] The president formally adopted USITC’s recommendations in Presidential Proclamation 10326 of December 23, 2021 (published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2021). By law, the changes cannot be implemented until 30 days after publication of the proclamation and therefore will go into effect on January 27, 2022

The following table lists broad categories of products and tariff headings affected directly by the WCO revisions. Note that this listing is not exhaustive. The WCO revisions will also update Section and Chapter titles and legal notes throughout the HTSUS, thereby modifying the scope and interpretation of tariff provisions not on this list. 

HTSUS Sections

Affected Tariff Headings

Section I:

Live Animals; Animal Products

0302; 0303; 0304; 0305; 0306; 0307; 0308; 0309; 0403; 0410

Section II:

Vegetable Products

0704; 0709; 0711; 0712; 0802; 0805; 0812; 1202; 1211

Section III:

Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils and Their Cleavage Products; Prepared Edible Fats; Animal or Vegetable Waxes

1509; 1510; 1515; 1516; 1517; 1518

Section IV:

Prepared Foodstuffs; Beverages, Spirits, and Vinegar; Tobacco and Manufactured Tobacco Substitutes

1601; 1602; 1604; 2008; 2009; 2106; 2202; 2306; 2403; 2404

Section V:

Mineral Products

2518

Section VI:

Products of the Chemical or Allied Industries

2844; 2845; 2903; 2930; 2932; 2933; 2936; 2939; 3002; 3006; 3204; 3402

3603; 3816; 3822; 3824; 3827

Section VII:

Plastics and Articles Thereof; Rubber and Articles Thereof

3907; 3911; 4015

Section IX:

Wood and Articles of Wood; Wood Charcoal; Cork and Articles of Cork; Manufacturers of Straw, of Esparto or of Other Plaiting Materials; Basketware and Wickerwork

4401; 4402; 4403; 4407; 4412; 4414; 4418; 4419; 4420; 4421

Section X:

Pulp of Wood or of Other Fibrous Cellulosic Material; Waste and Scrap of Paper or Paperboard; Paper and Paperboard and Articles Thereof

4905

Section XI:

Textile and Textile Articles

5501; 5703; 5802; 5911; 6116; 6201; 6202; 6210; 6306

Section XIII:

Articles of Stone, Plaster, Cement, Asbestos, Mica or Similar Materials; Ceramic Products; Glass and Glassware

6802; 6812; 6815; 6903; 7001; 7011; 7019

Section XIV:

Natural or Cultured Pearls, Precious or Semiprecious Stones, Precious Metals, Metals Clad With Precious Metal, and Articles Thereof; Imitation Jewelry; Coins

7104; 7112

Section XV:

Base Metals and Articles of Base Metal

7419; 8103; 8106; 8107; 8109; 8112;

Section XVI:

Machinery and Mechanical Appliances; Electrical Equipment; Parts Thereof; Sound Recorders and Reproducers, Television Image and Sound Recorders and Reproducers, and Parts and Accessories of Such Articles

8414; 8418; 8419; 8421; 8428; 8438; 8462; 8479; 8482; 8485; 8477; 8486;

8501; 8507; 8514; 8517; 8519; 8524; 8525; 8529; 8539; 8541; 8543; 8548; 8549

Section XVII:

Vehicles, Aircraft, Vessels and Associated Transport Equipment

8701; 8702; 8703; 8704; 8708; 8711; 8802; 8803; 8806; 8807; 8903

Section XVIII:

Optical, Photographic, Cinematographic, Measuring, Checking, Precision, Medical or Surgical Instruments and Apparatus; Clocks and Watches; Musical Instruments; Parts and Accessories Thereof

9006; 9013; 9022; 9027; 9030; 9031; 9114

Section XX:

Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles

9401; 9403; 9404; 9405; 9406; 9504; 9508; 9609; 9617; 9619

Section XXI:

Works of Art, Collectors Pieces and Antiques

9701; 9702; 9703; 9705; 9706

Until the USITC publishes the updated HTSUS, importers should refer to USTIC’s Publication 5240 as the official list of modifications to the tariff code to implement the HS Convention recommendations. The WCO’s Correlation Tables, available here, explain the nature of each revision to the tariff code and are a useful tool in understanding the changes.

Importers who have not already done so should now review carefully the changes to the HTSUS described in Publication 5240 and the WCO Correlation Tables, including conforming revisions to other provisions of the tariff code. Importers should determine the impact of the changes on current and future imports, identify changes to current tariff classifications that must be implemented by January 27, and evaluate any corresponding impact – including potential duty-saving opportunities – to imports under free trade agreements and other duty preference programs. They may also work with their customs brokers to ensure that changes are properly applied to future imports. 

[1] Electronic versions of current and prior iterations of the HTSUS are available on USITC’s website, at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.  
[2] See “Recommended Modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, 2021,” Commission Investigation 1205-13 (Pub. 5171, April 2021).
[3] See “Modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States under Section 1206 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and for Other Purposes” (Pub. 5240, December 2021).

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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