Wide-Ranging Changes to the United States’ Import Classification System Now in Effect

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Effective January 27, 2022, the United States is implementing wide-ranging changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). These changes conform the HTSUS with the new, 2022 version of the Harmonized System, the multi-country product classification scheme on which the HTSUS is based.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is the intergovernmental association that maintains and administers the Harmonized System. Approximately once every five years, the WCO updates the Harmonized System by authorizing new product classifications and removing outdated ones, to reflect changes in technology and trends in international trade. The last Harmonized System update occurred in 2017.

On December 23, 2021, President Biden issued a proclamation adopting the 2022 Harmonized System updates. Pursuant to law, these amendments become effective today, 30 days after the presidential proclamation’s publication in the Federal Register.

The changes being made to the HTSUS are numerous, covering products ranging from fresh tuna to chemicals to wood to collectors’ items. That said, notable updates include new tariff provisions that will specifically provide for:

  • certain 3-D printers;
  • unmanned aerial systems (UAS);
  • smartphones; and
  • e-cigarettes, vaporizing devices, and tobacco products meant for such devices.

The HS 2022 updates also add new notes to the HTSUS that clarify the definitions of certain flat-panel displays and LED-containing products. Provisions covering certain photosensitive devices, such as solar cells and modules, are also being expanded and reorganized, as are provisions covering e-waste, particularly battery waste.

A complete list of the HS 2022 changes to the HTSUS can be found in Annex I of the report here. Additional information on the new import classifications for UAS can be found on our Wiley Connect blog here. Importers should review the changes carefully to understand the degree to which their import classifications are affected.

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