Available Classifications
Alternate structures
Alphabetical Indexes
Correspondence Tables
Free downloads
International Family of Classifications
  Best practices

National classifications

  Statistical Commission
  Expert Group
  Technical Subgroup
  Workshops and Training


Contact us

   Back to regional overview

National Classifications

Harmonized Tariff System

Country / Area: United States of America

Classification category: Product classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) for import classification; Schedule B for export classification; Harmonized System (HS) for complete import and export classification system
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?English
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/reference/codes/index.html
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?The structure of the classification is identical to the Harmonized System (HS) at the Chapter (2-digit), Heading (4-digit), and Subheading (6-digit) levels. U.S. export statistics are initially collected and compiled in terms of approximately 9,000 10-digit commodity codes in the Schedule B. U.S. import statistics are initially collected and compiled in terms of approximately 18,000 10-digit commodity codes in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.Chapter: 01 – Live Animals; 07 – Edible Vegetables and Certain Roots and Tubers
Heading: 0104 – Live sheep and goats; 0713 - Dried leguminous vegetables, shelled, whether or not skinned or split
Subheading: 0104.10 – Sheep; 0713.10 - Peas (Pisum sativum)
Commodity Code: 0104.10.0000 – Sheep; 0713.10.4020 – Green peas
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.The classification is based on the 4- and 6-digit headings and subheadings of the international Harmonized System (HS).
3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)The structure of the classification is identical to the Harmonized System (HS) at the Chapter (2-digit), Heading (4-digit), and Subheading (6-digit) levels. The U.S. systems provide detail to a ten-digit level.
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.The additional detail is based on the U.S. need to monitor specific commodities and other trade related programs.
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)Subheading (6-digit) level
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future. 
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.U.S. import and export data by Harmonized Tariff System/Schedule B classification are used by a wide variety of public and private agencies. The statistics are available monthly and are published in various forms and at various levels of detail. U.S. trade statistics are one of the leading U.S. Economic Indicators and are published in a report titled U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services.
4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)U.S. Customs and Border Protection (customs).
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?NAICS-based codes, End-Use codes, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) codes, Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) codes, Advanced Technology Product (ATP) codes. All of these systems are available and useful to our statistical office.
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)January 1, 1989
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.1989
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?The HTS is revised at least twice a year in January and July and Schedule B once a year in January based primarily on requests from users. The HTS may also be revised at any time based on legal changes such as presidential proclamations.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), Schedule B
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsRoughly linked to SITC, REV 2 through recoding into Schedule A for imports and Schedule E for exports
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))Similar to current classification in structure; approx.. 5,000 commodity codes in Schedule B
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?Yes
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?1978
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.No
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?Yes
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Yes
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?Yes
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?Yes
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, PDF, HTML, TXT
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes, PDF
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationThe Census Bureau is responsible for the export classification system and the International Trade Commission (ITC) is responsible for the import classification system. There is cooperation between the two agencies along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the International Trade Administration, and in some cases the U.S. Trade Representative when modifying and expanding the classification system.
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryhttp://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevant 

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/12/2012