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National Classifications


Country / Area: United States of America

Classification category: Product classifications

General information
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?The U.S. systems provide detail to a ten-digit level. The additional detail is based on the individual country’s need to monitor specific commodities and other trade related programs.
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.The levels are identical at the 2, 4, and 6 digit levels. Each country using the HS has different standards above the 6-digit level.
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?At this point (January 2003), there are approximately 8,900 export codes and 17,600 import codes at the 10 digit level.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.Conversion tables exist between the HTS/Schedule B and other classification systems (NAICS, SITC, END USE)
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.The Bureau of the Census 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, the International Trade Administration, and in some cases the U.S. Trade Representative when modifying and expanding the classification system.
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.)The HS-based HTS and Schedule B became effective in the U.S. on January 1, 1989.
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.The HTS is usually 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. A major revision to both HTS and Schedule B occurred in January 2002 as a result of changes in the underlying international HS system.
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. imports and export data by Harmonized System 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 publish 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.)See above (14).
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?Detailed data using the HTS and Schedule B is available on DVDs titled U.S. Imports of Merchandise and U.S. Exports of Merchandise. These products are available with the monthly release of U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report.
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.)English
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.Yes
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Yes
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?None
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?Naics-based codes, End-Use codes, Ag-nonag codes, SITC.
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.Yes
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?TSUSA, Schedule B
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Roughly linked to SITC, REV 2 through recording into Schedule A and Schedule E.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?1-, 5-, 7- digits
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?Approx. 5,000 in Schedule B; TSUSA- don’t know.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, in hard copy.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?1978
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationNone that I know about.

Source: UN questionnaire, 4/1/2003