HS or Schedule-B product classification numbers are required to ship anything internationally. Customs authorities worldwide use it find specific import duties. These numbers can be also used to assess international trade patterns and opportunities.
HS Code numbers (short for Harmonized System) are an internationally standardized 6-digit code used to classify products traded internationally. The coding system is updated and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO), based in Brussels, with over 200 member countries.
Schedule-B numbers are used only for US imports and exports. Here, the US Census Bureau adds 4 additional digits for more precise product classification.
Why you need to know your product’s HS/ Schedule B numbers
1. To determine applicable import tariff rates and whether a product qualifies for a preferential tariff under a Free Trade Agreement;
2. The Schedule B number is needed to complete the Shipper’s Export Declaration, Certificates of Origin and other shipping documents; and
3. The HS Number may be needed on shipping documents, such as certificates of origin.
How to identify your product’s Schedule B number
The Schedule B Search Engine is a free online tool maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. The It is the most commonly used method for classifying products, and employes a simple keyword-type search procedure. (For assistance, you can contact the Census Bureau at 1-800-549-0595.)
After consulting the Search Engine, you can obtain further help from a commodity specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division:
- Call: 301-763-3259 for metals, machinery, computer, electronic and other miscellaneous goods,
- Call: 301-763-3484 for food, animal, wood, paper, mineral, chemical and textile goods,
To download full Schedule-B code books and other details, click here.