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Goods imported into the United States (the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) are subject to a rate of “duty”. Tariff classification of goods governs the rate of duty upon their “entry” into the United States. Classification of goods is governed by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”).

Who's Responsible for Tariff Classification?

The “importer of record”, i.e., the owner or purchaser of the goods, or when designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee, a licensed Customs broker, is responsible for tariff classification.

How is the HTSUS Applied?

When classifying merchandise under the Harmonized System, the language of the General Rules of Interpretation, section, chapter, and subheading notes, and the terms of the headings and subheadings are to be consulted and applied. 

Can you Obtain a Tariff Classification from CBP?

It is the responsibility of the importer of record to classify and value the goods using “reasonable care.” In order to meet the reasonable care requirement, a person may seek an administrative ruling from the CBP - interested persons may obtain a binding tariff classification ruling on prospective importations into the United States and it will be binding, unless modified or revoked by the CBP's Office of Regulations and Rulings.