HTS Code Lookup: How Much DUTY & TARIFF Need to Pay?
What is the HTS code for shipping to the US?
How to do HTS code lookup?
How much Duty and Tariffs you need to pay according to the HTS code?
Now, I’m going to show you step by step how to find HTS code and calculate the Duty fee. You will learn a skill at your fingertip for finding out your Duty and tariffs on your own.
It is so exciting when you’ll find a new product, and you are starting a new business. The most critical thing for you is to avoid the business blind spot.
First, I’m going to review one of your blind spots. That is your Duty. So exactly how much Duty do you need to pay?
Before we rush into finding out our duty rate, let’s get the very important question answered.
Why you need to know your duty rate?
Here 2 very important reasons.
The first reason is that find right product Duty rate can help you save money.
For example, you’re contemplating importing these products: both product look like an umbrella.
Yes, they are, but if you look closer, they’re not the same. one is your travel umbrella another is your patio umbrella. as you can see here, there’s a knob that you can adjust the height up and down.
So, if one product duty rate is free and the other one you have to pay an additional 25% tariffs, Would you think twice which product to choose.
Absolutely, I would choose the first one which product is going to make me more money.
The second reason is that you have to do with legal. You are the importer of the record. You are legally responsible for paying the correct Duty amount.
On this subject, I want you to be streaming carefully when the supplier called you on DDP bases. They purposely declared lower commercial invoice value to avoid some of the Duty. if you are the importer of the record, you are still legally responsible for whatever the amount you should paid and if the custom find out and audit you, you could get a fine.
As the entrepreneur starting and running your business, you really don’t want any blind spot. These two are very important reasons for you to understand why you need to know your duty rate.
Now let’s find out what Duty and fees do we need to pay in order to clear our item out of the Customs.
First one is quick duty question
How much can you spend without paying duty?
suppose I’m getting a customized sample from the supplier with value $500. Do I need to pay for Duty?
The answer is: NO
Because of the declared value is less than $800, the Duty is free. If your commercial invoice value is over $800, you need to pay for the Duty.
To determine your duty rate, you need to know your HTS code which I’m gonna show you how to do a HTS code lookup.
Two additional Duty fees you need to be aware.
1. merchandise processing fee.
It’s not a lot: 0.34%. this fee applies to both air and ocean shipment. Minimum charges 26 dollars that means if you’re total commercial invoice value times your percentage is less than 26 you will need to pay 26 but no more than 508 dollars
2. harbor maintenance fee:
it’s another one that is very little.
This fee only applied to ocean shipment.
SO, You pay Duty = Regular Duty rate+ merchandise processing fee + harbor maintenance fee + Additional Tariffs.
Since these two fees are pretty much lower, all we have to do is to find our HTS code to determine our duty rate when our shipment is over $100.
The difference between the HTS or HS
HTS or HS, most people are confused by this.
Once you know the difference between the HTS or HS, you will never ask this question. Why can I not find my suppliers’ code?
Here is the difference.
HS code stands for harmonized system code.
HTS code stands for harmonized Tariff Schedule code.
here is the specific difference:
When we talk about the harmonized system code, we’re talking about a six digits code that is used by 200 countries, 98% of the world trade and this harmonized system code is admitted by the World Customs Organization.
When we talk about HTS code, this is regulated by the US International Trade Commission – ITC. As you can imagine, we are one of the 200 countries that participated in the harmonized system. Our first six digits in the HTS code are the same as HS code.
However, the last 4 digits are country-specific. This is why your 10 digital HTS code could be different from the ten digits that your Chinese suppliers give it to you.
Let’s take a look at an example:
for this beautiful piece of the hand-made leather bag.
The first six digits is 4 2 0 2 2 1. These six digits are harmonized system code, whether you are in China United States, Canada, Australia.
These first six digits are harmonized. They are the same. the last four digits 0 0 1 0 are country-specific.
Altogether, 10 digits we call this HTS code.
Example for HTS code means:
Now, we’re gonna break down the first six digits. So you are familiar with chapter hiding and the Subheading.
The first two digits represent the chapter name. In our case, our handbag is made of leather. So it belongs to chapter 42—everything made of leather.
The second two digits represent the heading. The heading further classified if this product is a trunk or suitcase or handbag made of leather. In our case, we are a hand back. So it belongs to hiding 02.
The 3rd two digits represent the Subheading. Subheading further specifies if this handbag has the outer surface made of leather.
Yes, we are made of leather. So our first sixth harmonized code is 420221.
Now, the last four digits are country-specific. If this handbag is hand made, then the classification is 0010. For u.s. Importers, it is important that you know your specific HTS code.
How to do a HTS code lookup
Now we’re gonna do a live search on the HTS code that we picked out for our travel umbrella and the garden umbrella
The first step is to find the chapter and the heading (first 4 digits).
there are four ways to find our HTS code chapter and heading:
1. Google typing in our product keyword
2. ask our supplier
3. contact a freight forwarder
4. go straight to the database on the ITC website.
ITC stands for International Trade Commission who regulates our HTS code.
Since asking a supplier or asking a freight forwarder takes time, we just do a live search on Google and then validate our findings in the database on the USITC website.
Let’s do it okay I’m typing in umbrella HTS code to get an idea of the first four digits. As you can see here, the first result is showing in 6601.
So I’m gonna use as the 6601 as a point of reference, and then I’m going to head over to the ITC website, and type in umbrella and just to see what the database is gonna show us.
Interestingly, the databases showing us almost identical results from Google 6601. It represents our broad chapter of umbrella
the beautiful thing is when you type in this keyword umbrella. the umbrella will
be automatically highlighted in the description so you can pay attention to
the description that has umbrella in there to know which HTS code description match your product.
let me give you a quick tip. if you know your product material construction, your product performance and your product function. You should be able to read the HTS code description and find the one that makes the most sense.
For example, our travel umbrella this description said for handhold umbrellas chiefly used for protection against rain.
This matches our travel umbrella.
So we’re gonna choose 6603.20.30 for our travel umbrella and
The one our patio umbrella garden or similar umbrella is 6601. 10. 00. Now, look at the duty rate. The garden umbrella duty rate is 6.5% /_, and then the travel umbrella the Duty is free/_.
Now I know my duty rate.
How do I know if I need to pay additional tariffs?
Find the tariff percentage.
We said our garden umbrella is Duty 6.5%/_. Except behind the 6.5%, there is a slash, and there’s an underscore.
When you see this sign “/_ ” slash underscore, that means there are additional Tariffs attached to the HTS code you are researching.
there are 4 tariffs lists:
LIST 1 25% in effect since 2018
LIST 2 25% in effect since 2018
LIST 3 25% in effect since 2018
LIST 4a 7.5 % new in effect since 2020.02.14
LIST 4b 15% The tariff was suspended Until Further Notice
So how do you know whether your product is subject to tariffs? I’ll show you a shortcut right now.
This link is your shortcut link. Through this link, you can quickly find out if your productS have any tariff attached to it.
All you have to do is to go back to the HTS code that we say has a 6.5% and the slash underscore here. This is our umbrella that we wanted to sell.
Just click on this link copy and paste your HTS code, then you will be able to find your additional tariffs in addition to your regular Duty.
So we copy this 6601. 10. 00 and paste over to this website, and then we hit on search as you can see:
(List 4B) $300 Billion Tariff Action, which means it means no additional tariff right now.
Now, you know both of your Duty and tariff percentage all you have to do is to calculate how much Duty to you owe.
How to calculate your Customs Duty?
We’re gonna use the garden umbrella 6601. 10. 00 as an example.
This is a simple excel sheet all you have to do to put down your quantity and unit price, and then you will have your commercial invoice value.
Your Duty is applied to your commercial invoice Value. Try not to trust anyone under-declare your commercial invoice value once you get audited you still pay all the Duty and also plus the fine.
The total duty rate don’t forget the two fees even though it’s very little you still need to add this to your total.
Duty to the customs.
So all is $697.14 if you are buying 5000 handlebars at $2 per piece.
By the way, there are two more columns on the HTS code website I want you to be familiar with, so you are not confused like many people.
The 1 column is the special rate countries these are the countries who enjoy the free trade with the United States
For example, if you hover over the country code, you will be able to see Australia, Mexico. So it’s free Duty if you are importing out of Mexico.
the 2 column representS two countries which have highly Duty level against their product. One is Cuba and another is North Korea
Exactly what’s going on here so to summarize the three simple steps were used to find out exactly how much Duty we need to pay step number.
1. we find our regular duty rate by looking up our HTS code step
2. we find out if this HTS code has additional tariffs attached to it by looking up the four lists so far.
3. we use the simple excel sheet to calculate our Duty based
on our commercial invoice value.
You can always ask your freight forwarder or your custom Booker but when you are doing your product research, and you have this skill at your fingertip you can look up your Duty and tariffs in ten Minutes.
See this is so easy to do a HTS code lookup and then calculate the Duty fee. If you need a China sourcing agent to help you buy from China, please feel free to contact us.