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Common Import/Export Questions

What are the differences between HS codes and HTS codes?

HS Codes
The Harmonized System classification is a six-digit standard, called a subheading, for classifying globally traded products. HS codes, also called HS numbers, are used by customs authorities around the world to identify the duty and tax rates for specific types of products. HS codes are administered by the World Customs Organization. HS codes are recognized in 98% of world trade. There are six digits in an HS code.

HTS Codes
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule code is a 10-digit import classification system that is specific to the United States. HTS codes, also called HTS numbers, are administered by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). It’s very important to know and use the correct HTS-US codes, because commodity duties are assessed based on this classification. An HTS code takes the same form as an HS code for the first six digits, and then has four differing last digits.

Why are my US Exports on hold?

Shipwire requires that products which Export out of the US have attributes that specify the country of origin (‘Made In’), HTS (10- digit code), ECCN and license determination.

Why are my Non-US Exports on hold?

Shipwire requires that products which Export out of the Non-US Warehouse have attributes that specify the country of origin (‘Made In’) and ECCN.

Why the change?
In our continuing efforts to enhance our export compliance, we will now require that our clients provide the ECCN and HTS classifications for their products. It is our clients’ responsibility as the exporter of record to classify their products correctly.
Any time a commodity (or product) is sent from one country to another, this is considered an “Export”. Many countries have specific rules and regulations that govern the export of commodities to other countries. To manage the process, a system of codes (namely HS, HTS and ECCN) has been implemented by many governments to assist in identifying the commodities being exported and ascertain if special licensing, taxes, tariffs and other conditions may be applicable.

What will happen if HTS code is not defined?
Orders which do not have a country of origin, and a HTS classification (US Export Only), ECCN and License Determination will trigger a hold to your Export Order. You will need to update your Product Catalog to fill in any missing information. The fastest way to validate this information is as follows:

  1. Go to https://app.shipwire.com/merchants/app#merchants_store_products. Note: You will have to log in.
  2. Click on the Upload Spreadsheet button
  3. Click on a Download template links (in your favorite format – e.g. Excel, CSV). This will download a product catalog spreadsheet, with all of your currently defined products included.
  4. Open this spreadsheet with an Excel or CSV viewer (e.g. Microsoft Excel, Google Docs)
  5. Review, and correct the data in the [country of origin], and [hs_code] columns for each of your products. If you are not sure what HS values to use, you can lookup values here: http://www.foreign-trade.com/reference/hscode.htm
  6. Save the file.
  7. Go back to: https://app.shipwire.com/merchants/app#merchants_store_products
  8. Click on the Upload Spreadsheet button
  9. Click Choose File, and select the file you just saved. Go ahead and upload the product. Shipwire will warn you that you already have these products defined. Go ahead and proceed.
  10. Your information should be up-to-date.

On a go-forward basis, all you will need to do is to make sure that any new product conforms with these requirements.

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