the U.S. International Trade Commission said.
The HTS details the tariff and statistical categories and rates of duty applicable to all imported merchandise. The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial agency, updates and publishes the HTS document annually and posts updates throughout the year on its web site.
The publishing delay will accommodate new nomenclature of the global Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, on which the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule is based. At the international level, these amendments came into force on Jan. 1, 2002. The U.S. wants to incorporate those amendments into the U.S. tariff schedule. Most chapters of the HTS are affected by these changes.
Following publication in the Federal Register, the HTS nomenclature changes are expected to be implemented on Jan. 10.
While the HTS changes are intended to be revenue neutral, under U.S. "reasonable care" standards, importers will still be responsible to show the correct HTS number on customs invoices, NAFTA certificates, and other related documents. Importers may also need to make certain corrections if they participate in the BRASS (Border Release Advanced Screening and Selectivity Line Release) program at the U.S. border.
"Because the expected effective date applies to entries filed on and after Jan 10, importers are being urged to have all HTS corrections made to shipments on and after this date," said customs broker Livingston International.
Questions concerning the HTS and pending changes can be directed to the ITC's Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements at 202-205-2592.