The latest version of the Harmonized System (HS) and Codes adopted by the United States is published by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. You can use this guide to determine the numerical code assigned to a particular commodity; the descriptive passages can be helpful to determine the context of a particular commodity within classification.
Use the alphabetical index at the end to get an idea of the code, then check that number in the main body of the text to verify its definition and understand how it's being used. This goes to the 10-digit level of detail.
The Harmonized System is an international six-digit commodity classification developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperation Council. Individual countries have extended it to ten digits for customs purposes, and to 8 digits for export purposes.
In the Harmonized System goods are classified by what they are, and not according to their stage of fabrication , their use, or origin. The Harmonized System nomenclature is logically structured by economic activity or component material. For example, animals and animal products are found in one section; machinery and mechanical appliances which are grouped by function are found in another. The nomenclature is divided into 21 sections. Each of these sections groups together goods produced in the same sector of the economy. Each section is comprised of one or more chapters, with the entire nomenclature being composed of 97 chapters. Some chapters are reserved for special purposes or future use. Chapters of sections I to XV (except section XII) are grouped by biological benus or by the component material from which articles are made. For those chapters in which goods are grouped by raw material, a vertical structure is used in which articles are often classified according to their degree of processing. For example, Chapter 44 contains items such as rough wood, wood roughly squared and some wooden finished products such as wooden tableware. Articles may also be classified according to the use or function. This classification (i.e. by function), mainly occurs in section XII and sections XVI - XXI. For example, section XVII contains chapters 88 (aircraft) and 89 (ships).
The hierarchical structure of the HS is illustrated below:
06 - Chapter
Live trees and other plants; bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage
06.01 - Heading
Bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms, crownsandrhizomes,dormant, in growth or in flower; chicoryplants and roots other than roots of heading no. 12.12
0601.10 - Subheading
Bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms, crowns and rhizomes, dormant;
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System (System refers to a group of things or parts ...)