As we embark on the New Year, it’s a good time to verify that your classification databases have been updated for the February 3rd implementation date of the 2012 HTSUS (Publication 4276 [PDF] (362 KB), keeping in mind others countries have already implemented 2012 amendments, while others may not be on track to implement just yet.
Noteworthy changes to the 2012 HTSUS include new subheadings in the agricultural chapters (1-27), that more precisely identify species of fish and other aquatic animals, vegetables, roots and tubers, fruits, nuts, and cereals. There are also new provisions for chemicals controlled under the certain international agreements (e.g., Montreal Protocol for ozone depleting chemicals). A brand new heading 9619 was created for diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins and similar items. The provisions for video game machines and consoles have been updated in heading 9504, and cordless remote control devices that operate by infrared are now excluded from being classified as accessories to them. Lastly, a variety of subheadings have been deleted due to low trade volume.
Other modifications to the HTSUS, which have already come into effect, include the new tariff provisions for footwear with textile outer soles, modifications to the pharmaceutical appendix, and changes to the rules of origin for the Chile FTA, all of In addition, there are a few things coming down the pike, including the Korea-US FTA which should enter into force in the next month. And, for the first time, the rules of origin are expected to be consistent with current HTSUS.
If you haven’t done so already, review your tariff classifications under the new HTSUS. If the classification has changed, check the new duty rate. Modifications to the HTSUS should be substantially duty neutral by law so if the rate of the new classification is higher, you may have recourse to get the old duty rate reinstated.
Know how these changes can or will impact your imports. While you are at it, start the New Year off right and schedule an annual review of your compliance materials…particularly if it’s been more than a few years since your last review!
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