What is a Harmonized System (HS) classification number, the Schedule B number, and is there a difference between the two numbers?

What is a Harmonized System (HS) classification number?

The Harmonized System Classification is a 6-digit standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. HS numbers are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products for the application of duties and taxes. Additional digits are added to the HS number by some governments to further distinguish products in certain categories.

What is a Schedule B number?

In the United States, numbers used to classify exported products are called “Schedule B” numbers. The U.S. Census Bureau administers the Schedule B system. Schedule B numbers, not HS numbers, must be provided on the Shippers’ Export Declaration (SED). The Census Bureau uses SEDs and Schedule B numbers to calculate U.S. export statistics.

Is there a difference between HS and Schedule B numbers?

Yes. The HS number is an internationally accepted code. The basic HS code contains 6-digits, known as a subheading. The Schedule B is a 10-digit code built upon the first 6 digits of the HS code. Additionally, the Schedule B code is a U.S.-specific coding system used by the U.S. Government to monitor U.S. exports.

To find your HS or Schedule B number, you can access the U.S. Census Bureau's Schedule B Search Engine by visiting the Census Bureau website to classify your own product through a keyword search.

If you require assistance in classifying your product, call the Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division at 1-800-549-0595.

For further assistance, please contact the Trade Information Center:

Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723)
Fax: (202) 482-4473
E-mail: tic@mail.doc.gov
Internet: http://www.export.gov