How to register for Customs Info Database
Last Published: 10/10/2019

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Steps to Register:
  1. Click on Customs Info Database (or type  Learn how to use the Customs Info Database  
  2. Go to “Create Account.”
  3. Enter the appropriate fields with your personal information.
  4. Once you receive an email confirming you are registered, log on to “Customs Info” by going back to the home page. 
How to locate an HS code?
To use this tool, you will need a Harmonized Code (HS) code for your product.  The United States Census Bureau Foreign Trade Data offers a product classification Schedule B Search Engine.  To find your product’s 10 digit Schedule B number which can be converted into the Harmonized Code by using the first six digits of the Schedule B code, visit Schedule B Search Engine.  Remember to start your search with typing in only six digits number (or fewer) of your product’s code as the U.S. codes tend to overlap (are harmonized) internationally up to first six digits. 

The “tariff text” box in the Customs Info Database may also be helpful in locating an HS code.
You may also work with your broker/Freight forwarder to help you with identifying your product HS code or you may contact the destination country customs (in this case Mexican Customs) to seek formal customs ruling.
When to use Customs Info and when to use FTA Tariff Tool (they are complimentary).
If you are shipping to one of the 20 countries that are our free trade agreements with the United States, you may want also want to consult the FTA Tariff Tool.  The FTA Tariff Tool incorporates all products (agricultural and non-agricultural goods) classified within all 97 chapters of the Harmonized System, and includes information on product-specific rules of origin to determine the eligibility of the reduced tariff rates with any U.S. FTA Partner.  The Tariff Tool not only provides information on current tariff lines, but also provides transparency on future tariffs and the year in which those products become duty free.   

Both tools provide valuable tariff information.   Use each tool depending on your need—for an imminent transaction you may prefer to use Customs Info database as it will have most up to date applied and preferential rates and most up to date HS codes.  Because Customs Info also includes MFN rates, you will be able to compare both.  CI will help you to determine quickly if it makes sense to take advantage of tariff rate.  For example, sometimes both rates (MFN and FTA) may be the same (zero) or preferential rate may be higher (on rare occasion) when MFN rates got dropped for all shipments. CI also includes corresponding local taxes so you will be able to easily estimate landed costs (costs associated with exporting your product).

The FTA tool only displays the original base tariff rates and preferential tariff rates negotiated under the U.S. trade agreements. This means that in some instances, FTA partner countries may have unilaterally reduced their most-favored nation (MFN) tariff rate below the FTA rate. In these situations, U.S. exports would receive the MFN rate and not receive preferential treatment into that market.  Additionally, the FTA Tariff Tool does not account for changes to the tariff nomenclature (it includes HS codes since the trade agreements were concluded).  Also, a possible limitation to the FTA Tariff Tool from a shippers’ point of view is that for the mature trading partners (e.g. Mexico) where all tariffs have been reduced to zero, the tool will not show you the current MFN rate so you may go back to CI tool to determine if it makes sense to qualify your product.  


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