October 2, 2019
News Release 19-099
Inv. No(s). 1205-13
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Begins Process to Modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule to Reflect Changes to the Harmonized System

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today instituted an investigation that will lead to recommendations to the President on necessary modifications to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) to implement recent amendments to the global Harmonized System (HS).

By statute, the USITC is required to recommend to the President modifications to the HTS to conform the HTS to amendments made to the HS.  The USITC is instituting this investigation, Recommended Modifications in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, 2020, to consider recommendations to make to the President.

The HS is the international product naming system that is used to categorize and monitor global trade in goods.  The U.S. HTS and the classification systems of 155 other countries are based on the HS, and they are modified to reflect any changes to the HS.  The USITC is responsible for maintaining the U.S. HTS.

On June 28, 2019, the World Customs Organization (WCO) approved a package of amendments to the HS.  A copy of the package of the WCO amendments can be viewed here.

In this investigation, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will develop proposed modifications to the HTS to reflect the WCO’s amendments to the HS and to reflect a WCO classification opinion regarding blanched peanuts.  The USITC expects to issue preliminary draft modifications to the HTS for public comment in March 2020. Following the public comment period, the USITC will finalize the necessary modifications to the HTS and submit a report to the President in October 2020. 

Further information about the investigation can be found in the notice of investigation (link to notice), dated October 1, 2019, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov).

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