By Keil J. Ritterpusch, Esq., Senior Associate
With the ringing in of 2016, it’s time to update your Harmonized Tariff System (“HTS”) and Schedule B codes for your export and import shipments. While we were busy ushering in the New Year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the U.S. Census Bureau (“Census”) were busy making changes to the HTS and Schedule B codes. Every year, these two agencies discontinue certain codes and establish new codes.
Many changes that are applied to HTS codes do not translate to Schedule B codes (and vice versa), so it is imperative that you check each schedule to verify any changes and ensure compliance before importin g or exporting. Luckily for importers and exporters, there is a thirty (30) day grace period in which the Automated Export System (“AES”) will still accept the old 2015 codes. This grace period ends 30 days after December 31, 2015 (or on January 30, 2016). After that date, using expired HTS or Schedule B codes will result in a fatal error in AES.
AESDirect (http://aesdirect.census.gov) will still accept 2015 HTS and Schedule B codes. However, the system has been updated to reflect the 2016 changes so exporters can begin using the updated codes now. AESPcLinkusers will need to update their AESDirect code table before the grace period expires. AESDirect websiteusers will have the table automatically updated; so, no action is required.
Here are some important links concerning the updates:
CBP updated the list of valid HTS codes for importing. Meanwhile, Census updated the list of valid Schedule B codes for exporting.
Both the 2016 Schedule B and HTS tables are available for downloading at:
The current list of HTS codes that are not valid for AES are available at: