Census Bureau Unveils New and Improved Schedule B Search Tool
The Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division recently unveiled a new search tool to help exporters determine the correct Schedule B number for purposes of filing Electronic Export Information.
Schedule B numbers, officially known as the Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States, are 10-digit commodity classification numbers administered by the Census Bureau and based on the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS). The Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations state that the HTSUS number "may be reported in lieu of the Schedule B commodity classification number except as noted in the headnotes" of the HTSUS.
According to the software developer 3CE (Commodity Code Classification Engine), the search engine tool uses artificial intelligence to read and understand product descriptions to generate the proper numerical codes
A test of the 3CE Schedule B search engine found the system to be intuitive and easy to navigate. Based on the product description entered the system walks the user through a series of questions, which ultimately leads to a HTS description. Once at that description the user then clicks a button at the bottom of the screen to find the corresponding Schedule B number.
Like any automated tariff schedule tool, the final result is only as good as the information provided by the user. While useful for determining Schedule B numbers for exports and determining a range of possible HTS numbers for imports, U.S. importers should be careful on over relying on the search engine tool for determining HTS numbers for customs classification purposes since the system may not conform to the General Rules of Interpretation set forth in the tariff schedule for determining HTS numbers.
The new search tool is available at http://uscensus.prod.3ceonline.com.