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Countdown to the 2022 HTSUS Update: Are Importers Ready for the Changes?

An overhaul of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) will occur in early 2022 to align with the World Customs Organization (WCO) Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) updates scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2022. The new tariff provisions, modified product descriptions, and revised legal notes are intended to account for advances in technology, environmental considerations, and health and safety considerations.
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In a Nutshell

  • Significant changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) will go into effect in early 2022, 30 days after Presidential Proclamation and publication in the Federal Register.
  • The new tariff provisions, modified product descriptions, and revised legal notes are intended to account for advances in technology, environmental considerations, and health and safety considerations. Some notable modifications include new headings for flat panel display modules (8524), smartphones (8517), 3D printers (8485), certain types of furniture (9403), light fittings (7011, 8539), and drones (8806).
  • Importers should immediately review the changes to the HTSUS in order to determine the impact of these changes on their current product classifications. Duty rates, the applicability of trade remedies, and duty preference programs may be affected. These changes may even result in duty savings for importers.

What Is New?

As part of its five-year review process, the WCO recently updated the HS. The updated WCO HS can be found here. The WCO made approximately 350 amendments relating to a wide range of products and product groups, which are summarized below. These updates will go into effect in early 2022, 30 days after publication of a Presidential Proclamation in the Federal Register that is expected to be issued by the end of 2021. Updates to the HTSUS can be found here.

The modifications to the HTSUS are provided below to assist companies in determining whether the classification of their products may be affected.

                  Product Category

                          Modifications

Animal and vegetable goods.

  • Modifications to: 0305, 0306, 0307, 0308, 0309, 0403, 0410, 0709, 0712, 0802, 0805, 0812, 1202, 1211, 1509, 1510, 1515, and 1516.

Foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco products.
 

  • Heading 2404 added to provide for novel tobacco products intended for inhalation without combustion.
  • New subheadings added under heading 2404 to provide for mixtures that are used in vaporizers, previously provided for under Chapter 38.
  • Certain subheadings under headings 2008, 2106, and 2403 modified and renumbered.

Mineral products.

  • A few modifications to the legal notes and subheading 2518.30.00 was deleted.

Chemicals and related products, including pharmaceutical products.

  • Modifications to: 2844, 2845, 2903, 2930, 2931, 2932, 2933, 2934, 2936, 2939, 3002, 3006, 3204, 3402,3603, 3822, 3824, and 3816.
  • A new subheading (3002.51.00) providing for cell therapy products.
  • A new subheading (3006.93)for placebos and double-blinded clinical trial kits.
  • New subheadings (3822.11 and 3822.12) for rapid diagnostic test kits for detecting the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
  • A new heading (3827) providing for Mixtures containing halogenated derivatives of methane, ethane or propane, not elsewhere specified or included.

Plastics and rubber articles.
 

  • Modifications to: 3907, 3911, and 4015.

Wood and wood related articles and articles made of straw.

  • Modifications to: 4401, 4402, 4403, 4407, 4412, 4414, 4418, 4419, 4420, and 4421.

Pulp of wood and other fibrous cellulosic material.

  • Modification to heading 4905.

Textiles and textile articles.
 

  • Modifications to: 5501, 5703, 5802, 5903, 5911, 6201, and 6202.

Footwear, headgear, umbrellas, and other similar articles.

  • One minor modification to legal note 1(a) to chapter 67 regarding filtering or straining cloths.

Stone, plaster, cement, or similar materials; ceramic products; glass and glassware.

  • Modifications to: 6812, 6815, and 7019.

Pearls, precious and semiprecious stones, and similar articles.

  • Modifications to: 7104 and 7112.

Base metals and articles of base metals.

  • Modifications to: 7419, 8103, 8106, 8107, 8109, and 8112.

Machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment.

There were extensive changes to the HTSUS/legal notes covering the products included in this section with some notable examples that include:
New
Subheadings:

  • Solar water heaters (8419.12.00).
  • Industrial robots (8428.70.00).
  • 3D printers (8485).
  • Smartphones (8517.13).
  • Flat panel display modules (8524).
  • E-waste (8549).
  • Cold isostatic presses (8479.83.00).

Modifications to:

8414, 8419, 8421, 8428, 8462, 8477, 8479, 8485, 8501, 8514, 8517, 8519, 8524, 8525, 8539, 8541, 8543, 8548, and 8549.

Vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and associated transport equipment.

There were also extensive modifications to the HTSUS and legal notes covering the products included in this section. Notable updates in this section include:

  • A new subheading for vehicle windshields and windows (8708.22.00).
  • A new heading for unmanned aircraft (8806).
  • Heading 8803 was deleted and replaced by heading 8807.
  • Modification to: 8701, 8704, 8708, 8806, 8807, and 8903.

Optical, photographic, measuring, medical/surgical instruments, and similar apparatus.

  • Modifications to: 9006, 9013, 9022, 9027, 9030, 9031, and 9114.

Miscellaneous manufactured articles including furniture, luminaires and light fittings, and amusement park rides.

  • Modifications to: 9401, 9403, 9404, 9405, 9406, and 9508.

Works of art, collector’s pieces, and antiques.

  • Modifications to: 9701, 9702, 9703, 9705, and 9706.

How Are Importers Impacted?

Importers should review the changes to the HTSUS in conjunction with current classifications to determine what products may be affected by the modifications and ensure compliance when the changes take effect in early 2022. The change in the HTSUS schedule may affect duty rates, customs compliance, Free Trade Agreement eligibility, tariffs, etc. These changes may even result in duty savings for importers.

Arent Fox can assist importers with a review of the classification of products and an assessment of any impact of these updates. Please contact Angela Santos, Christine Hintze, or Robert Shervette if you have any questions about the 2022 HTSUS changes.

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