By Emmalie Armstrong, Export Solutions

With the ringing in of 2015, I’m sure many of you have made some resolutions. For those of us in the trade compliance field, updating our classification matrices is certainly one of them. While we were busy ushering in the New Year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Department of Census were busy making changes to the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) codes and Schedule B codes. Every year, these two departments discontinue certain codes and establish new codes.

Many changes that are applied to HTS codes do not translate to Schedule B codes, so it’s important to check each schedule to verify any changes and ensure compliance. Luckily for importers and exporters, there is a one-year grace period in which the Automated Export System (AES) will still accept the old 2014 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 is still accepting those expired HTS and Schedule B codes, however, the system has been updated to reflect the 2015 changes so exporters can begin using the updated codes now. AESPcLink users will need to update their AESDirect code table before the grace period expires. AESDirect users filing via the AES website will have the table automatically updated, so no action is required.

Here are some important links concerning the updates:

Changes to HTS for Importing Purposes

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has updated the list of valid HTS codes effective January 1, 2015.

Changes to Schedule B for Exporting Purposes

The U.S. Department of Census has updated the Schedule B export codes effective January 1, 2015.

Please contact Export Solutions if you have questions or need assistance in applying these changes across your organization. We’re happy to help!

Emmalie Armstrong is a Trade Compliance Consultant with Export Solutions – a firm specializing in U.S. import/export regulations.