Companies involved in imports and exports must know how to classify products. In essence, classification determines the federal regulations that apply to a given type of product. This suggests that expertise is essential to compliance.


We offer import and export classification services to companies lacking that expertise. Our process utilizes the latest best practices to streamline product classification and improve regulatory compliance. If your company lacks product classification expertise and you do not want to work with an outsourcing partner like Vigilant Global Trade Services, you have only one other option: hire someone with the expertise to handle things in-house.


Classification Can Be Complicated


Many of the clients that contract with Vigilant Global Trade Services first get into imports and exports assuming that product classification is easy. They soon learn just how complicated it is. For example, they discover that exports are classified according to Schedule B numbers while imports are subject to Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers.


Schedule B numbers are 10-digit numbers that, in the application, deal with far fewer details. HTS numbers have 10 digits but go into a greater level of detail. Moreover, there are only about 9,000 Schedule B codes as opposed to some 19,000 HTS codes.


Did you know that the first six digits of a Schedule B number are identical to the first six digits of the corresponding HTS number? Did you also know that the Census Bureau converts HTS numbers to Schedule B numbers for statistical purposes? This suggests that some HTS numbers can be used for exports as well as imports.


How to Use the Numbers


Not all HTS numbers can be used for exports. As such, you have to know which ones can be. This is where having product classification expertise comes in. You have to know how to use numbers correctly to guarantee that products are classified according to regulations. Otherwise, your company could run into trouble with customs officials. That is the last thing you want.


Of course, Schedule B and HTS numbers are just the beginning. There is a whole lot more to product classification this post simply will not get into. Here is the point: we offer worldwide classification services because far too many companies do not have the expertise.


Benefits of Outsourcing


By now, it should be apparent that we recommend outsourcing export and import classification. Otherwise, you have to invest in bringing people on board permanently. You also have to set up the necessary infrastructure to support them and their work. For most companies, outsourcing is less expensive and more efficient.


The benefits of outsourcing through Vigilant Global Trade Services include the following:


  • Multi-Industry Experience – We can match our compliance experts with your particular industry. This guarantees you are not getting service from someone who is only generally experienced. Your work is being handled by someone with experience in your industry.


  • Dedicated Staff – We provide both dedicated teams and account managers to each client. You will be dealing with a team assigned directly to you, a team that will get to know you and your business intimately.


  • Technology – Staying ahead of the game in this day and age requires technology. Rather than having to invest in your own, outsourcing gives you access to ours. We strive to maintain leading-edge technology that keeps us at the forefront of product classification.


If your company is involved in imports or exports, product classification is of the utmost importance. You can either handle things in-house or contract with a worldwide classification services provider like Vigilant Global Trade Services. If you are going in-house, be sure your staff has the expertise that can improve compliance.

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