Harmonized Tariff Schedule Classification
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Classification of Organic Molecules (Chapter 29) for import into the United States is described in a little over 100 pages of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US 2014

Accurately assigning 10-digit HTSUS classifications to organic molecules is accomplished via the application of a decision-tree based on a hierarchical rule set of prioritized functional groups.The functional group in a molecule with the highest priority determined the classification.

However, assigning accurate classifications also require being aware if:

1. A compound is the subject of a Binding Ruling found in the CROSS Customs website managed by U. Sc Customs and Border Protection.

2. A compound is one of the over 1200 Named Compounds in the schedule

3. A compound is one of the ~10,000 compounds listed in the Chemical Appendix 2014 (the Note 3 discriminator in the schedule).

Also, if a compound one of the ~7,500 compounds listed in the Pharmaceutical Appendix, no tariff is levied, although this does NOT change the classification which is still required.


Classification of Organic Chemicals for import into the European Union is described in 22 pages of the Official Journal of the European Union (p 215-237).

Assigning 8-digit classifications to organic molecules for import into the European Union is considerably simpler and similar to the US HTS classifications, but there are also many differences.


The authoritative sources for Schedule B is the 29 page pdf listed here.

Schedule B classifications are very similar to HTSUS classifications (but may be different) and, like the HTSUS, are based upon the Harmonized Schedule of the World Custom Organization. Unlike the HTSUS, Schedule B classifications are used for export from the US, not import and are regulated by US Census Bureau, HTS International Trade Commission.

This very complex and resource-intensive task should lend itself to automation .

See my Client List