Changes to Aluminum Tracking Codes Will Help Address Product Misclassification, Transshipment, Duty Evasion
The Aluminum Association was recently successful in advocating for more than 40 changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes for aluminum imports, in a process that is led by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).
- HTS codes are used to classify all goods, and for tracking global trade flows.
- The Aluminum Association requested 75 changes to the system to more accurately classify aluminum and aluminum products in “Chapter 76” of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.
- The Interagency 484(f) Committee (which includes representatives from the USITC, Census Bureau, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other affected agencies) approved 41, denied 7 and deferred 27 of the requested changes.
- This was an unusually high number of requested modifications and successful approvals.
- The new aluminum HTS codes went into effect on July 1, 2019.
These changes will enable better and more accurate tracking and monitoring of aluminum trade flows, supporting free and fair trade in the marketplace.
- The new codes specify aluminum and aluminum products with greater precision consistent with the market realities of today.
- This will make it easier for government officials and the industry to identify and address aluminum misclassification, transshipment and evasion of duties.
- For example, the industry was recently successful in a case against Chinese importers unfairly dumping subsidized common alloy aluminum in the U.S. market.
- Some of the approved changes, and those still under consideration, will provide for easier identification of trade flows in the common alloy market, and make it easier to identify potential attempts to evade import duties.
The next step is for the USITC and other members of the Interagency 484(f) Committee to approve the additional two dozen requested changes to the HTS code system for aluminum.
- The industry looks forward to providing additional information and addressing questions from the committee on the remaining 27 HTS code change requests under review.
- Approving these requests will further shore up our ability to track and monitor aluminum trade flows.
- The modifications will be taken up in the next cycle and implemented January 1, 2020, if approved.
 Section 484(f) of the Tariff Act of 1930 authorizes the establishment of categories in the HTS and Schedule B for statistical purposes. Requests for changes to these statistical elements that appear in the HTS and Schedule B are reviewed by the Committee for Statistical Annotation of Tariff Schedules (known informally as the “484(f) Committee”).