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Tariff Codes for Infotech Products January 21, 2018  
Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and Schedule B Codes for Computer Software

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All software (excluding software on game cartridges) is classified in Heading 8524 of the international Harmonized System (HS), the global classification system used to describe most world trade in goods.

HS Heading 8524 covers "records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena, including matrices and masters for the production of records, but excluding products of Chapter 37 (Chapter 37 Photographic or Cinematographic Goods, includes photographic paper, all types of film, i.e., x-ray, and camera and photographic chemicals)." Generally speaking, software is classified based on the underlying medium (i.e. optical disk, magnetic tape, floppy disc, etc) on which it is reproduced.

Codes for Software Imports (into the United States)
Codes for Software Exports (from the United States)

Click here for information on HS and Schedule B numbers.

Codes for Software Imports (from the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule*):
*The HTS provides the statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States; it is based on the Harmonized System.

Software imports into the United States are classified in the following HTS categories of Heading 8542.
Heading/
Subheading
Statistical
Suffix
Article Description
Example of Software Products1
8524.31.00 30Discs for laser reading systems: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image: Prepackaged software for automatic data processing machines, of a kind sold at retailSince these do not include sound or image, these products could be start-up boot discs for industrial machinery, etc
8524.31.0070Discs for laser reading systems: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image: OtherSame as above, although not yet packaged or not intended for retail sale
8524.39.4000Discs for laser reading systems: Other: For reproducing representations of instructions, data, sound, and image, recorded in a machine readable binary form, and capable of being manipulated or providing interactivity to a user, by means of an automatic data processing machine; proprietary format recorded discsMost software on CD-ROM falls into this category (see above for examples that may not). Software in this category must have all of the characteristics listed to the left
8524.40.0000Magnetic tapes for reproducing phenomena other than sound or imageSoftware on magnetic tape
8524.91.00 30Other: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image: Prepackaged software for automatic data
processing machines, of a kind sold at retail
This includes software not on optical disc or magnetic tape. An example is software on floppy discs. Since these do not include sound or image, these products could be start-up boot discs for industrial machinery, etc
8524.91.0070Other: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image: OtherThis could include software on floppy discs. Same as above, although not yet packaged or not intended for retail sale
8524.99.40 00OtherThis includes any software not falling into any of the above categories
Source: Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2003) – Supplement 1 (Rev. 1) Annotated for Statistical Reporting Purposes

1 These descriptions are offered as examples only, and should therefore not be interpreted as law. To find out the exact classification of a given product contact the U.S. Customs Service at (212) 457-4777.
________________

Codes for Software Exports (from the U.S. Schedule B*):
*Schedule B provides the statistical categories for all merchandise exported from the United States; it is based on the Harmonized System.

Software imports into the United States are classified in the following Schedule B categories of Heading 8542.
To find out the exact classification of a given product contact the U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Division at (301) 457-3041.

Heading/
Subheading
Article Description
Example of Software Products1
8524.31.0000 Discs for laser reading systems: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or imageSince these do not include sound or image, these products could be start-up boot discs for industrial machinery, etc
8524.39.4000Discs for laser reading systems: OtherMost software on CD-ROM falls into this category (see above for examples that may not)
8524.40.0000Magnetic tapes for reproducing phenomena other than sound or imageSoftware on magnetic tape
8524.91.0000 Other: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image This includes software not on optical disc or magnetic tape. An example is software on floppy discs. Since these do not include sound or image, these products could be start-up boot discs for industrial machinery, etc
8524.99.4000 OtherThis includes any software not falling into any of the above categories

1 These descriptions are offered as examples only, and should therefore not be interpreted as law. To find out the exact classification of a given product contact the U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Division at (301) 457-3041.

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