Determining Duty Rates
The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every item that exists. The HTS is a reference manual that is the size of an unabridged dictionary.
Please be aware that the duty rate you request is only as good as the information you provide. CBP makes the final determination of what the correct rate of duty is, not the importer. For very specific duty information on a particular item you may request a Binding Ruling. You may also receive guidance by calling your local CBP port.
Using our duty calculator
To use ACELYNK’s duty calculator you will need your items Tariff#, your items entered value, USC quantity*, and your item’s country of origin.
Once you have entered all this information, the ACELYNK calculator will generate your item’s duty.
*What is “USC” quantity? This is not the straight forward number of units you are importing, this is the
quantity related to the unit of measure that is used; you must enter the unit value based off the unit of
measure that customs has classified for this item. For example: if an item is classified as having its unit of
measurement in KG, the USC Value is the total # of KG you are importing and not the # of items you are
It’s fair to say that calculating import duty is not as straight forward as it seems or as some
websites may portray. It’s a complex algorithm formulated by CBP therefore ensure you are working
with and/or on a reputable system.
Duty Calculator and Duty FAQ
Import duty and taxes can be complex and confusing however they are crucial for importers to
understand. The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every item that
exists and unfortunately the HTS reference manual is about the size of an unabridged dictionary. The
calculation itself can appear to be somewhat straight forward however it’s all the elements needed for
this calculation and how to properly acquire them that can get tricky.
Here are some common questions and answers on import duty as well as how to use our duty calculator
to best help you estimate your duty rates.
How is my duty rate determined?
Import duty varies from item to item and is dependent on the item itself, its declared value as well as
the item’s country of origin. There are several key elements you need to determine these rates, they
- Determining your items classification/tariff # (you may need a customs broker to help you)
- The item’s country of origin.
- The items declared value. Essentially this is what you bought it for and it must correlate exactly with your commercial invoice.
- Export date: this determines your exchange rate for purchases done in foreign currency. In order to accurately calculate your duty rate, based on the elements listed above, you will need to use a duty calculation software.
When do I need to pay them?
Duty’s are due and must be paid within 10 business days after the release of merchandise by U.S.
Customs. Failure to pay within this specific time frame will lead to, and without exception, penalties and
Are there any duty exemptions?
Yes, there are several possibilities for exemptions. Treaties, importing items for personal use, goods
returned to U.S. are just a few examples. A customs filing and import management software can help
determine if your product qualifies for any said exemptions.
How to I find my Tariff #/Classification?
The majority of importers do have their products already classified and therefore know their
classification. If you do not know your classification and need help please contact us for managed
ACELYNK Compliance Assurance
- Your software will always be in compliance with USCBP.
- You will never have to worry about costly software and system "upgrades".
- You can focus on your business with confidence and peace of mind.