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Importing Headphones Into the U.S.


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Importing Headphones: Navigating HTS Codes and Regulations

What are Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Codes for Headphones?

Headphones fall under various HTS codes based on their characteristics. The applicable HTS code determines import duties and taxes. Key considerations for classification include:

  • Type of headphones (e.g., in-ear, over-ear).
  • Materials used.
  • Additional features (e.g., noise-canceling, wireless).

Do Headphones Require FCC Declaration?

Headphones operating in the RF spectrum, using technologies like Bluetooth, may need an FCC declaration. Unsure? Check FCC's website or consult a customs broker.

Importance of Correct Classification

Properly classifying headphones is crucial for compliance with US import regulations. Incorrect classification may lead to customs clearance delays.

How to Find the Relevant HTS Code?

Utilize Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) to discover the appropriate HTS code for headphones. The typical code is "Headphones and earphones, whether or not combined with a microphone."

Calculating Duties for Headphones

Once the HTS code is identified, use it with the country of origin to calculate duties. Generally, headphone duty is 4.9%, subject to variation based on free trade agreements.

Additional Fees and Considerations

Beyond customs duties, be aware of potential Merchandise Processing Fee and Harbor Maintenance Fee. Proper calculation ensures a smooth customs clearance process.

Wireless or Bluetooth-capable Headphones

  • Duty-free for WiFi or Bluetooth-capable headphones.
  • Wireless infrared-capable headphones may incur a 4.9% duty.
  • Registration with FCC is mandatory for all Bluetooth or wireless devices.

FCC Registration Process

Manufacturers must register through CORES, submitting form 740 to FCC. This includes details on commercial description, trade name, model type, and quantity of imported headphones.

Recent Updates on Bluetooth Headphones

In 2018, CBP ruled that Bluetooth headphones without data storage are not classified as wireless transmitting devices under HTS code 8517.62.

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