We’re shortlisted in the 2023 RTIH Innovation Awards!

Blog 3 mins


We’re celebrating this month as our work with boohoo has been shortlisted in the Retail Tech Innovation Hub (RTIH) Innovation Awards for the Best Retailer/Technology Supplier Relationship category.

The award recognises the value of our tariff classification solution, TariffTel, alongside our experienced customs team, in supporting boohoo in their ambition to grow US sales in 2023. With the development of their new US distribution centre, boohoo were faced with the challenge of ensuring their fashion products reached the new centre quickly and compliantly, whilst adhering to complex US customs controls. They overcame this challenge using TariffTel’s centralised platform that assigns US tariff codes to goods, enabling them to move away from their previous legacy system that was based on paper-based processes and decentralised data. As a result, they were able to considerably speed up delivery times of shipments which previously took eight to ten days to arrive in the US from the UK.


Quicker delivery, but also quicker classification


What was particularly impressive in this project is the speed in which thousands of apparel goods were classified. In less than four months, the TariffTel team had classified thousands of SKUs from hundreds of boohoo suppliers. This was achieved because of three key things: knowledge of complex US customs controls, a deep understanding of the classification process and the involvement of boohoo’s suppliers.

Classifying products for international trade is a complex process. The Harmonised Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) sets out the tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States. The HTS is based on the international Harmonised System, which is the global system of nomenclature applied to most world trade in goods. The US tariff has added complexities and goes into greater detail in categories, than the UK tariff. For example, for knitwear, in chapter 6110 there are 20 tariff codes in the UK, however, the US has 123 codes.

Another factor in the success of this project was leveraging the data that suppliers held on boohoo’s products. TariffTel is unlike other solutions in that the platform engages with suppliers to obtain very specific information on products including variations by size, weight, fabric composition, product images and supporting documentation (certificate of origin/compliance, etc). In addition, TariffTel captures unit costs (including at product set item level), country of origin, country of manufacture and origin of materials. All of this data is essential to classify tariff codes correctly.

Adopting these principles ensured accurate classification and compliance every time for boohoo, and makes this project deservedly award-winning (we think!).

If you want to find out more about how TariffTel works to provide accurate and compliant trade operations in a business, or learn more about our work on this particular project. Please contact us for details.

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