The 8th installment of our Summer Sessions blogs. This entry from the Commonwealth of Virginia takes a look at some of the data sources states can use to explore trade impacts by industry and specific products using the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and others. 

By: Virginia Navigator Trade Team

How to find documentation to submit with a Petition Part B - Using the Numbers

Often it is hard to determine what is really happening in a game of “he said”, “she said”; whether it is in the news, on social media or through interviews with workers or company officials.  All of these sources have bias.  So in come the numbers… numbers do not lie, right.

What numbers?  Where to start?

Start with what the company produces.  Each company has an assigned code. The codes are called North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes.  These were adopted in 1997 to create a North American standard with Canada and Mexico.  They replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System.  These codes are self-assigned to identify their primary business activity.  For more information visit

Each company identified with a product, as petitioned in an Article Petition, will have a product code for each product produced.  These are found in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS). These codes are based on the International Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) administered by the World Customs Organization

Use an internet search engine to look for the NAICS code searching specifically for the company name, location and NAICS.  Location is important because larger companies produce different items in different locations. The websites below usually appear in these searches:, and  The codes will appear like 326199, all other plastics product manufacturing.

Find HTS code(s) identified after speaking with company officials or workers and looking on the company website.  Narrowly define exactly what product(s) the company, in this location and with the affected worker group, produced prior to identifying an HTS Code such as Wind Turbine Blades.

Links to the HTS can be accessed from the United States International Trade Commission website at the bottom of the home page:  Select HTS, then Search. Type the product produced by the company.  Often you will need to experiment with the site to find what you are looking for unless a company official will provide the exact code.  For products with a multi word description use quotations “Wind Turbine Blades”. Search results will identify an HTS number 8412.90.9081.

Great! So what do these numbers mean? How do I find the import data to support my petition?

On the USITC website,, beside the link for HTS there is a link for DATAWEB. Select DATAWEB, you will need to create a sign on for this site.  Once signed in:

  1. Open “Imports For Consumption” under the TRADE tab.
  2. Identify the CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM: HTS Items or NAICS Code. 
  3. Select YEARS:  the past two years and year-to-date
  4. TIMEFRAME AGGREGATION: Annual or Annual + Year to Date
  5. COUNTRY AGGREGATION: Display Countries Separately
  6. COMMODITIES: Select Individual Commodities
  7. Enter the numbers derived above for either HTS or NAICS depending on your selection in the Classification Identified
  8. Select "View Results" at the bottom of the page.

Data received can be saved under your sign in or downloaded to an excel spreadsheet for both NAICS and HTS Codes.  This will generate a Query Parameters page and a Custom Value page that will give you import numbers for the requested dates. In the example shown below, you can see that for HTS 8412909081 imports doubled from 2018 to 2019 and increased 233% from Year to Date 2019-2020.

Classification System

HTS Items


2020, 2019, 2018

Select Type

Use All Countries

Commodity List



Data Type


Year 2018

Year 2019

2019 YTD ( Jan - May )

2020 YTD ( Jan - May )