Product Details: What is a Schedule B?

With the countless buying and selling that occurs each and every day around the world, you would think there would be a means of categorization and organization. There is, thanks to the U.S. government.

The U.S. Census Bureau under the Department of Commerce has developed a coded system that helps businesses promptly identify “articles,” their word for goods or items. This helps ease the exchange of said items so that exporters can expedite transactions and maintain the proper forms and records.

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Location of a Schedule B on a product page on SkyGeek.com (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

No doubt, our site offers as much information about a product as we can obtain given our resources. On each product page you will find a section labeled “Product Details.” In it you will often find that product’s Schedule B.

So what exactly is a Schedule B? According to export.gov, a Schedule B is a “10-digit number used in the United States to classify physical goods for export to another country. The Schedule B is based on the international Harmonized System (HS) of 6-digit commodity classification codes. There is a Schedule B number for every physical product, from paperclips to airplanes.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves (especially with ending on ‘airplane’).

For all the most common inquiries, we suggest you go to export.gov’s FAQ page.

And while perusing the above link would suffice to answer the question, we figured we’d go a step further. Let’s use an item on our site to illustrate the 10-digit Schedule B.

We offer a lot of hardware. One of the many bolts we sell is the Military Standard MS20004-15 – a steel, internal wrenching bolt.

The MS20004-15 bolt has the following Schedule B code: 8803.30.0010. The “88-” refers to the 88th chapter of the Schedule B (there are 97 in total). Chapter 88 is labeled “AIRCRAFT, SPACECRAFT, AND PARTS THEREOF.” Based on these first two digits alone, you already know that this bolt is made especially for the use in aircraft installations.

Here’s a chart that will better deconstruct the 8803.30.0010 Schedule B code:

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Breakdown of the Schedule B code: 8803.30.0010. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

If you ever want to validate a product’s Schedule B, you can do that quite easily. Simply enter the code into the Schedule B Validation search box on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website. Below are links to specific pages on this site that will further explain and clarify the Schedule B.

Schedule B Reference Index
Schedule B Validation
Schedule B Definition (and Others Related To)
Schedule B – An Introduction
Schedule B Code: 8803.30.0010 Results Page

Product Page Breakdown: What is a Manufacturer’s Certification?

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The location of the Manufacturer’s Certification on one of our site’s product pages.

Our site is riddled with curiosities for the average customer. Not all information pertains to each and every shopper. Nonetheless, it is important to cover all bases so we can ensure those that need certain details, get it.

On each product page you will find a checkbox below the price of the product. This allows for an optional manufacturer’s certification to be attached to a customer’s order of said product.

A common question asked is, “Do I need a manufacturer’s certification with my order?” For many customers the answer is, “No.” That is why it is optional.

On the right of the Manufacturer’s Certification check box is a question mark surrounded by a blue square. Hover over the question mark with your cursor and a message will appear that reads: “Many of our government and institutional customers request a manufacturer’s certification for their records. If you “check” the appropriate box to the left, SkyGeek will ensure that you receive this certification with your order. If you are questioning whether you require this or not, it is likely that you don’t need it!”

So what is a manufacturer’s certification? It’s pretty self-explanatory: this certificate is a signed statement by a manufacturer that verifies that a product has indeed been produced by the manufacturer in question.

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Hover over the blue-squared question mark button and this message will appear.

Requesting one secures quality assurance. How? By having a manufacturer’s certificate in your possession, a customer is promised that the item they receive is not counterfeit. Another advantage is that the cert provides traceability or a link between SkyGeek and the manufacturer and the customer. This is great for record-keeping and is especially useful for companies. Accounting departments need to document all the expenditures that a company makes, whether it is in helping with tax filings and/or for budgeting purposes. So, essentially, an individual generally can ignore this aspect of the product page, unless of course he/she feels secure in having that kind of record if ever a situation of a product’s authenticity arises. But, for the most part, companies, organizations, and government agencies rely on this feature on our site.

SpaceX: Forerunner of the Future

What happens when sci-fi becomes more than just imagination?

Science fiction enthusiasts (all right, nerds and geeks if you want to be more accurate) will tell you that much modern technological advancements are due in part to the minds of not necessarily scientists and engineers but, in some cases, writers.

Cell phones, anyone? You can thank Gene Roddenberry and the creative minds of Star Trek, who incorporated a “communicator” into Starfleet’s main staple of equipment. Other technology from the series has resulted in real-life applications as well.

Or what about satellites that make wireless communication possible? Maybe you should thank Arthur C. Clarke, one of the “Founding Fathers of Science Fiction,” for introducing the concept of geosynchronous orbit in 1945, something that became a reality 20 years later.

I guess you could say, “no sci-fi, no Wi-Fi.”

There have always been innovators willing to propel us into the future. And while flying cars may not happen any time soon, move over, Jetsons, we have seen Earth’s Manifest Destiny and its name is SpaceX.

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, aka SpaceX, is setting its sights on going from terra firma to extra-terrestrial. Its main mission is to “revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.” That’s right—LIVE on other planets. A pipe dream, you might say, but then again so was getting a man on the moon or even using a portable computer (smartphones, are everywhere if you haven’t noticed).

To understand the potential of SpaceX programs, all you have to do is watch a demonstration of their tech’s capabilities. The following is a short clip of their Grasshopper rocket:

Wow, that kind of control would make even Stark Industries jealous. Oh wait, CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, has already inspired Iron Man:

At first glance that might not be so impressive. You may even question if the Grasshopper video is the result of special effects and Hollywood tampering. It isn’t.

“Oh yeah, well how did they get that footage? It seems fake.” Actually, as the title of the Youtube video explains, they used a single camera hexacopter, which is able to remain stationary in flight and is great for aerial video and aerial photography. But I digress…

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A hexacopter lifting off. This may not be the hexacopter used to capture the SpaceX Grasshopper, but it gives you an idea of what one looks like. Image courtesy of http://www.likecool.com/

You have to realize that SpaceX is trying to implement reusability in a previously ineffective process. The aerospace industry constantly combats waste. Think about it: space missions rely heavily on rockets to propel cargo and personnel into orbit. And those rockets cost millions. Meanwhile, the cost of operations is in the billions. Only through innovation and ingenuity can these costs be curbed.

It’s hypocritical to spend immeasurable amounts of time and resources on preserving our planet through green technology (not to mention efforts like recycling) and then be so careless with space exploration. Disposable rockets? Not if SpaceX has anything to say or do about it.

With more precision landing, the Grasshopper offers hope that reusability is a distinct possibility for aeronautics. And with reusability comes sustainability—not only sustaining of programs but maybe one-day in the future, the sustaining of life on other planets.