The General Rules of Interpretation (GIR) are set in place to ensure that products imported and exported are assigned the proper tariffs. While there are six rules, only the first four are required to be followed in order. The last two rules are only meant to be applied if the rule applies to the contents if applicable (Global Tariff, 2016).

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The first rule states that “titles of Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters are provided for ease of reference only”. For legal reasons, categorizing will rely on the names of the headings, or any other comparative section and chapter notes, as long as these to not fall under the criteria of another rule. This means that the Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters are provided for general guidance. To get more specific, the headings and section and chapter notes should be utilized. For example, if a product is labeled as a holiday item, it would fall under the category for that item. If it is an item for that holiday, but not listed in the tariff chapter, it would then fall under a different category (Global Tariff, 2016).

Part A of the second rule states that an item should be classified under the item title, even if it is unfinished or not assembled. For example, a wooden desk that is in pieces in a box would still be classified as a wooden desk. Part B of the second rule states that a chemical compound may qualify for two different classifications, however, the mixture can only have one classification. For example, since a chemical compound is a mixture with chemically bonded atoms, it is a mixture but still one substance. Since the compound can only have one classification, whichever chemical is the most prevalent in the mix, that is what the compound would be classified under (Global Tariff, 2016).

Part A of rule three states that if a product falls under two different titles, the title that is closest to the product should be used. For example, if chocolate coffee is the imported item, it could fall under chocolate or coffee. Since it is predominantly coffee, this is how it would be classified. Part B of rule three states that items imported are packaged in a set, that it must still be categorized under the primary item. If a product is a coffee and mug set, the primary item is the coffee, not the mugs, and the item is categorized under coffee (Global Tariff, 2016).

Part C of rule three states that a product that is shipped as a set, and the primary item cannot be determined, must be categorized under the item with the last sequential number. For example, if a shirt and pant set is to be categorized, each item is a primary item. If the heading number for pants ends in 2, and the heading number for shirts ends in 5, the item would be categorized under shirts (Global Tariff, 2016).

  • Rules of Interpretation. Global Tariff, 2016. Web. .