Application of the interpretation rules for the tariff classification: Customs IQ (2023)

main rules

There are six general rules for the interpretation (application) of the tariff. These are referred to as General Interpretation Rules (GIR) 1 to 6.

Rows one through four are connected andmustbe used one after the other. Principles 5 and 6 are self-contained and should be applied where appropriate.

rule 1

Section, chapter and subchapter titles are for reference only; For legal reasons, classification is determined in accordance with the provisions of the titles and any relevant section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required by such titles or notes, the following provisions [i.e. H. OWIR 2 to 6]:

Explanation:This is the first rule to consider when classifying a product. Most products are classified according to this principle.

For convenience, we can split this rule into two parts:

1) The words used in section and chapter headings are to be considered as guidelines ONLY and indicate the area of ​​the tariff where the classified product is likely to be found. Articles may be included or excluded from a section or chapter even if the titles suggest otherwise.

2) The classification is determined by the words (terms) in the headings (first four digits) and in the paragraph and chapter notes referring to them, unless otherwise indicated in the heading terms and notes. In other words, if the goods to be classified fall under the wording of a heading and the notes to the sections and chapters do not preclude classification under that heading, then that heading applies.

So find a headline that is worded to describe your product. Double-check the section and chapter notes to see if a product is specifically listed as included or excluded.

Many goods need to be correctly classified based on Principle 1 alone. When the results of this process are ambiguous and two or more rubrics appear to apply, Principle 3 should be applied. If you read Principle 2, you will understand why this is so in such cases. not be the next line.

A simple example:If you import Christmas tree candles, it makes sense to classify them under the classification number 9505.10.00.90: Other, Christmas items. However, reading the notes to chapter 95 makes it clear that this chapter is not about Christmas tree candles. In fact, we must classify them under the classification number 3406.00.00.00: candles, cone candles and the like.

Rule 2:(a) Any reference in the heading to an article includes a reference to that incomplete or incomplete article, provided that the incomplete or incomplete article has in its presentation the essential character of the complete or complete article. There must also be a reference to the entire or finished item (or the item that cannot be classified as finished or finished under this rule) presented in an unassembled or disassembled condition.

(b) Any reference in the title to a material or substance includes references to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. Any reference to goods made from a particular material or substance should be understood as referring to goods made in whole or in part from that material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance must follow the principles of Rule 3.

Explanation:Rule 2(a) deals with the classification of incomplete, incomplete, unassembled or disassembled goods. Work in progress and incomplete goods may be classified in the same heading as the same finished product provided they have the essential character of the whole or finished product. In the same way, unassembled or dismantled goods can also be classified as a complete end product. This rule does not apply when the headline text or relevant legal notices exclude an unfinished or unassembled product.

Example:A car that is only missing the wheels is classified as complete.

Explanation:Principle 2(b) establishes the basis for handling products that do not qualify under Principle 1 or Principle 2(a) and consist of a mixture of materials or substances. Basically, a listing for a specific material or substance also includes mixtures of that substance with other substances. Likewise, a reference to a product made of a specific material or fabric also includes products made of that material or fabric in whole or in part. This means that a mixed product can be classified into two or more categories. From a legal point of view, however, a specific product can only be assigned to one denominator. Principle 3 should be used to select alternative rubrics.

Example:If you have imported dicalcium citrate, this compound is not specified in the customs tariff. However, it is a compound that contains more than one substance and is essentially a salt of citric acid. Therefore, dicalcium citrate falls under classification number 2918.15.90.19: Salts and esters of citric acid, others.

Rule 3:If, by virtue of the application of Rule 2(b), whether the goods can prima facie be classified in two or more headings for any other reason; the classification is as follows:

a) The heading with the most detailed description is preferred over headings with a more general description. However, where two or more items cover only part of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods, or only part of the items of an assortment intended for retail sale, those items are equally to be considered as specific to one of those goods, even if one of the goods contains a more complete or accurate description of the goods.

(b) mixtures, composite goods made from different materials or components and goods made up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified under point 3(a). a) are classified as consisting of the material or component that gives them their essential character if this criterion applies.

c) If the goods are not covered under 3 lit. a) or 3 lit. (b) they will be classified in the heading which appears last in numerical order among the headings deserving equal attention.

Explanation:Principle 3(a) states that when two or more sections appear applicable, the section containing the most detailed description of the product in question should be used. This means that you should use a header that contains the name of a specific product and not a header that only contains the category the product belongs to. Likewise, a heading should be used that describes the entire product, rather than one that describes just part of it. However, when two sections describe only part of the product, this rule cannot be used to determine which section to use, even if one appears more specific or detailed than the other.

Example:Mint tea is not explicitly mentioned as a product in the tariff. Although the product descriptions available refer to mint and tea, the importer must classify mint tea under the appropriate tea heading as this provides the most detailed description of the product and mint only represents the flavor of the tea.

Explanation:Rule 3(b) applies to mixtures, composite goods and kits which cannot be classified under the above rules. They should be classified as consisting of the material or component that gives them their essential character.

Example:An importer importing "drinks gift sets" (consisting of a bottle of alcohol and glasses) must place the goods in the appropriate spirits category. The essential character of the item is the drink itself, not the glasses included in the set.

Explanation:Rule 3(c) may be applied in cases where the goods appear to be suitable for more than one article and their essential nature cannot be determined. In this case, the product must be assigned to the category that appears last in numerical order.

Example:A gift set consisting of socks (Art. No. 6115) and ties (Art. No. 6117) cannot be classified according to the above rule, since neither article gives the gift set its essential character. A gift set should be categorized by the tie item number, which is the last category in numerical order.

Rule 4:Goods that cannot be classified according to the above rules are classified in the heading corresponding to the goods to which they are most closely related.

Explanation:This is the “last resort” rule most commonly used with new products.

Rule 5:In addition to the above provisions, the following regulations apply to the goods mentioned there:

a) cases for cameras, musical instruments, pistols, drawing implements, necklaces and similar receptacles which are specially shaped or prepared to hold a specific item or set of items, are suitable for prolonged use and should be presented with the items; for which they are intended are assigned to these items if they are normally sold together with them. However, this rule does not apply to containers which give the whole its essential character;

(b) Subject to the provisions of Rule 5(a) above, packaging materials and packaging containers presented with Goods are to be classified as Goods if they are of a type normally used for the packaging of such Goods. However, this regulation does not apply if the packaging material or packaging containers are clearly reusable.

Explanation:Principle 5 defines the classification of containers. Regulation 5(a) applies to containers which:

  • are fitted or shaped to the article they are intended to contain,
  • suitable for long-term use,
  • Protect the item when not in use.
  • are of the kind commonly sold with such items,
  • are presented along with the items they are intended to contain.

Containers with these characteristics can be classified according to the products they contain. However, if the packaging gives the product its essential character, the packaging must be classified.

Example:Rule 5(a) would apply to flutes as flutes (due to their specific shape) are normally sold with cases and are intended for long-term use.

Explanation:Rule 5(b) applies to other types of containers and packaging materials. They should be attributed to the goods they contain if they are of a type normally used for packaging such goods and are not reusable.

Example:An importer who imports goods and uses Styrofoam as padding clearly falls under Principle 5(b). Styrofoam chips are typically used to cushion and insulate many goods, but are rarely reused and are therefore considered goods entering Canada.

Principle 6:For legal reasons, the classification of goods into subheadings is governed by the wording of those subheadings and any associated subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, on the basis of the above rules, only subheadings to the same level being assumed to be similar. For purposes of this rule, the appropriate section and chapter references also apply unless the context otherwise requires.

Explanation:Once goods have been classified at item level using International Rules 1 through 5, classification at subdivision level can now be done by repeating International Rules 1 through 5 and taking into account any associated legal notices.

Additional US Rules of Interpretation

1. In the absence of any particular language or context that would require otherwise...

(a) The tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is determined according to use in the United States on or immediately before the date of importation of goods of the class or kind to which the imported goods belong and the principal use is the control usage;

(b) Compliance with a tariff classification controlled by the actual destination in the United States of the imported goods is satisfied only if that destination is intended at the time of import, the goods are used as such, and proof is provided within three years from this date is the date of import, the date of import of goods;

(c) a provision relating to a part of an item relates to products used solely or principally as part of such item, but a provision relating to "parts" or "parts and accessories" does not supersede any specific provision relating to that part or accessory; AND

(d) For the classification of goods in any provision where a textile material is mentioned, the rules of Section XI for mixtures of two or more textile materials shall apply.

To mark


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mr. See Jast

Last Updated: 18/09/2023

Views: 6838

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mr. See Jast

Birthday: 1999-07-30

Address: 8409 Megan Mountain, New Mathew, MT 44997-8193

Phone: +5023589614038

Job: Chief Executive

Hobby: Leather crafting, Flag Football, Candle making, Flying, Poi, Gunsmithing, Swimming

Introduction: My name is Mr. See Jast, I am a open, jolly, gorgeous, courageous, inexpensive, friendly, homely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.