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General Rule of Interpretation 1

“The table of contents, alphabetical index, and titles of sections, chapters and sub-chapters are provided for ease of reference only; for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the following provisions.”

GRI – 1

This is the general rule that has a list of things that can help you find information quickly and easily. It can help you find what you need without having to look through the whole document.

Why legal notes are essential?

In order to properly classify a product, you must always read the Section and Chapter Notes that pertain to it. This is essential for ensuring that the product is either included or excluded from the relevant section. Not doing so can result in improper classification, which can lead to incorrect tariffs being applied to the product. Therefore, it is important to always read the Section and Chapter Notes in order to make sure that the product is classified correctly.

The Section and Chapter Notes provide an overview of how parts of a product are handled. In some cases, the parts are grouped according to the parent product, such as components of a car or a computer. In other cases, there is a distinct heading to describe and list the parts, such as in a manual or instruction booklet. This allows the reader to quickly and easily locate and understand the components of a product and how they work together. Furthermore, the notes often provide an explanation of the various components and how they interact with each other in order to produce an overall desired outcome.

GRI – 1 applying method.

In many cases, notes will tell you which chapter contains the information you need. This can be extremely helpful in narrowing down your search and focusing in the right area. In other cases, the notes may simply indicate that your product is excluded, without giving any further detail. In these cases, you must continue your search and look through other chapters or documents in order to find the information you need.

It is important to be thorough when searching for information. Even if the notes do not tell you which chapter your product is in, it is still worth checking the other chapters to make sure you have not missed something. You may even find that the information you need is in a chapter that the notes did not mention.

When looking for information, it is essential that you read the notes thoroughly and understand what they are telling you. Knowing which chapters contain your product or which indicate that it is excluded can save you a lot of time and effort in your search.

Key Points of GRI – 1.

  • Section titles are a useful way to organise information & make it easier to find. They don’t have any legal power, so use them as helpful guides only.
  • Legal classification at the heading level must be made according to the wording of headings and related Section or Chapter Notes, if they do not require classification under Rules 2 to 5. This is to ensure that the correct legal classification is given to the goods and services for which the heading is used. It is important to review the headings and related Notes carefully to ensure that the correct legal classification is given for the goods and services at the heading level.
  • There is only one heading whose terms encompass the whole good.
  • Classifying terms & notes to help organize & define specific headings.
  • The terms and notes provide guidance on how to organize and classify information.
  • Under these circumstances, GIRs 2, 3 & 4 cannot be used to form headings.


Travel sewing kit – Travel sewing kits are essential for any traveler who needs to make quick fixes to their clothing while on the go. They are classified under Heading 96.05, which is the only heading that covers the entire set. This indicates that the intent is to cover the full set, meaning GIR 3 cannot be used to classify the individual components of the kit. Instead, GIR 1 is used to classify the kit at the heading level. Travel sewing kits are composed of a variety of components, such as needles, thread, buttons, and scissors. Everything is conveniently packed into a compact case, making it easy to carry and use while on the go.

Ignition wiring harness for a car – The ignition wiring harness, the rear-view mirror, and the seat belt are all parts of a vehicle that would be classified under heading 87.03. However, it is important to note that there may be other relevant headings in addition to 87.03. This is why it is important to read any notes associated with the goods to make sure that all applicable headings are identified. Additionally, the terms must fit the goods to make sure that the correct heading is applied.

A seat belt for a car – The seat belt can be classified under the heading 87.08 “Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05” according to the General Interpretive Rule 1. This classification is based on an extensive research into the relevant notes and chapters related to textiles, metals, plastics, straps, and clasps. It is clear that there is no other heading that covers a made-up seat belt, and so 87.08 is the correct classification. This is a testament to the accuracy and thoroughness of the research conducted to determine the correct heading for the seat belt.


Classifying by the terms and notes is often a complex process. The meaning of these terms is often unclear and open to interpretation, with the ordinary meaning being the most commonly used. In some cases, the trade meaning may also be used, which can be similarly imprecise. This makes it difficult to determine whether a specific product falls within the scope of the terms. As a result, considerable care needs to be taken when classifying something based on terms and notes.

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