United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2000 HQ Rulings > HQ 084357 - HQ 114893 > HQ 114651

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 114651

December 17, 1999

RES-2-RR:IT:EC 114651 CC


Parmi Cheema
Samiti Marketing Inc.
94-344 Ukee Street #7
Waipahu, Hawaii 96797

RE: Pipes; drug paraphernalia; 21 U.S.C. § 863

Dear Parmi Cheema:

This is in response to your letter of March 3, 1999, concerning the admissibility of certain pipes.


According to your submission, you contemplate importing certain pipes from India, China, and Brazil. You have submitted illustrations of the various pipes you wish to import in what appears to be a catalogue or other marketing literature. The pipes are grouped in the following lines: metal pipes, glass water pipes, wooden sadhu chillums, and acrylic water pipes. You ask whether these items constitute restricted merchandise.


Whether the subject pipes are drug paraphernalia, the importation of which is unlawful, under 21 U.S.C. § 863.


21 U.S.C. § 863(a) provides that it is unlawful for any person to import or export drug paraphernalia. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 863(d), the term “drug paraphernalia” means any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in connection with controlled substances. Examples of drug paraphernalia, listed in 21 U.S.C. § 863(d), include, among other things, metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls; water pipes; chamber pipes; carburetor pipes; electric pipes; air-driven pipes; chillums; bongs; and ice pipes or chillers.

In determining whether an item constitutes drug paraphernalia, 21 U.S.C. § 863(e) provides that in addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following may be considered: (1) instructions, oral or written, provided with the item concerning its use; (2) descriptive materials accompanying the item which explain or depict its use; (3) national and local advertising concerning its use; (4) the manner in which the item is displayed for sale; (5) whether the owner, or anyone in control of the item, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products; (6) direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the item(s) to the total sales of the business enterprise; (7) the existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item in the community; and (8) expert testimony concerning its use.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 863(f)(2), this section shall not apply to any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory.

In your submission, the subject pipes are designated as merchandise specifically listed in 21 U.S.C. § 863(d) as drug paraphernalia, e.g., water pipes and chillums. In addition, there is nothing in your submission, e.g., any of the documentation listed 21 U.S.C. § 863(e), which shows that the subject pipes are traditionally intended for use with tobacco products. Consequently, we find that the subject pipes are considered drug paraphernalia pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 863.


The subject pipes are drug paraphernalia, the importation of which is unlawful, under 21 U.S.C. § 863.


Jerry Laderberg

Previous Ruling Next Ruling