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NY F84231

March 29, 2000

LA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 F84231


TARIFF NO.: 9021.19.8500

Mr. Kevin Egan
E. Besler & Co.
115 Martin Lane
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

RE: The tariff classification of a nipple inverter from the United Kingdom

Dear Mr Egan:

In your letter, dated February 28, 2000, for Avent Corp America, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample, a “nipplette”, has one instructional video and two of each of small syringe-like items, plastic tubes with a valve, and plastic cups somewhat larger than the nipple on a woman’s breast. You indicate that they will be sold directly to consumers together in the plastic case.

In use, the syringe will be used in reverse as a manual pump to create a partial vacuum in the cup via the tube. This is intended to pull out the woman’s inverted nipple. The valve connecting the tube to the cup will then be closed, and the tube and syringe will be removed. The cap is intended to remain in place for several hours, keeping the nipple from re-inverting. The literature claims that following this procedure daily for multiple weeks will cause the nipple to remain drawn out indefinitely. Inverted nipples make breast feeding more difficult and are considered an un-desired anomaly in appearance by some women.

The unit cannot be sterilized. It is intended for home use by an individual woman, not by a health care professional in professional practice. The literature recommends consultation with a physician in various circumstances.

Per Explanatory Note I to Harmonized System Heading 90.21, Orthopaedic Appliances are for “preventing or correcting bodily deformities...”. This part of the EN is scheduled to become part of a Note to Chapter 90 on January 1, 2002. Inverted nipples can be considered a “bodily deformity”, especially in that they do interfere with the bodily function of breast feeding. This device is physically very different from the examples given in the EN, but that is primarily because they are for preventing or correcting “bodily deformities” which require bending bones or supporting large muscles or organs, which does not apply to the nipple. However, like this device, orthopedic appliances routinely put pressure on a body part for many hours a day for several weeks and can result in a permanently changed shape to a given area of the body.

The applicable subheading for this item will be 9021.90.8500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” orthopedic appliances. The general rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 212-637-7037.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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