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NY F84233

March 31, 2000

LA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 F84233


TARIFF NO.: 9021.19.8500; 3926.90.9880

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

RE: The tariff classification of a nipple inverter and nipple shields 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, which you call a niplette, has 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. A separate see-through pack of two disposable breast pads are also in the box. They are thin disks of textile and plastic materials, about 4 inches in diameter, and are primarily used to keep leaking breast milk from staining clothing. You indicate that the niplette will be sold directly to consumers together in the plastic case in the light cardboard box with the package of breast pads.

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.

Item number 209 is a set of two nipple shields. The shields are made of silicone plastic and incorporate three holes in the nipple area. The shields protect sore or cracked nipples during breast feeding.

Although the package of two breast pads are sufficiently related to the nipple inverter to be a “set”, it is not closely enough tied to it to be a “composite good”. In particular, we note that similar breast pads are routinely imported separately and that you import a version of your Niplette which includes an instructional video, but no breast pads. Since they are textile goods for Customs purposes, textile visa and quota may apply even though they will be classified together with the nipple inverter. The breast pads fall within textile category designation 659. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of the United Kingdom are not subject to quota or the requirement of a visa.

The applicable subheading for the nipple inverter 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.

The applicable subheading for the nipple shields will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastic; other. The general rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

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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