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HQ 115461





August 31, 2001

RES-2-RR:IT:EC 115461 GEV

CATEGORY: RESTRICTED MERCHANDISE

Gary Sahni
President
Limelite Fashion Incorporated
4805 Lawrenceville Highway 29
Suite 404
Lilburn, GA 30047

RE: Pipe; Drug Paraphernalia; 21 U.S.C. § 863

Dear Mr. Sahni:

This is in response to your letter dated May 14, 2001, concerning the importation of certain pipes. Enclosed with your letter are copies of photographs of the pipes in question, as well as a sample. You request a classification ruling for these pipes and a ruling as to whether these pipes fit the definition of drug paraphernalia. With respect to the latter, your request was forwarded to this office by our National Commodity Specialist Division in New York, in order to determine whether these pipes are admissible.

FACTS:

The sample pipe submitted is a “Pyrex”, color changing, glass water pipe. The pipe measures approximately 4” in length. Your documentation indicates that differing sizes are available ranging from 2” to 6 ½” in length. You describe this article as “a glass decorative, collectable pipe.” Each such pipe will be wrapped separately in its own bubble wrap.

ISSUE:

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

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Title 21, United States Code, § 863(a) (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., glass pipes. The small bowl, which is suitable only for small amounts of material consistent with the ingestion of controlled substances, leads us to find reasonable grounds for believing that this is an article of drug paraphernalia. (See Headquarters ruling letter 459156, dated December 18, 1995) In addition, there is nothing in your submission, e.g., any of the documentation listed in 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.

Because the importation of this article is unlawful and prohibited, a determination as to the classification is not appropriate. In this regard, we note § 177.7(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 177.7(a)), which provides, in pertinent part:
no ruling letter will be issued with regard to transactions or questions which are essentially hypothetical in nature or in any instance in which it appears contrary to the sound administration of the Customs and related laws to do so.

HOLDING:

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

Sincerely,

Larry L. Burton
Chief
Entry Procedures and Carriers Branch

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