August 10, 2010
TARIFF NO.: 9019.10.2020, 9019.10.2030
Ms. Susan Kohn RossMitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP 1377 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90064
RE: The tariff classification of vibrating sex toys from China, Taiwan, and Korea
Dear Ms. Ross:
In your letters dated June 22 and July 28, 2010, on behalf of California Exotic Novelties, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No sample was provided of any of these models, i.e., SE-0067-05-2, Micro Tinglers – Tear Drop; SE-0482-14-3, Hands Free Vibrating Pleasure Ring; and SE-0488-10-3, Dreamers Bliss.
You have now provided a printout of the webpage for these items as well as additional information we had requested.
All three items are sold on a web site for sex devices and have provisions for more than one battery to power their vibration.
The batteries are included in the vibrating portion of the SE-0482-14-3, Hands Free Vibrating Pleasure Ring; and SE-0488-10-3, Dreamers Bliss, but are in a separate piece, attached by electrical wire, in the SE-0067-05-2, Micro Tinglers – Tear Drop
Per the information you supplied, a. The vibrating portion of the SE-0067-05-2 is about 1.5 by .5 inch and is "designed for pinpoint pleasure of the breasts or genitalia." b. The SE-0482-14-3 is "worn on a man’s genitalia." It "(p)roduces pleasurable massage during intercourse for both partners." Its function is similar to that of the Vibrating Condom Ring in Headquarters Ruling Letter H053897 – RM, 5-3-2010. c. The SE-0488-10-3 is about 5 by 1.5 inches and is shaped approximately as a cylinder which comes to a rounded point and whose circumference increases and decreases in waves along its length.
Regarding the massage apparatus of HTSUS 9019 in general, HRL 960011 – HMC, 9-23-1998 (as well as HRL W968399- KSH, 5-8-2007, et al.) stated, "It is Customs view that the massage apparatus of heading 9019, HTSUS, must provide a therapeutic benefit." However, more recently, HRLs H053896/7 – RM, 5-3-2010, published in the Customs Bulletin of May 26, 2010, stated, "The text of heading 9019, HTSUS, does not require that a massage apparatus provide a therapeutic benefit."
Your items are vibrating sex toys designed for sexual pleasure. HRLs H053896/7 indicated that those two vibrating sex toys "were designed to massage muscles of the body by way of friction and vibration." Noting H053896/7’s classification in HTSUS 9019.10.20 of those two items and its citation with approval of New York Ruling Letter B89414 – 119, 10-8-1997, which classified a Clitoral Stimulator built into panties in 9019.10.20, the penis, clitoris, and the walls of the vagina are "muscles of the body" for Customs and Border Protection’s current interpretation of "massage apparatus."
Therefore, we agree that the applicable subheading for the SE-0067-05-2 and the SE-0488-10-3 devices will be 9019.10.2020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for handheld, battery powered massage apparatus. The rate of duty is free.
However, the applicable subheading for the SE-0482-14-3, since it is worn on a man’s genitalia when in use, will be 9019.10.2030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for battery powered massage apparatus, other than handheld. The rate of duty is free.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
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 J. Sheridan at (646) 733-3012.
Sincerely, Robert B. Swierupski Director National Commodity Specialist Division