In its ruling of 26 April 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled in a preliminary ruling that implant screws intended to be inserted into the human body for the treatment of bone fractures or for the insertion of prostheses must be classified as a medical device under heading 9021 of the Combined Nomenclature. Companies should always keep up to date with the pricing of their products.
Implant screws are medical devices of heading 9021
The goods in the main proceedings had characteristics which distinguished them from ordinary goods by their careful manufacture and high precision, as well as by their method of manufacture and their specific function. It should also be borne in mind in particular that medical implant screws such as those used in the initial procedure cannot be implanted into the body with conventional tools, but only with special medical tools. Therefore, they are not to be classified as ordinary screws of general application in heading 7318 or as titanium goods in heading 8108.
Classification is the duty of importers
The German customs administration and the courts usually assume that the declarant is responsible for declaring the correct customs tariff number. Incorrect classification can result not only in considerable subsequent customs investigations but also in administrative and criminal consequences. In principle, companies cannot rely on Customs to correct a declared tariff number if it is incorrect. Binding tariff information (vZTA) may also have become invalid and may therefore no longer be used. This examination is also the responsibility of the importer.