Classification of paintball balls, bras and steering wheel covers

Implementing Regulations (EU) No 2017/1167, 2017/1168 and 2017/1169 establish the classification of paintball balls, bras with the possibility of inserting pads for enlargement or breast prostheses after a mastectomy and steering wheel covers into the Combined Nomenclature (KN).

Paintball balls are therefore in principle classified under subheading 9306 90 90 as”shells other than for war purposes” with a current rate of customs duty of 2,7 % in third countries; such bras are classified under subheading 6212 10 90 as”other bras made up of brassieres and panties”;with a third country duty rate of currently 6,5 % and steering wheel covers shall be classified under subheading 3926 90 97 as”goods of plastics other than film products” with a third country duty rate of 6,5 %.

Companies importing these or similar goods should inform themselves about the consequences of the classification regulations.

Paintball balls as other cartridges

Regulation (EU) No 2017/1167 concerns ball-shaped goods made of a hard gelatin capsule filled with water-based paint. This bullet is used as a bullet for paintball rifles (air rifles) during the game of paintball.

Due to the rifle’s high firing speed, it should be assigned to position 9304 (“other weapons”) and the ammunition for it to position 9306 as”other ammunition” because of its similarity to arrows and projectiles for air rifles. A classification in Chapter 95 (“Toys […]”) is therefore excluded.

Brassiere for use as other bras

Regulation (EU) No 2012/1168 covers bras with adjustable, wide, padded straps, with shaped cups and elastic band on the inside. The straps and cups have an embroidered pattern and an ornamental bow on the front. The goods are closed with a “hook and eye fastener”. The cup is lined and has lateral interventions for the insertion of cushions for aesthetic breast augmentation or breast prostheses after a mastectomy.

All these objective characteristics are those of a bra of heading No 6212, which included all kinds of bras, whether for aesthetic or medical purposes.

A classification as an orthopaedic appliance or as part or accessory of an artificial part of the body of heading No 9021 is excluded because the product has the objective characteristics of heading No 6212 and there is no evidence of end use which could also be of an aesthetic nature.

Steering wheel covers other than plastic goods

Regulation (EU) No 2017/1169 concerns plastic goods which form a circle with a diameter of 38 cm (so-called steering wheel cover). It is designed to be pulled over the steering wheel of a motor vehicle to improve its appearance, to protect the steering wheel from wear and to protect the hands from extreme cold or heat of the steering wheel.

A classification in subheading 8708 94 as part of a steering wheel is excluded because the cover is not necessary for the function of the steering wheel.

A classification in subheading 8708 99 as part or accessory of a motor vehicle of headings 8701 to 8705 is also excluded because the goods are not necessary for the function of the motor vehicle, do not extend its possibility of use and are not otherwise connected with the principal function of the motor vehicle.

In view of the material quality, the goods are therefore to be classified as other goods made of plastic.

Validity for similar goods

The classification regulations only apply to goods which are identical to the above-mentioned goods, but could be used as an aid to classify similar goods.

Companies should now check whether their imports are affected by these regulations. For example, binding tariff information (vZTA) issued to them could have become invalid due to the new classification regulations. Incorrect classification always carries the risk of criminal or fine-law consequences.

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