Tariff Classification Advance Ruling
Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument


Ms. Sarah Otey
Claire’s Stores Canada Corp.
2400 W. Central Road
Hoffman Estates, IL  60192

Date of issuance of ruling:

This is in response to your request for an advance ruling on the tariff classification of the Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument. This product is manufactured by Studex, Inc., of California.

TRS Number: 275841
Classification Number: 8205.59.90.00
Effective Date:

Product Description

This is an ear piercing instrument comprised of a hard plastic body with a cartridge channel and handle; contained inside the instrument is a metal spring and plunger. This device operates with a disposable, sterilized cartridge that is preloaded with an earring (hoop or stud type). The operator loads the cartridge into the instrument, removes the clear blister-pack from the cartridge, aligns the instrument with a mark previously made on the customer’s ear, then squeezes the handle of the instrument firmly to push the earring through the ear.

Analysis and Justification

You have proposed that the Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument be classified in heading 90.18 of the Customs Tariff as an ‘other’, medical instrument and apparatus. The Explanatory Notes to heading 90.18 provide for the inclusion of a wide variety of goods, “which, in the vast majority of cases, are used only in professional practice (e.g., by doctors, surgeons, dentists, veterinary surgeons, midwives), either to make a diagnosis, to prevent or treat an illness or to operate, etc.” The Explanatory Notes further state:

“It should also be noted that a number of the instruments used in medicine or surgery (human or veterinary) are, in effect, tools (e.g., hammers, mallets, saws, chisels, gouges, forceps, pliers, spatulae, etc.), or articles of cutlery (scissors, knives, shears, etc.). Such articles are classified in this heading only when they are clearly identifiable as being for medical or surgical use by reason of their special shape, the ease with which they are dismantled for sterilisation, their better quality manufacture, the nature of the constituent metals or by their get-up (frequently packed in cases or boxes containing a set of instruments for a particular treatment : childbirth, autopsies, gynaecology, eye or ear surgery, veterinary cases for parturition, etc.).”

The Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument is not used by medical or surgical professionals, but by lay people in the retail and beauty industries. Further, there is nothing in its design that identifies this product as being for medical or surgical use. Therefore, the Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument is excluded from classification in heading 90.18.

Chapter 82 of the Customs Tariff covers tools, implements, cutlery, spoons and forks, of base metal. Note 1 to this Chapter states that it covers only articles that have a working blade, edge, surface or working part of certain specific materials including metal. Heading 82.05 provides for, inter alia, hand tools not elsewhere specified or included. As a tool used in the hand with a working part (the metal spring and plunger) of metal, the Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument meets the terms of heading 82.05 and is appropriately classified therein, specifically under subheading 8205.59 as “other hand tools, other”.


Section 10 of the Customs Tariff directs that classification of imported goods shall be determined in accordance with the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System. Section 11 of the Customs Tariff states that in interpreting the headings and subheadings, regard shall be had to the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

General Interpretative Rule 1 (GIR 1) directs that titles of Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters are provided for ease of reference only. For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading and any relative Section and Chapter Notes. Similarly, General Interpretative Rule 6 (GIR 6) directs that classification shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related Subheading Notes.

The Studex System 75 Ear Piercing Instrument is classified 8205.59.90.00 by application of General Interpretative Rule 1 to the Customs Tariff.

Legislative/Administrative References

This ruling has been issued under paragraph 43.1(1)(c) of the Customs Act and will be honoured by the CBSA for future importations of the goods specified, provided the material facts and circumstances remain as originally presented; all conditions in the ruling have been met; the ruling has not been modified, revoked, revised, or cancelled; and the Customs Tariff legislation has not changed. Should there be a change in the material facts or circumstances pertaining to the goods, you must notify the CBSA as soon as possible. You may request that the advance ruling be modified or revoked as of the date of the change.

Importers should quote the advance ruling number at the time of importation in either the description field of the B3 entry document or on the Canada Customs Invoice. Exporters or producers should quote the advance ruling number on the Certificate of Origin or commercial invoice accompanying the goods.

Should you disagree with this advance ruling, you may file a dispute notice under subsection 60(2) of the Customs Act within 90 days of the date of issuance. Please see the procedures outlined in Appendix C of the CBSA’s Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

This advance ruling is considered reason to believe for the purposes of section 32.2 of the Customs Act and as described in Memorandum D22-1-1, Administrative Monetary Penalty System.

All D-Memoranda referenced in this letter may be accessed on the CBSA website.

Consent to the Public Release of the Advance Ruling

As per your consent statement, we will release this advance ruling to the public, in both official languages, in accordance with the procedures described in Memorandum D11-11-3.

CBSA Contact

Mark Grant
Manager, Tariff Policy Unit B
Trade Policy Division
Headquarters, Ottawa

File Number


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