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Regulations Published on the EU-wide Harmonised Classification of a Mattress Cover and an Electrical Apparatus

Two new Commission Regulations entered into force during the month of February, concerning the classification of goods in the EU’s Combined Nomenclature (CN). The first one concerns the harmonised classification of a so-called “mattress cover”. The second one concerns the harmonised classification of an electrical apparatus for skin treatment and hair removal. Both regulations will have an impact on these products when they are imported into the EU, affecting the duty payable. They are described in further detail below.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/77 was published in the Official Journal on 19 January 2018. It describes a cuboid textile article (a “mattress cover”) made of printed woven textile fabrics of man- made fibres (100 % polyester). It is a washable fabric, of a measurement of approximately 200 × 60 × 8 cm. The article has a zip closure along one of the long sides to enable a mattress to be inserted. On one of the long sides a textile handle is attached. Hong Kong traders interested in the classification of this product can view its image, published as part of the Regulation.

The classification for this product is determined by general rules 1 and 6 for the interpretation of the Combined Nomenclature and by the wording of CN codes 6302, 6302 22 and 6302 22 90. The article is said to be made of washable material. It has a zip closure enabling the removal of the article from the mattress at any time, and is thus suitable for laundering.

Consequently, this mattress cover has the objective characteristics and properties of bed linen. The article is therefore to be classified under CN code 6302 22 90 as ‘bedlinen, other than knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibres’. This classification attracts a conventional rate of duty of 12%.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/81 was published in the Official Journal on 20 January 2018. It classifies an electrical apparatus for skin treatment and hair removal by means of laser technology, using two lasers of different wavelengths. The product’s image can be found in the Regulation. It has dimensions of approximately 104 × 38 × 64 cm and a weight of 82 kg. The treatment for which it is presented includes hair removal, cosmetic rejuvenation, treatment of facial and leg veins, treatment of uneven pigmentation (for example, sun spots), and treatment of other vascular and benign pigmented lesions.

The apparatus is designed to be used both in beauty parlours without the intervention of medical practitioners, and in authorised medical centres under the supervision of medical practitioners.

The fact that the apparatus mainly brings about aesthetic improvement, it may be operated outside of a medical environment (in a beauty parlour) and without the intervention of a practitioner, indicates that the apparatus is not intended for medical use. The apparatus can also treat one or more different pathologies, but this treatment can be also carried out outside of a medical environment and there are thus insufficient indications capable of establishing that the apparatus is intended for medical use. Classification under heading 9018 as an apparatus used in medical science is therefore excluded.

Consequently, the apparatus is to be classified under CN code 8543 70 90 as an electrical apparatus, having an individual function, not specified or included elsewhere in Chapter 85. This classification attracts a conventional rate of duty of 3.7%.

Both regulations entered into force on the twentieth day following that of their publication in the Official Journal. Binding tariff information which does not conform to either of the new regulations may continue to be invoked for a period of three months from their dates of entry into force.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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