Gandalf Hobbit Churchwarden Tobacco Smoking Pipe

We have listed Gandalf Hobbit Churchwarden Pipe on ebay at $ 12 per piece, with International Shipping Options, $ 12 for the first, with $ 8 for every additional.

It’s a handcrafted bowl pipe, 10 inches long, handcrafted in hardwood.

wooden 10 inch bowl pipe

Smoking pipes of various types have been in u! se since time immemorial. There is a description by Herodotus of Scythians inhaling the fumes of burning leaves in 500 B.C.
Native Americans are known to have smoked tobacco in ceremonial pipes. The tobacco plant is said to be native to South America, which spread into North America long before Europeans arrived. Tobacco was introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century and spread around the world rapidly.

On ebay USA (ebay.com)

On ebay Canada (ebay.ca)

Smoking Pipes Ebay-Cross Border Shipments

My question to the forum concerns cross border shipments of Tobacco Smoking Pipes.

I wonder, if somebody can offer help/guidance with regards to labeling and packing of Tobacco Smoking Pipes, to facilitate a smooth pass through US Customs.

I had written to US Customs, seeking a clarification- I have received a perfunctory response, which, at best, is a mere formality, without any specific solution.

As per my information

The relevant statute, 21 U.S.C. Section 863 provides

(a) In general It is unlawful for any person—
(1) to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
(2) to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug! paraphernalia; or
(3) to import or export drug paraphernalia.

Whereas, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(d) and 21 U.S.C. Section 863(e) try to define the term “drug paraphernalia”

THERE ARE EXEMPTIONS TO THE RULE VIDE 21 U.S.C. Section 863(f):

(1) any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute such items; or

(2) any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory. (Emphasis added).

Since these items are being sold on amazon and ebay, does the above exemption apply – and if our labels indicate its intended/likely use to be “Smoking Tobacco” are we in the ambit of the law to dispatch these via courier to fulfill our ebay/amazon orders ?

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Tobacco Smoking Pipes-Cross Border Trading

As an entrepreneur, associated with handicraft industry (wood, horn, metal and stone), one of our product lines that we wish to develop FOR OUR EBAY/AMAZON ONLINE MARKET PLACES is SMOKING PIPES.

I see whole lot of them being offered, sold/traded on ebay and amazon- yet I also hear about CROSS BORDER SHIPMENTS being impounded by US Customs.

I wonder, if somebody can offer help/guidance with regards to labeling and packing of Tobacco Smoking Pipes, to facilitate a smooth pass through US Customs.

I had written to US Customs, seeking a clarification- I have received a perfunctory response, which, at best, is a mere formality.

The relevant statute, 21 U.S.C. Section 863 provides

(a) In general It is unlawful for any pers! on—
(1) to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
(2) to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or
(3) to import or export drug paraphernalia.

Whereas, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(d) and 21 U.S.C. Section 863(e) try to define the term “drug paraphernalia”

THERE ARE EXEMPTIONS TO THE RULE VIDE 21 U.S.C. Section 863(f):

(1) any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute such items; or

(2) any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail! > or by any other means, and traditionally intended for us! e with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory. (Emphasis added).

Since these items are being sold on amazon and ebay, does the above exemption apply – and if our labels indicate its intended/likely use to be “Smoking Tobacco” are we in the ambit of the law to dispatch these via courier to fulfill our ebay/amazon orders ?

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Exporting Wooden Handcrafted Smoking Pipes to USA

Handcrafted Smoking Pipes, Hookahs, Bongs and such related goods are a product of the handicrafts industry clustered in Uttar Pradesh and adjoining areas. It caters to niche markets in Americas, Middle East, Europe etc.

However, due to its potential use as an accessory or an equipment for consumption of drugs, United States Customs scrutinizes, reviews and examines shipments of these products in a very comprehensive way.

Due to my affiliation with the handicraft industry, I took up the initiative of browsing the relevant laws, which I am reproducing below, with comments.

The HS classification is as follows.  

96140000 (SMOKING PIPES, INCLUDING PIPE BOWLS, CIGAR OR CIGARETTE HOLDERS AND PARTS THEREOF),

44201000 (Wooden Handicrafts)

68029900 (Hand! icrafts of Stone)

Ref-

The relevant statute, 21 U.S.C. Section 863 provides,
(a) In general It is unlawful for any person—
(1) to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
(2) to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or
(3) to import or export drug paraphernalia.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 863(d), the term “drug paraphernalia” is defined as:

Any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, p! reparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introdu! cing into the human body a controlled substance, possession of which is unlawful under this subchapter. It includes items primarily intended or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, PCP, methamphetamine, or amphetamines into the human body, such as—
(1) metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
(2) water pipes;
(3) carburetion tubes and devices;
(4) smoking and carburetion masks;
(5) roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marihuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
(6) miniature spoons with level capacities of one-tenth cubic centimeter or less;
(7) chamber pipes;
(8) carburetor pipes;
(9) electric pipes;
(10) air-driven pipes;
(11) chillums;
(12) bongs;
(13) ice pipes or chillers;
(14) wired cigarette papers; or
(15) cocaine freebase kits. (Emphasis added).

Further, to determine whether an item is considered drug paraphernalia, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(e) provides that:

[I]n addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following may be considered:
(1) instructions, oral or written, provided with the item concerning its use;
(2) descriptive materials accompanying the item which explain or depict its use;
(3) national and local advertising concerning its use;
(4) the manner in which the item is displayed for sale;
(5) whether the owner, or anyone in control of the item, is a legitimate supplier of like or related ! items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or deal! er of tob! acco products;
(6) direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the item(s) to the total sales of the business enterprise;
(7) the existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item in the community; and
(8) expert testimony concerning its use.

Lastly, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(f) lists exemptions:

(1) any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute such items; or

(2) any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory. (Emphasis added).

The U.S. Supreme Court examined the meaning of “drug paraphernalia” pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 863 in the matter of Posters ‘N’ Things v. United States, 511 U.S. 513 (1994), and considered the phrases (1) “primarily intended for use” and (2) “designed for use” in such case.
The Court concluded that “primarily intended for use” is to be understood objectively and refers generally to an item’s likely use. Posters ‘N’ Things, 511 U.S. 513, 521 (1994). Moreover, the Court noted that this “is a relatively particularized definition, reaching beyond the category of items that are likely to be used with drugs by virtue of their objective features.” Id. at 521 n.11.
The court stated that “items ‘primarily inten! ded’ for use with drugs constitute drug par! aphernali! a, indicating that it is the likely use of customers generally, not any particular customer, that can render a multiple-use item drug paraphernalia.” Id. at 521 n.11. Therefore, items having possible multiple uses may constitute drug paraphernalia for purposes of 21 U.S.C. Section 863 if the likely use by customers of the seller of the items is for use with illegal drugs.

Customs will make the determination on a case-by-case basis about whether your product falls within the context of drug paraphernalia.  Accordingly, one should take into account the relevant factors that CBP considers when publishing its rulings on such products.  Further, one should speak with an attorney who focuses on Customs law to ensure that the best arguments are presented to CBP for clearance of their smoke shop products into the U! nited States.

Further References

Tobacco Control Act.

In accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 5702(c), "tobacco products" means cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco), pipe tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco. For pipe/loose tobacco products, contact the Ports of Entry.

§41.75 Exemptions.
The provisions of this subpart requiring that tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes be put up in packages and that proper notice be placed on such packages shall not apply to imported tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes authorized to be released from customs custody, without payment of internal revenue tax, pursuant to §41.50, and shall not apply to tobacco products imported in passengers’ baggage, or by mail where the value does not exceed $250, where such products are solely for the personal consumption of the importer or for disposition as his bona fide gift.

(72 Stat. 1422; 26 U.S.C. 5723)
[T.D. 6871, 31 FR 41, Jan. 4, 1966. Redesignated at 40 FR 16835, Apr. 15, 1975, as amended by T.D. ATF-232, 51 FR 28085, Aug. 5, 1986; T.D. ATF-243, 51 FR 43194, Dec. 1, 1986. Redesignated and amended by T.D. TTB-16, 69 FR 52424, 52425, Aug. 26, 2004]

Dendrocalamus Membranaceous Bamboo

Dendrocalamus Bamboo is of special interest to me, as it is one of the bamboo species which is almost fully solid. It offers to be a good substitute for wood, which is a raw material for us, in the handicraft industry.

The few plants, that we have here, were established using seed from ICFRE.

The culms of this particular genotype are fully solid till about 18 feet. Subsequently, the inter-nodal cavity begins to appear. The diameter of the cavity however, continues to be small till the next 10 to 15 feet. Above 25 feet, the diameter of the cavity (hole)  begins to increase. The wall thickness, overall, is very good. The bamboo has been seen to grow to about 35 to 40 feet. The outer diameter at breast height is about 4 to 6 inches.

I have been trying, in vain, to develop a vegetative nursery to establish a plantation! . I have tried using auxins ( NAA and IBA) at various strengths ( 1000 to 5000 ppm) but failed to root the cuttings. I wonder, if any specialist on the Agro-Forestry or Bamboo forum could offer guidance and help.

Hamiltonii and Nutaans Bamboo as a Raw Material for Craft

As a farmer turned entrepreneur craftsman, my journey of diversification, from conventional agriculture to bamboo agro-forestry has been an interesting saga.

Wood is an important raw material for us. Unfortunately, this is a non-renewable resource, which has been over exploited over the last so many years. We, as mankind, have wiped out our forest cover at an alarming rate (and still doing so). Our  indifference and greed has thus resulted in precipitating irreversible ecological changes. For instance, global warming is a direct result of pollution and deforestation, which, if not controlled, could wipe out 20% of Bangladesh, due to the rising sea level. One can cite numerous examples.

Policy makers, have now, grudgingly accorded high priority to ecological rehabilitation. Afforestation has thus become a global focus. CITES, is a result of one such global endeavor ! to save our forests.

Recently, CITES has listed Shisham and indian Red Wood in its watch list- Wooden Handicraft Industry has had a direct hit.

For some reason, I had a premonition, couple of years ago, and I had commenced collecting information on Bamboo, including elite planting materials etc. I have been in touch with many universities and my travels took me to all quarters of the country, wherever bamboo was said to be growing.

We short-listed Bambusa Balcooa, Bambusa Nutaans, Dendrocalamus Hamiltonii, Dendrocalamus Strictus and Dendrocalamus Membranaceous.

We made trial plots- but unfortunately, the rooting in Membranaceous and Balcooa was poor– we lost all plants.

We managed saving a few plants of Hamiltonii, Nutaans and Strictus.

The bot! tle-neck with bamboo, to be exploited as a wood, is its inter-nodal cavity and fiber orientation. Notwithstanding, its an excellent resource since it grows fast, and, by way of systematic agro-forestry, also renewable.

I have seen some variants of Dendrocalamus Strictus and Membranaceous almost fully solid, a quality, that perhaps, can make them a good substitute to wood.

Nutaans and Balcooa are thick walled– excellent for construction works etc. Both have straight growing habits, thus have a ready market.

In a recent experiment, I cut full length culms 2 year old of Nutaans and Hamiltonii- further divided them into 2 foot segments, to compare the wall thickness at similar heights. I noticed that Hamiltonii, though thicker at the base, with almost same wall thickness as Nutaans, lost out at around 18 feet, where its walls started to become thinner than Nutaans. Further, Nutaans is open ! culming- and easier to harvest- especially, if you are harvesting in a horse-shoe pattern (selective harvest)

20170331_11284420170331_112956 

In light of above, I feel Nutaans is a better choice for farmers, than Hamiltonii.

I am still in the process of establishing Balcooa and Membranaceous- rooting has been a problem with Membranaceous—- Any suggestions or advice, as to how to get it to root ???