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 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”


(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 ?