The ECJ has recently examined the test for classifying medical apparatus in Oliver Medical (C547/13). The operative part of the judgement is as follows:
“The tariff must be interpreted as meaning that, in order to determine whether goods, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, must be classified as medical instruments or appliances, under heading 9018 of the Combined Nomenclature, or as mechano-therapy appliances, under heading 9019 thereof, or rather as electrical apparatus, having an individual function, under heading 8543 thereof, it is appropriate to take account of all the relevant factors in the case, to the extent that they relate to characteristics and objective properties inherent to those goods.
Among the relevant factors, it is necessary to assess the use for which the product is intended by the manufacturer and the methods and place of its use. Thus, the fact that the product is intended to treat one or more different pathologies and that that treatment must be carried out in an authorised medical centre and under the supervision of a practitioner are indications capable of establishing that that product is intended for medical use.
Conversely, the fact that a product mainly brings about aesthetic improvement, that it may be operated outside a medical environment, for example in a beauty parlour, and without the intervention of a practitioner are indications that that product is not intended for medical use. The dimensions, weight and technology used are not decisive factors for the classification of goods, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, under heading 9018 of the Combined Nomenclature.”