In 990609 MMDigest Rick Cooley asks about U.S. Custom Laws regarding
"antique music boxes." Based on my reading of the U.S. Customs Laws
and Regulations musical boxes and mechanical musical instruments must
still be of an age exceeding one hundred years to qualify for antique
designation "duty free" entry into the U.S. They most likely would be
subject to duty unless they are imported under Programs Eligible for
Special Tariff Treatment which I do not believe would be applicable
for instruments imported from Europe. It may be possible to import
them "duty free" under Heading/Subheading 9705.00.00, Collections and
collectors' pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical,
historical, archeological, paleontological, ethnographic or numismatic
interest, if a convincing case were to be made.
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (1999 Edition) can
be found at:
under About U.S. Customs and then U.S. Customs Laws & Regulations.
Relevant Headings include:
9201 Pianos, including player pianos
9208 Music boxes, fairground organs, mechanical street organs,
mechanical singing birds
9209 Parts (for example, mechanisms for music boxes) and
accessories (for example, cards, discs and rolls for
Also Chapter 97 covers Works of Art, Collectors' Pieces and Antiques.