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Ithaca, N. Y., June 9, 1953.


Chairman, Ways and Means Committee,

House Office Building, Washington, D. C.

Dear CONGRESSMAN REED: I am advised that your committee is now considering H. R. 5106 to amend administrative provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930. University libraries are especially interested in Section 17 (e) of this bill, as it would greatly simplify the process of importing books and periodicals published abroad. Since books are imported free of duty for use by libraries and educational institutions, under paragraph 1631 of the Tariff Act of 1930, no change is contemplated other than to eliminate the necessity for formal entry, consular invoices, customs declarations, etc.

I hope that you may see fit to support this provision of H. R. 5106, both in the committee and on the floor of the House.

With greetings from Cornell and many thanks for your interest.

Sincerely yours,

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Washington, D. C.

Austin, Tex., June 3, 1953.

DEAR MR. THORNBERRY: Recently there have been many articles pointing out the necissity for increased trade with our foreign friends. We note that the House Ways and Means Committee had hearings last week on H. R. 5106, designed to simplify customs procedure.

In our business we have tried for many years to import, direct, merchandise from various friendly countries in an effort to bring our customers certain types of merchandise which are not available in this country. You could scarcely believe the amount of paper work and the extra attention necessary to perform the simple task of importing, say, five dozen women's sweaters. The complications involved have been so great, we have been discouraged to the point that we import a minimum amount of such merchandise.

It so happens that just recently a case has arisen to point out our problem. Enclosed are copies of our correspondence from W. R. Zanes & Co. of Dallas, relative to shipments which we received in 1950, 1951, and 1952. The correspondence is self-explanatory. W. R. Zanes & Co. are recognized customhouse brokers, and the situation which has arisen is not due to their negligence or lack of knowledge of customs regulations.

Quite naturally, all of the merchandise referred to was sold at a retail price based on the duty paid at the time of entry. In reality, therefore, this supplemental duty assessed at this late date simply represents a direct expense to us. We know very little about customs (and have found few, if any, who do), but it seems that in this particular case it was determined that the Scottish manufacturers had purchased their wool a year before the garments were made up, that the price of wool advanced prior to the manufacture of the goods, and at the time of shipment, therefore, the selling price of the sweaters would have been greater for duty purposes.

As Mr. Hancock of the W. R. Zanes & Co. explains it to us, this is one of the provisions of the present customs law. It seems to us that this is entirely unreasonable because we have to order this merchandise 8 to 12 months in advance of delivery; it would be a physical impossibility for a retailer to order the merchandise and receive immediate delivery at the so-called value for duty purposes.

We are sending this specific example of difficulty in importing and we believe it is one of the typical reasons why direct trade with our foreign friends has not increased.

We earnestly solicit your best thought and effort in bringing about the simplification of our customs law so that the importer may be protected from these delayed assessments which are impossible to foresee.

Very truly yours,


J. W. SCARBROUGH, President.

Congress Avenue and Sixth Street,

Austin, Tex.

W. R. ZANES & Co., Dallas 1, Tex., May 20, 1953.

GENTLEMEN: We refer to the several shipments of wool knit outerwear shipped by Barrie & Kersel of Hawiek, Scotland, which we have listed on the attached page. We have been furnished information that on each of these entries the value for duty purposes is greater than the invoice value, and in order to avoid customs penalties, it is suggested that you authorize us to amend these entries and pay supplemental duty per the attached invoices.

Should you not desire to have us amend the entries, the approximate penalties on each entry along with the supplemental duties are listed on the attachment. We wish to advise that if no amendments are filed, the appraisement can be appealed and taken into United States Customs Court where you will have an opportunity to present facts to overcome the appraised values.

Please advise us your desires.

Yours very truly,

W. R. ZANES & Co.

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We wish to bring to your attention the problem of commingled merchandise that has plagued this industry for many years. In view of the fact that you are at present attempting to enact a customs simplification bill, H. R. 5106, we are sure that it is your desire to correct an existing inequity.

The problems concerning textile waste are completely different than the problems concerning manufactured materials or original raw materials. Waste is a product that is involuntarily produced in manufacturing operations. Manufactures producing fabrics made from a number of different types of fibers find it impossible to segregate these fibers in the waste that they produce. Thus we have a situation of involuntary commingling. When this occurs with textile wastes, the resultant commingled mass has a lesser value than the components in an uncommingled state. However, the Treasury Department, in assessing duties on this type of merchandise, has been forced to follow the letter of the law and assess the duty based on the highest rate of any fiber present. The United States Customs realizes the inequities of the situation and would welcome a change, but have been unable to give any relief because of the existing statute.

Apparently your committee has some awareness of this problem, as is evidenced by section 508, "Commingling of goods." We refer specifically to section C on page 39 of the bill. However, part 1 (A) of this bill limits such relief to "commercially negligible quantities." If it is your intention to interpret this phrase to cover only small percentages by volume, it will give no relief to this industry. If it is your intention to interpret this in terms of increased value, such interpretation would provide us with the necessary relief. However, in order that there should be no misinterpretation of this phrase in the future, it is our opinion that parts A and B should be combined and read as follows:

"(1) that such part (A) is commercially negligible or is not capable of segregation without excessive costs."

A second way of handling this situation would be to permit commingling in any quantity, provided the value of the commingled merchandise was no greater than the value of the components.

An example, which actually occurred to one of the firms in our industry, will serve to illustrate the problem. This is in reference to a shipment containing a mixture of biscose rayon, acetate rayon, and nylon. The invoiced price of the material was approximately 10 cents per pound. The duty on viscose rayon is 5 percent ad valorem. The duty on acetate rayon is 25 cents per pound. The duty on nylon is 4 percent ad valorem. Because the duty on acetate rayon is 25 cents per pound, the United States Customs were forced to assess this rate of duty on merchandise valued at only 10 cents per pound. We think that you will agree that the inequity here is obvious.

We realize that it is impossible for you to be completely aware of the problems of every industry concerned with the importation of materials. We who are in the waste materials industry are performing a tremendous economic function to the people of this country by providing them with serviceable merchandise that can be secured at a reasonable cost. Secondly, we are removing pressures from raw material markets which, if not removed, would force their price higher.

It is hoped that the above statement will enable you to have an insight into our problem and that it will be possible for you to afford us the relief that is necessary for us to continue the importation of these materials.

Portland 16, Oreg., May 26, 1953.

Re customs simplification bill.


House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

HONORABLE CHAIRMAN: Since we are importers and exporters we are especially interested in the Customs simplification bill. We certainly are in a position to know that there is very much that can be done to simplify as well as expedite foreign trade.

We should like very much to call attention to 2 or 3 matters that have caused us considerable inconvenience as well as much unnecessary expense.

Item 1: Since we are importers of optical and scientific instruments it very often happens that we should like to import 1 or 2 instruments as samples at as cheap a rate as possible. With the present regulation it is impossible to import anything amounting to more than $100 without making a formal customs declaration, and for this it is necessary to employ a customs broker which always cost $15 to $20. We feel that this $100 limit is a regulation that was good for the time at which it was made into a law, which if I am not mistaken was about 30 years ago. Prices abroad at the present time are in many cases 3 or 4 times more than they were many years ago. Therefore we feel that it is most important that this limit be revised to about $300 thus permitting the importer to import an item to be used as a sample or trial sales without the extra expense of filing a formal customs declaration.

Item 2: The best way to explain this to you will be to illustrate our complaint by a practical experience. We are importers of a system of riflescope lenses. This system consists of 5 compound lens elements and it occasionally happens that 1 or 2 of these elements are defective. With the present rules and regulations it is impossible for us to have these lenses repaired or replaced by the foreign manufacturer without having to pay duty the second time upon their being reentered into the country. This so happens because of the fact that it is impossible to mark these lenses so that they can be identified as the same lenses that were sent back to the manufacturer for repair. It is also impossible to identify these lenses by photographs. We should like to have the law modified in such a way that it would be possible for us to send these defective lenses back to the manufacturer for replacement or repair without having to pay duty the second time on these items when they are repaired or replaced and returned to us. We are not opposed to paying duty on cost of repair; however, when the manufacturer replaces or repairs an item that was defective when it left the factory there should be no cost of repair or replacement, then there should be no duty at all.

Hopefully yours,



HOUSTON, TEX., May 27, 1953.

House Office Building:

The Honorable DAN REED,

Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Houston, repeating its steadfast support of enlarging trade rather than increasing aid, respectfully urges support and passage of House Report 5106 simplifying customs regulations. Please note our position in hearing records.

EDWIN EIKEL, President.


HOUSTON, TEX., May 25, 1953.

The Honorable DAN REED,

Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee,

Congress of the United States:

Houston World Trade Association confirming its historic support of sound customs simplification legislation urges support and passage of House Report 5106. Please include our position in hearing records.

TOM BROWN, President, Houston World Trade Association.

The Honorable DANIEL REED,


HOUSTON, TEX., May 26, 1953.

Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee,
Congress of the United States:

Please include in record of current hearings on House Report 5106 reaffirmation of historic support of sound customs simplification legislation by Houston Chamber of Commerce.


President, Houston Chamber of Commerce.


LOS ANGELES, CALIF., May 26, 1953.


Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means,

House Office Building, Washington, D. C.:

We understand hearings on customs simplification bill, H. R. 5106, have been advanced to begin Wednesday, May 27, to continue for 3 days. The association, comprising more than 250 firms engaged in foreign trade, urges that H. R. 5106, relieving importers from objectionable administrative features of present customs laws, be favorably reported by your committee with least possible amendment which might delay passage by Congress at this session. We respectfully request this communication be included in official record of hearings of your committee. Respectfully,




DETROIT, MICH., June 11, 1953.

House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: Michigan manufacturers strongly urge immediate consideration of H. R. 4034, introduced by Representative Knox with H. R. 5106. Ways and Means Subcommittee in 1952 favorably considered similar legislation. Early adjournment for political conventions prevented final favorable action. H. R. 4034 is a logical addition to H. R. 5106. H. R. 4034 vitally necessary to manufacturers along Canadian border and will contribute to the defense effort and result in savings to taxpayers.


World Trade Manager,
Detroit Board of Commerce.



House Office Building, Washington, D. C.

St. Louis 15, Mo., May 27, 1953

DEAR MR. REED: I am writing you as chairman of the foreign trade bureau of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce and on behalf of the A. C. L. Haase Company, an importer of food products in St. Louis.

We understand that the House Ways and Means Committee is this week considering bill No. H. R. 5106, which is designed to bring about simplification of customs procedure.

We are in favor of any legislation which will simplify customs procedure and assure you that we will appreciate anything you can do to secure passage of bill No. H. R. 5106.

Sincerely yours,


House Office Building, Washington D. C.


New Orleans, La., May 26, 1953.

My DEAR CONGRESSMAN: This refers to hearings scheduled to be held in Washington this week on H. R. 5106, a bill introduced by Representative Thomas A. Jenkins, for the purpose of amending specific administrative provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930, and related laws, and to simplify and streamline customs procedures.


We strongly urge prompt passage of H. R. 5106, stressing the fact that our present custom laws are antiquated and are so cumbersome that they provide almost as great a barrier to the development of imports as do our tariffs. original custom laws were designed to protect infant United States industries, were revised under false depression isolationist psychology, and are today contrary to our avowed policy of building world peace through expanded exchange of goods between nations.

The red tape, complications, and confusions required by the valuation provisions of the present customs regulations or practices are discouraging to exporters abroad and to importers at home. They are a detriment to our avowed policy of increased trade and reduced aid.

Since 1 out of every 10 industrial jobs in the United States and 1 out of every 8 farm jobs here in the United States are dependent upon the maintenance of markets abroad, the prompt passage of simplification laws is most urgent from the standpoint of our national economic well-being. Export markets cannot be maintained in the long run unless peoples of other nations are afforded increased opportunities to earn the dollars required for their purchases from the farms and factories of this Nation. These opportunities to earn dollars can best be expanded by making it easier for our Nation to import the products of other lands.

May we, therefore, respectfully urge your prompt favorable action in connection with hearings being held on H. R. 5106.

Yours very truly,

G. E. ROPER, Jr.,

Director, World Trade Development.


Seattle 11, Wash., May 26, 1953.

Re H. R. 5106, Customs Simplification Bill, 1953

Chairman, Ways and Means Committee,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: The port of Seattle, being the grantee of foreign-trade zone No. 5, is most interested in the passage of the above bill. We think it is a step that should have been taken a long time ago and certainly is in the interest of trade. Therefore, we most earnestly ask your consideration and support on the passage of this bill.

Yours very truly,

WARREN D. LAMPORT, Managing Director.

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