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(3) Returning residents may bring in free of duty and internal-revenue tax not in excess of $200 (including not more than 1 wine-gallon of wines, etc., and not more than 100 cigars) of articles acquired by them as an incident of their travel. Such exemption is available to persons who have remained beyond the territorial limits of the United States for a period of not less than 48 hours, in cases involving articles acquired in a country other than a contiguous country which maintains a free zone or free port. In the case of articles acquired in a contiguous country which maintains a free zone or port, the Secretary of the Treasury may by regulations extend the exemptions to individuals who have remained beyond the limits of the United States for not less than 24 hours. However, this exemption may not be used oftener than once every 30 days.
(4) In addition to the exemption allowed in (3) above, a returning resident who has remained abroad not less than 12 days may bring in free of duty and internal-revenue tax not in excess of $300 of articles (including distilled spirits and cigars) acquired as an incident of travel; provided that this exemption shall apply only to residents who have not taken advantage of it within the 6-month period immediately preceding their return to the United States. The sale within 3 years of any article brought in under this exemption shall subject the returning resident to double duty.
Section 8 of the bill would realine and restate for purposes of clarification the provisions of paragraph 1798. The section would further make certain substantive changes in paragraph 1798. They are as follows:
(1) Automobiles, trailers, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles, baby carriages, boats, horse-drawn conveyances, horses, and similar instruments of transportation, and the usual equipment accompanying the foregoing, imported in connection with the arrival of a nonresident and to be used in the United States only for the transportation of such person, his family and guests, and such incidental carriage of articles as may be appropriate to his personal use of the conveyance, would be admitted free of duty. At the present time these items may be admitted free of duty under bond under the provisions of section 308 (5) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1308 (5)). If such article is sold within 1 year after the date of importation, without prior payment of the duty, such article, or its value (to be recovered from the importer) would be subject to forfeiture, unless the sale is pursuant to a judicial order or in liquidation of the estate of a decedent. (2) The exchange free of duty of an article entered free of duty by a returning resident for a like article of comparable value would be permitted provided that the original article is exported within 60 days after its importation. (3) A nonresident would be permitted to take with him through the United States without the payment of duty articles not in excess of $200 in value. At the present time, travelers in transit must arrange for the bonded transportation of articles such as gifts which they are carrying to friends and relatives in foreign countries.
(4) The sale within 3 years after the date of arrival of the returning resident of an article accorded the $300 exemption would subject the article, or its value (to be recovered from the importer), to forfeiture. The same provision would be made applicable to sales of jewelry or similar articles having a value of $300 or more which have been accorded free entry on behalf of a nonresident.
Section 9. Free entry for noncommercial exhibitions
Paragraph 1809 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1201, par. 1809) allows free entry under bond of works of art, photographs, works in terra cotta, porcelain, and other enumerated articles imported for permanent noncommercial exhibition. Under the provisions of paragraph 1809 the duration of the bond is unlimited. Section 9 of the bill would amend paragraph 1809 to limit the duration of the bond to 5 years.
Section 10. Temporary free entry for samples and other articles under bond
Section 308 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1308), permits the temporary free entry of certain enumerated articles under bond for reexportation within 6 months, which the Secretary of the Treasury may extend for another 6 months. Section 10 (a) of the bill would amend section 308 to provide for an original bond for 1 year and to authorize further extension to a total of 3 years.
Section 308 (4) of the Tariff Act provides for the temporary free entry under bond of articles intended for experimental purposes. Subsection (b) of the bill would amend section 308 (4) to include articles intended for testing or review purposes, including blueprints, plans and specifications, and other similar articles. Section 308 (5) provides for the temporary free importation under bond of automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, airships, balloons, boats, racing shells, and similar vehicles and horses and the usual equipment of the foregoing, when brought temporarily into the United States by nonresidents (1) for the purpose of competing in races or other specific contests; or (2) for the transportation of such nonresidents, their families and guests. Section 10 (c) would amend section 308 (5) to delete therefrom such enumerated articles as are brought in by nonresidents for transportation purposes, since under section 8 of the bill these articles would be included within the scope of paragraph 1798.
Section 308 (7) of the Tariff Act permits the temporary free entry under bond of containers for compressed gases. Section 10 (d) would amend section 308 (7) to extend its provisions to all containers or other articles in use for covering or holding merchandise during transportation and suitable for reuse for that purpose. Section 10 (e) would further amend section 308 to include within its terms (1) animals and poultry brought into the United States for the purpose of breeding, exhibition, or competition for prizes; (2) theatrical scenery and apparel brought in by proprietors or managers of theatrical exhibitions for temporary use; and (3) works of art, drawings, engravings, philosophical and scientific apparatus brought in by professional artists, etc., arriving from abroad for use by them for exhibition and in illustration, promotion, and encouragement of art, science, or industry in the United States. Under existing law, the items listed in (1) above may be brought in temporarily under bond for reexportation within 6 months (par. 1607), and the items in (2) and (3) may be brought in for 6 months with an extension of 6 months in the discretion of the Secretary (pars. 1747 and 1808).
Section 11. Supplies and equipment for vessels and aircraft
Subsections (a) and (b) of section 309 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, secs. 1309 (a), (b)) provide that articles of foreign or domestic manufacture or production may be withdrawn from bonded warehouses, bonded manufacturing warehouses or continuous customs custody elsewhere free of duty and internal revenue tax, or from any internal revenue bonded warehouse free of internal revenue tax for supplies of vessels of war, in ports of the United States, of any nation which may grant reciprocal privileges to United States vessels of war, or for supply of fishing or whaling vessels or vessels engaged in foreign trade or trade between the Atlantic and Pacific ports of the United States, or between the United States and any of its possessions, or for supplies of aircraft registered in the United States and actually engaged in foreign trade or trade between the United States and any of its possessions, or for supplies, maintenance or repair of aircraft registered in any foreign country and actually engaged in foreign trade, or trade between the United States and any of its possessions. Subsection (b) of section 309 provides that such articles shall be considered to be exported within the meaning of the drawback provisions of the Tariff Act. tion 11 of the bill would amend subsections (a) and (b) of section 309 to extend the exemption from payment of duty and internal revenue tax to supplies withdrawn from a foreign trade zone and to enlarge the classes of vessels and aircraft covered to include all vessels and aircraft owned or operated by the United States.
Section 317 (b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1317 (b)), provides that the shipment or delivery of any merchandise for use as supplies upon or in the maintenance or repair of aircraft registered in a foreign country and actually engaged in foreign trade or trade between the United States and any of its possessions shall be deemed an exportation within the meaning of the customs and internal revenue laws applicable to the exportation of such merchandise without the payment of duty or internal revenue tax. Section 11 (b) would amend section 317 (b) to extend to foreign ships this exemption for equipment and repair parts.
Section 12. Drawback
Section 313 (b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1313 (b)), provides a period of 1 year during which substitution for drawback purposes may be made. Section 13 (a) of the bill would extend this period from 1 year to 3 years.
Section 313 (c) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1313 (c)) provides for the reexportation with drawback privileges of merchandise not conforming to sample or specification when such merchandise is returned within 30 days after release from customs custody. Section 12 (b) of the bill would amend this section to extend the time during which the merchandise must be returned to customs custody from 30 days to 90 days and would permit further extension of time in the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury.
Section 313 (h) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1313 (h)), provides that an article to gain the benefits of drawback must be exported within 3 years after the date of importation of the merchandise on which the claim for drawback is based. Section 12 (c) of the bill would amend section 313 (h) to extend the period during which exportation must be made from 3 to 5 years.
Section 313 (i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1313 (i)), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations covering certain enumerated matters relative to drawback.
12 (c) would amend this section to grant authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to make any necessary regulations for the administration of the drawback provisions.
Section 13. Administrative exemptions
Section 321 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1321), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to disregard a difference of less than $1 between the total duties or taxes deposited or assessed with respect to any entry of merchandise and the total amount of duties or taxes accrued thereon. It further authorizes him to admit free of duty when the expense and inconvenience of collecting the duty or tax would be disproportionate to the amount of such duty but it limits the amount imported by one person on one day and exempted from the payment of duty under this section to not in excess of $5 in value in the case of articles accompanying and for the personal and household use of, persons arriving in the United States, or $1 in value in any other case. Section 13 would amend section 321 to (1) increase from $1 to $3 the difference between deposited or assessed duties and actual duties; (2) permit free entry of bona fide gifts from persons outside the United States to persons inside the United States up to $10; (3) allow persons to bring with them articles up to $10 in value for their personal use; and (4) allow free entry up to $3 in other cases. However, the Secretary would be enabled to reduce these amounts if he finds it necessary to protect the revenue.
Section 14. International traffic and rescue work
Section 14 of the bill would add a new section to the Tariff Act to grant explicitly to international traffic the customary and usual exceptions from customs requirements now recognized implicitly by the first parenthetical matter in section 308 (5) of the Tariff Act, as amended. It would also permit the free entry of search, rescue, and salvage aircraft and the temporary admission of equipment and supplies for fire fighting and disaster relief.
Section 15. Value
The present section 402 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1402) tells how appraisers shall determine the value of imported merchandise for the purpose of assessing duties. Briefly, it provides that the "foreign value" or the "export value" shall be used, whichever is the higher, but that if neither of these can be ascertained, then the "United States value," and if that also is unascertainable, then the "cost of production." In a few special cases, the rate of duty is to be based upon the "American selling price." Decisions of the appraiser are reviewable in the Customs Court. The statute then goes on to define the "foreign value" as the market value or price at the time of exportation to the United States "at which such or similar merchandise is freely offered for sale for home consumption to all purchasers *** in the usual wholesale quantities and in the ordinary course of trade ***" Other costs, charges, and expenses incident to placing the merchandise ready for shipment are also to be added. The "export value" is the price at which the merchandise is freely offered for sale to all purchasers in the usual wholesale quantities and in the ordinary course of trade for exportation to the United States, with the same charges added. The "United States value" is the freely offered price in the United States which is available to all purchasers, in the usual wholesale quantities and in the ordinary course of trade, with allowance for duty and other expenses, a commission not exceeding 6 percent, if any has been paid, and allowance for profit not to exceed 8 percent.
The "cost of production" is defined as the sum of four items: (1) Cost of materials and fabrication or manipulation; (2) the usual general expenses not less than 10 percent; (3) the cost of containers and coverings and other incidental costs and charges; and (4) additions for general expenses and profit not less than 8 percent each. The "American selling price" of an article manufactued or produced in the United States is the price at which the article is freely offered for sale for domestic consumption to all purchasers.
The amendments proposed by section 15 of the bill would effect the following changes in the law as above stated:
(1) Eliminate the use of "foreign value" and make the "export value" the preferred method of valuation if it can be ascertained.
(2) If neither "export value" nor "United States value" can be ascertained, appraisement is to be made on "comparative value" before resort is had to "cost of production," which term is changed by this section to "constructed value," a more descriptive term.
(3) In determining "United States value," the actual commissions, profits, and other deductions are to be used, not arbitrarily limited amounts.
(4) In determining "United States value" of new lines in which there is no previously established trade, the earliest actual sales of the merchandise undergoing appraisement or similar merchandise may be considered if made before the expiration of 90 days after importation.
(5) A definition for "comparative value" is furnished which states that it is to be the equivalent of "export value" ascertained or estimated from sales or offers of other merchandise which is comparable in construction and use with the merchandise undergoing appraisement. In the case of "constructed value" the actual addition for general expenses, profit, etc., are to be used, not prescribed percentages which may exceed the actual figures.
(6) The appraiser may use actual sales instead of offers in determining "export value," "United States value," or "comparative value."
(7) A definition of "freely sold or offered for sale" is provided for the first time. It will permit determination of an "export value, " "United States value," or "comparative value" on the basis of sales or offers which are unrestricted except for restrictions which are imposed or required by law, which limit the resale price or territory, or which are trivial with respect to the value of the merchandise to the purchaser. It will also permit the use of sales to exclusive agents and other restricted sales where such limitations do not affect the price. The present statute has been interpreted to make a "foreign value," "export value," or "United States value" unusable when the only offers made are subject to restrictions of the kinds stated. Furthermore, under the present law the price, in order to qualify, must be available to all purchasers.
(8) The proposed bill goes on to provide definitions for the words "ordinary course of trade," "purchasers at wholesale," and "such or similar merchandise."
(9) It also defines "usual wholesale quantities" in such a manner as to mean the quantities in which the greatest aggregate quantity of the merchandise is sold, whereas under the present law the usual wholesale quantity is the quantity in which the largest number of individual transactions occur. (10) Certain references to the customs appraisers, and to appeals to reappraisement in the Customs Court, are eliminated for conciseness. change in the functions of appraisers or court is effected, since these are provided for elsewhere in the Tariff Act.
Section 16. Signing and delivery of manifests
Section 431 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1431) requires that the master of a vessel sign the ship's manifest and other documents. At the present time, the pilot of aircraft is required to execute these documents in the absence of specific legislation applicable to aircraft. The proposed section 16 of the bill would amend section 431 to provide that the authorized agent of an air carrier may be responsible for signing and delivering the plane's manifest, instead of the pilot.
Section 17. Certified invoices and entry of merchandise
Section 484 (a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1484 (a)) provides that entry of merchandise must be made within 48 hours, exclusive of Sundays and holidays, after the arrival of the importing vessel or vehicle, unless a longer period is authorized. Section 17 (b) would amend section 484 (a) to extend this period to 5 days.
Section 484 (b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1484 (b)) provides that all merchandise entered shall be accompanied by an invoice certified by a United States consulate except in certain enumerated situations and further provides that the Secretary of the Treasury may grant further exceptions. Section 17 (c) would amend section 484 (b) to grant the Secretary discretion to require certified invoices with respect to such merchandise as he deems advisable and to establish terms under which merchandise may be imported without a certified invoice. Section 17 (a) of the bill would amend section 482 (a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1482 (a)) to correspond to the amendment proposed by section 17 (c).
Section 498 (a) (1) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1498 (a) (1)) authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to permit informal entries up to $100 in value. Section 17 (d) of the bill would amend section 498 (a) (1) to increase the figure to $250.
Section 17 (e) of the bill would add a new paragraph to section 498 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to permit informal entry of merchandise covered by paragraph 1631 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (that is, books, maps, and certain other articles. imported by religious, educational, and like institutions) without regard to the ceiling in shipments of any value.
The act of June 8, 1896 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, secs. 472–475), provides for special delivery and appraisement of imported articles of limited value and weight. Section 17 (f) of the bill would repeal this act, which has not been used for over 50 years.
Section 18. Verification of documents
Section 18 of the bill would add new material to section 486 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1486) to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to permit by regulation all documents required in the administration of laws by the customs service to be verified by a written declaration in lieu of the oath now required by law.
Section 19. Amendment of entries
Section 487 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1487) permits importers to amend their entries to increase or decrease the entered value at any time before the appraisement of the merchandise. Section 19 (a) of the bill would repeal the provision for amendment of entry.
Section 489 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1489), in its first 2 paragraphs, provides for an undervaluation duty of 1 percent of the final appraised value of the merchandise for each 1 percent that such final value exceeds the value as "entered" by the importer. It further provides that if the appraised value exceeds the entered value by more than 100 percent, the entry will be presumptively fraudulent, and the merchandise is to be subject to seizure and forfeiture. Section 19 (b) of the bill would repeal these provisions of section 489.
Section 501 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1501), provides that written notice of appraisement shall be furnished to the consignee, his agent, or his attorney, if (1) the appraised value is higher than the entered value, or (2) a change in the classification of the merchandise results from the appraiser's determination of value. Section 19 (c) of the bill would amend section 501 to provide that written notice shall also be given when the consignee, his agent, or attorney requests such notice in writing before appraisement, setting forth a substantial reason for requesting the notice.
The amendment to section 503 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1503) proposed by section 19 (d) is made necessary by the amendments. to section 489 and section 501 of the Tariff Act, as is the amendment of section 562 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1562), proposed by section 19 (f) of the bill.
Section 20. Commingled merchandise
Section 508 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1946 edition, title 19, sec. 1508) provides that where dutiable merchandise and merchandise which is free of duty or merchandise subject to different rates of duty are so packed together or mingled that the quantity of each class cannot be determined, the whole of such merchandise shall be subject to the highest rate of duty applicable to any part thereof, unless the importer or consignee shall segregate such merchandise at his own risk and expense under customs supervision within 10 days after entry thereof.
The amendment to section 508 proposed by section 20 of the bill, would continue the application of the highest rate of duty on unsegregated commingled