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which resulted in favor of the plaintiffs, and involved the question as to the exaction of duty on the gross weight of certain bales of jute, imported at the port of New York by the plaintiff in the years 1887 and 1888, without allowance on account of tare for the weight of the bands or ropes of jute which secured the bales.

The facts in the case appear to be, that the parties protested against such exaction of duty, and brought the case before the courts, under the provisions of section 2931 of the Revised Statutes, with the result as aforesaid. It appeared upon the trial that bands or ropes of the kind in suit were made of the refuse of jute; that the average weight of such bands or ropes was 6 pounds; that in buying and selling in this country bales of jute, secured by such bands or ropes, a tare of 6 pounds per bale was always allowed for such bands or ropes, and no charge was ever made or paid therefor, and that such bands or ropes when taken off of bales of jute were not salable as jute, and were used only for paper stock.

Upon submitting the matter to the United States Attorney-General, under the provisions of section 2 of the act of March 3, 1875 (18 Stat., 469), that officer advises this Department, under date of the 30th ultimo, that no appeal or writ of error will be directed by him from the decision of the circuit court.

In view of the above, and of Department circular of July 6, 1888 (Synopsis 8930), allowing tare on bands or ropes of jute, you are hereby authorized to take measures looking to a refund of the duty exacted in excess in the case of the above importations, and to apply these instructions to all similar cases pending at your port where the provisions of law as to protest, etc., have been duly complied with.

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Dutiable weight of tobacco.


SIR: The Department duly received your letter of the 9th ultimo, relative to the petition of Messrs. Leonard Friedman & Co. for such a modification of the existing practice in determining the dutiable weight of tobacco in bales withdrawn from warehouse as will dispense with the ascertainment of the actual tare of the bales so withdrawn.

The petitioners represent that the taring on such withdrawals injures. the goods, and that the tare ascertained on the wharf at the time of arrival may safely be accepted as the tare for the purposes of subsequent withdrawals.

It appears from reports addressed you by the surveyor upon the subject that, inasmuch as the outer covering alone of tobacco in bales is actually tared, and as a fixed allowance is made for the tare of the inner coverings, the damage to the tobacco is very small, while, on the other hand, by reason of great variations in the size and weight of packages of tobacco, the computation of the tare for outer coverings of bales withdrawn for consumption on the basis of the average tare ascertained at the time of entry for warehouse would admit of the selection of the bales with lightest covering for consumption, and of those with the heaviest covering for exportation, and result in loss to the revenue.

The Department, therefore, concurs with the surveyor and yourself in the opinion that the request of the petitioners can not be granted. As to the suggestion made by the surveyor that the ascertainment of the weight of tobacco at the time of landing, as required by article. 299 of the Customs Regulations of 1892, might be dispensed with, you state that such ascertainment appears to you to inure to the best interest of the revenue, and to be in harmony with section 2882, Revised Statutes, which, you take it, was not abrogated through the operation of section 50 of the act of October 1, 1890.

The question as to the necessity of ascertaining the weight of tobacco on importation appears to have been duly considered by the Department subsequently to the passage of the act of October 1, 1890, and decided in the affirmative, and no good reason is now perceived for a modification of said regulations.

Respectfully, yours,
(1727 g.)




Assistant Secretary.

Merchant appraisers' fees.


SIR: The Department is in receipt of your letter of the 29th ultimo, relative to the application of W. B. Coughtry, requesting a refund of merchant appraisers' fees exacted in certain cases of reappraisement, and covered by suits now pending at your port.

You report that the suits were instituted prior to the act of June 10 1890, and appear to involve the same issues as were determined in the case of Auffmordt v. Hedden (137 U. S., 310), namely, the legality of the exaction of merchant appraisers' fees. The Supreme Court of the United States having in Auffmordt v. Hedden held that the exaction of merchant appraisers' fees on reappraisements under the system in vogue prior to the repeal of section 2930, Revised Statutes, was illegal, you are hereby authorized to apply the said decision to all similar cases pending at your port, and to take the usual steps for refunding the fees erroneously exacted; provided, however, that the usual requirements as to protest, appeal, and institution of suit have been fully complied with.

Respectfully, yours,
(2313 g.)




Assistant Secretary.

Refund of fees exacted for weighing transit goods.


SIR Since the Department's letter of the 4th instant was mailed, the papers relating to the application of for refund of the

amount paid by him as charges accruing under section 3024, Revised Statutes, have been carefully considered in the light of further evidence presented by him, and the Department has concluded that the case does not fairly come within the meaning of the section cited in said letter. You are therefore instructed to refund the amount collected.

The evidence shows that certain 818 bales of empty jute sugar bags were loaded at Hongkong on the British ship Sierra Miranda. Said bags had been purchased in Hongkong for the account of J. D. Spreckels & Brothers Company with the distinct understanding that they were to be transshipped at San Francisco to a vessel bound to the Hawaiian Islands.

By an apparent inadvertence, the intent to transship the merchandise for exportation was not noted upon the bill of lading nor on the manifest.

An entry for warehousing and immediate export was made at your port, and an export withdrawal permit, "afloat," was issued for the entire lot, the importing vessel being constituted "constructive warehouse." The goods were hauled directly from the importing to the exporting vessel.

Article 429 of the regulations states that the arrival of merchandise at ports of the United States "in transit for contiguous foreign territory" are not regarded as "importations into the United States." Although the special provisions of law referred to in the article cited relate only to "foreign contiguous territory," yet merchandise coming to the United States for immediate transshipment to any other foreign territory, and which simply passes from vessel to vessel for this purpose, presents a condition precisely analogous to the merchandise above described. The weighing of such merchandise is not contemplated under the law. The interest of the Treasury in such transactions extends solely to the actual and immediate exportation of the goods. The form of entry adopted for convenience in such proceedings is that of **warehouse and immediate exportation," and the vessel is nominally constituted a "warehouse," but is not placed under warehouse bonds.

In the present instance, it is true, the prescribed evidence of original intention is lacking, but there is nothing in the law which withholds the Department from accepting any other special evidence which may be presented in support of the claim. The circumstances surrounding this transaction afford satisfactory and sufficient proof of the fact that the goods were actually purchased for use in the Hawaiian Islands and intended for transshipment for that country. Such transshipment was promptly and in good faith performed. The merchandise never having been placed in bonded warehouse, was never "withdrawn from bonded warehouse," as specified in section 3024, Revised Statutes.

You will, therefore, in accordance with this view, forward to the Department certified statements for refund of the amount paid as charges for weighing in this case.

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SIR Referring to your letter of the 3d instant, in which you ask to be further advised in regard to the application of Department's Circular No. 207, of 1892, the Department now instructs you that the first paragraph of said circular in terms refers, and is intended to refer, to

invoices covering goods consigned for account of a foreign owner. When such invoices do not contain the actual price of the goods without the inclusion of other charges, they will be rejected, but may be used as pro forma on the filing of bond to produce corrected invoice. The Department holds that, since there has been no actual sale of such goods, there is no excuse for a failure on the part of the consignor to fix a per se value to the same.

The second and third paragraphs declare the purpose of the Department in regard to all other certified invoices.

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Approving new bonds as common carrier of the Fitchburg Railroad Com



SIR: The Department has received your letter of the 13th ultimo, transmitting the bonds in duplicate of the Fitchburg Railroad Company as a common carrier for the transportation of appraised and unappraised merchandise in bond, said bonds being in lieu of those of the company named approved April 5, 1892.

The bonds are hereby approved and one copy of each herewith inclosed, to be placed upon the files of your office. Under its bonds the company named is authorized to transport appraised merchandise between any places in the United States which have been or may be hereafter designated by law as ports of entry or delivery in suitable cars or vessels owned or controlled by said company and running over such connecting lines of railroad and water routes as may be necessary to reach the port or ports of destination named in the entry and manifest in each particular case.

The company is also authorized to transport unappraised merchandise in bond from your port to the ports of Albany, N. Y.; Atlanta, Ga.; Buffalo, N. Y.; Burlington, Vt.; Chicago, Ill.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Dubuque, Iowa; Duluth, Minn.; Evansville, Ind.; Galveston, Tex.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Grand Haven, Mich.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Kansas City, Mo.; Lincoln, Nebr.; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wis.;

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