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CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATIVE BILL
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H. R. 6738
MAY 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and JUNE 1, 1937
The committee met at 10:30 a. m., Hon. Robert L. Doughton (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.
The meeting this morning is for the purpose of considering H. R. 6738, introduced by me at the request of the Treasury Department. I think it well to insert a copy of the bill in the hearings. Without objection, the bill will be inserted in the record at this point. (The bill, H. R. 6738, is as follows:)
[H. R. 6738, 75th Cong., 1st sess.]
A BILL To amend certain administrative provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Customs Administrative Act of 1937."
SEC. 2. Sections 1, 201, 401 (k), and 557 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1934 edition. title 19, secs. 1001, 1201, 1401 (k), and 1557) and section 401 (a) of the An uggling Act (U. S. C., 1934 edition, Supp. II, title 19, sec. 1709 (a) are hereby amended by inserting "Wake Island, Midway Islands," before the words "and the island of Guam" wherever such words appear in each such section. SEC. 3. Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. Č., 1934 edition, title 19, sec. 1304) is hereby amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 304. MARKING OF IMPORTED ARTICLES AND CONTAINERS
“(a) MARKING of Articles.-Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, every article of foreign origin (or its container, as provided in subsection (b) hereof) imported into the United States shall be marked as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Such regulations may also
"(1) Prescribe the method of marking, whether by printing, stenciling, stamping, branding, labeling, or by any other method whatsoever, and the place on the article (or container) where the mark shall appear;
"(2) Require the addition of any other words or symbols which may be appropriate to prevent deception or mistake as to the origin of the article or as to the origin of any other article with which such imported article is usually combined subsequent to importation but before delivery to an ultimate purchaser; and
"(3) Authorize the exception of any article from the requirements of marking if—
"(A) Such article is incapable of being marked;
(B) Such article cannot be marked prior to shipment to the United States without injury;
"(C) Such article cannot be marked prior to shipment to the United States, except at an expense economically prohibitive of its importation;
"(D) The marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article;
"(E) Such article is a crude substance;
"(F) Such article is imported for use by the importer and not intended for sale in its imported or any other form;
"(G) Such article is to be processed in the United States by the importer or for his account otherwise than for the purpose of concealing the origin of such article and in such manner that any mark contemplated by this section would necessarily be obliterated, destroyed, or permanently concealed;
"(H) An ultimate purchaser, by reason of the character of such article or by reason of the circumstances of its importation, must necessarily know the country of origin of such article even though it is not marked to indicate its origin;
"(I) Such article was produced more than twenty years prior to its importation into the United States; or
"(J) Such article is of a class or kind with respect to which the Secretary of the Treasury has given notice by publication in the weekly Treasury Decisions within two years after July 1, 1937, that articles of such class or kind were imported in substantial quantities during the five-year period immediately preceding January 1, 1937, and were not required during such period to be marked to indicate their origin.
"(b) MARKING OF CONTAINERS.-Whenever an article is excepted under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section from the requirements of marking, the immediate container, if any, of such article, or such other container or containers of such article as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be marked in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of such article, subject to all applicable provisions of this section, including subdivision (3) of subsection (a).
"(c) ADDITIONAL DUTIES FOR FAILURE TO MARK.-If at the time of importation any article or its container is not marked in accordance with the requirements of this section, and if such article is not exported or destroyed or the article or its container marked after importation in accordance with the requirements of this 'section (such exportation, destruction, or marking to be accomplished under customs supervision prior to the liquidation of the entry covering the article, and to be allowed whether or not the article has remained in continuous customs custody), there shall be levied, collected, and paid upon such article a duty of 10 per centum ad valorem, which shall be deemed to have accrued at the time of importation, shall not be construed to be penal, and shall not be remitted wholly or in part nor shall payment thereof be avoidable for any cause. Such duty shall be levied, collected, and paid in addition to any other duty imposed by law and whether or not the article is exempt from the payment of ordnary customs duties. The compensation and expenses of customs officers and employees assigned to supervise the exportation, destruction, or marking to exempt articles from the application of the duty provided for in this subsection shall be reimbursed to the Government by the importer.
"(d) DELIVERY WITHHELD UNTIL MARKED.-No imported article held in customs custody for inspection, examination, or appraisement shall be delivered until such article and every other article of the importation (or their containers), whether or not released from customs custody, shall have been marked in accordance with the requirements of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed as excepting any article (or its container) from the particular requirements of marking provided for in any other provision of law.
"(e) PENALTIES.-If any person shall, with intent to conceal the information given thereby or contained therein, deface, destroy, remove, alter, cover, obscure, or obliterate any mark required under the provisions of this Act, he shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."
SEC. 4. Subdivisions (1), (5), and (6) of section 308 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1934 edition, title 19, sec. 1308) are hereby amended to read as follows:
"(1) Articles to be repaired, altered, or otherwise changed in condition by processes which do not result in articles manufactured or produced in the United States;
"(5) Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, airships, balloons, boats, racing shells, and similar vehicles and craft, teams and saddle horses, and the usual equipment of the foregoing; all the foregoing which are brought
temporarily into the United States by nonresidents for the purpose of taking part in races or other specific contests, or for the transportation of such nonresidents, their families and guests, and such incidental carriage of articles as may be necessary and appropriate to the purposes of the journey, but not to be used for the transportation of persons or articles for hire nor in any case primarily for the carriage of articles (but nothing in this Act shall be construed as altering the customary exceptions of vehicles and other instruments of international traffic from the application of the customs laws); and in the case of vehicles and craft entered under this subdivision col lectors of customs may, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, defer the exaction of a bond for not to exceed ninety days after the date of importation, but unless such vehicle or craft is exported or the bond is given within the period of such deferment, such vehicle or craft shall be subject to forfeiture;
"(6) Locomotives and other railroad equipment brought temporarily into the United States for use in clearing obstructions, fighting fires, or making emergency repairs on railroads within the United States, or for use in transportation otherwise than in international traffic when the Secretary of the Treasury finds that the temporary use of foreign railroad equipment is necessary to meet an emergency;".
and the period at the end of subdivision (8) is changed to a semicolon and a new subdivision is added at the end of such section 308 to read as follows:
"(9) Professional equipment, tools of trade, and camping equipment imported for their own use by nonresidents sojourning temporarily in the United States, and articles of special design for temporary use exclusively in connection with the manufacture or production of articles for export.' SEC. 5. Section 315 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1934 edition, title 19, sec. 1315) is hereby amended by deleting the proviso thereof, changing the colon preceding such priviso to a period, and adding at the end of such section the following: "Insofar as duties are based upon the quantity of any merchandise, such duties shall, except as provided in paragarph 813 and section 562 of this Act (relating respectively to certain beverages and to manipulating warehouses), be levied and collected upon the quantity of such merchandise at the time of its importation. No administrative ruling resulting in the imposition of a higher rate of duty or charge than the Secretary of the Treasury shall find to have been applicable to imported merchandise under an established and uniform practice shall be effective with respect to articles entered for consumption or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption prior to the expiration of thirty days after the date of publication in the weekly Treasury Decisions of notice of such ruling; but this provision shall not apply with respect to the imposition of antidumping duties."
SEC. 6. The Tariff Act of 1930 is hereby amended by adding at the end of part I of title III thereof the following new section:
"SEC. 321. ADMINISTRATIVE EXEMPTIONS
"Collectors of customs are hereby authorized, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, to disregard a difference of less than $1 between the total estimated duties or taxes deposited, or the total duties or taxes tentatively assessed, with respect to any entry of merchandise and the total amount of duties or taxes actually accruing thereon, and to admit articles free of duty when the expense and inconvenience of collecting the duty accruing thereon would be disproportionate to the amount of such duty, but the aggregate value of articles imported by one person on one day and exempted from the payment of duty under the authority of this section shall not exceed $5 in the case of articles accompanying and for the personal or household use of, persons arriving in the United. States, or $1 in any other case."
SEC. 7. Section 402 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1934 edition, title 19, sec. 1402) is hereby amended by inserting the words "for home consumption" after the words "freely offered for sale" in subsection (c) and by inserting the words "for domestic consumption" after the words "freely offered for sale" in subsections (e) and (g) and after the word "sold" in subsection (g).
SEC. 8. So much of the last sentence of section 451 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (U. S. C., 1934 edition, title 19, sec. 1451) as precedes the words "gives a bond in a penal sum to be fixed by the collector" is hereby amended to read as follows: "Upon a request made by the owner, master, or person in charge of a vessel or vehicle, or by or on behalf of a common carrier or the owner or consignee of any