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American Goods Returned

Compliance with the provisions of paragraph 404 of the Tariff Act of 1913 relative to the return of articles exported from the United States under the conditions prescribed and the regulations made by the Secretary of the Treasury is a condition precedent to the right of the enjoyment of the privileges extended by that paragraph.

2. In every case of doubt revenue laws should be construed most strongly against the Government. But this applies only to a tax and not where in a revenue law a specific privilege or ex-emption is granted. If there be any doubt as to the proper construction of a statute granting a privilege or exempt on to the citizen, then that construction must be adopted which is most advantageous to the interests of the Government.

3. The provisions of a tariff law are never retroactive unless made so by express language or clear implication.

4. Fur garments sent to Germany in the summer of 1913, prior to the enactment of the tariff law of that year for the purpose of having the same repaired, the value of the new materials used and the labor in repairing the same being more than half of the total value of the garments as returned,and upon the exportation of which no application or affidav't as required by the regulations having been filed are not entitled to be returned to the United States in 1916 except upon the payment of duty upon the full value of the garments.


Certain tapestries and velvets claimed by the importers, W & J. Sloane, to be free of duty as "artistic antiquities." Because modern materials had been added to these fabrics they ceased to be antiques and properly fell in the class of dutiable articles, Judge Waite, who writes the board's opinion in this case, rules. Accordingly, the tapestries are held to have been properly assessed at 35 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 288, and the velvets at 60 per cent. ad valorem under paragraph 358, Tariff Act of 1913. The contention of the importers that, in appraising the importations for duty, the antique and the modern portion should have been separated, if it was not possible to appraise the entirety as an antique, is also overruled by the General Appraiser.

Beaded Articles.

In this ruling the customs board decides that imitation pearl bead necklaces, complete with clasps valued above 20c per dozen pieces, are not dutiable at the rate of 60 per cent ad valorem, as jewelry under the provisions of paragraph 356, act of 1913, but being more clearly described in paragraph 333, as articles composed wholly or in chief value of beads made of glass or paste or other material, are dutiable thereunder, at the rate of 50 pr cent ad valorem.

It was testified at the trial of this case before the board that this merchandise is sold in the jewelry department of F. W. Woolworth & Co's, 5 and 10 cent stores, but that the jew elry department is not limited solely to articles which would be commonly known as jewelry. The witness testified that the beads of the necklace in evidence were made of hollow glass balls filled with wax, and that merchandise like the sample (Ex-1) would not be classified by him as being in the class of jewelry. On cross-examination he testified that the beads are the type commonly designated as imitation pearl beads, and that the articles are in fact necklaces to be worn around the neck for ornamentation. He testified that he has handled these things for years, and they are commonly and commercially known as beads; that it does not take a jeweler or any one with a knowledge of jewelry to manufacture these beads. "They are simply beads, known commercially as beads, and they are used not only for necklaces but for dress ornaments and other things."

On cross-examination he admitted that jewelry is at times made from beads.

He testified that Exhibit I is in chief value of beads; that articles made of metal beads would be considered jewelry, but not wood beads nor glass beads; that a necklace made of real pearls is commercially known as jewelry, but the general trade, as he knows it, has never considered a necklace made of imitation pearls as jewelry, unless it had metal ornaments, which might be considered jewelry. He testified that it would also depend on the general makeup of the necklace as to whether or not it would be considered jewelry, and that Exhibit 1 is not the handiwork of a jeweler.

This view is accepted by the general appraisers, who in an opinion by Judge Sullivan upheld the claim for the lower rate.

Beaded Girdles.

Strings of white and colored beads, plaited or woven into a flat band, nearly three feet in length, terminating at each end in one or more large, colored, gilt or pearl beads and a tassel composed of strings of the same beads as compose the body of the article, known as glass bead girdles, valued above 20 cents per dozen pieces, are not dutiable at the rate of 60 per cent ad valorem, as jewelry within the provisions of paragraph 356, Act of 1913, but as beaded articles at 50 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 333 of the same act.

This decision sustains a protest, claiming the lower rate of duty, filed with the Customs Board by Bernard, Judae & Co., of Chica,o.



Merchandise described as "hemstitch frilling" was the subject of a recent test case. This merchandise was classified by the customs colector as trimmings and duty assessed at the rate of 60 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 358 of the Tariff Act of 1913 as "trimmings not specially provided for . . . of whatever yarns, threads or filaments composed." The importers, J. & J. Cash, Inc., of Bridgeport, Conn., claim duty as fabrics with fast edges not exceeding twelve inches in width at the rate of but 25 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 262 of the Tan ff Act. Judge Howell in overruling the claim for the lower duty writes as follows:

"The only testimony in the case is that of a representative of the importing firm and his testimony is wholly insuffident to justify us in making a finding contrary to the return of the appraiser and the decision of the collector. On the contrary it confirms the classification made by the collector that the articles are trimmings, as the witness testified that the articles are principally used as trimming."

Crude Antimony.

The Collector's assessment of duty at the rate of 10 per cent ad valorem, under paragraph 144 of the Tariff Act, on merchandise invoiced as "crude antimony," imported by the Harshaw, Fuller & Goodwin Co., of New York and Cleveland, is affirmed. The importers claimed free entry Judge Fischer, in summarizing the board's findings, writes as follows:

"A mixture composed of 70.3 per cent antimony, 212 per cent sulphur, 1.14 per cent iron, and a trace of silica-the whole being the resultant product of ore which has been subjected to the process of metallic fusion known as 'liquidation' constitutes a matte containing antimony within the meaning of he provision therefor in paragraph 144 of the Tariff Act of 1913."

Dolls in Part of Lace

R. H. Macy & Co. won a decision reducing the duty on dolls, in part of lace. The Collector assessed duty at the rate of 60 per cent ad valorem, under paragraph 358 of the Tariff Act of 1913, the importers claimed classification as dolls or toys, under paragraph 342, with duty at the rate of 35 per cent ad valorem. This claim is upheld in an opinion written by General Appraiser Howell.


An imported commodity to be dutiable under paragraph 78 of the Tariff Act, must be "common, yellow, brown or gray earthenware." and in a trial before Customs Board must be shown by affirmative testimony to be such. It is not sufficient the Board rules, that the testimony show that the articles in question are "made of natural unwashed and unmixed clay."

The protests in this case, held with the Board by Morimura Brothers, were against the assessment of duty by the Collector, under the provisions of paragraph 79 upon certa'n earthenware, the protestants claiming that the earthenware in question should have been assessed at the rate of 20 per cent ad valorem under the provisions of paragraph 78.

Judge Hay, in an opinion overruling the contentions of the importers, writes in part as follows:

"In the case at bar the burden of proving that the commodity in question responded to all of the definitive provisions of paragraph 78, was upon the protestant. No witnesses were called and no questions were asked by the protestant's attorney tending to show that the ware in question was common yellow, brown or gray earthenware, all his testimony being directed to the point that it was made of natural unwashed and unmixed clay. We are convinced *** that these words are the controlling words of the paragraph and that all commodities assessable under that provision of the law must fully respond to these descriptive words.

"There was testimony introduced by the Government tend

ing to show that the ware in question in this case was not common brown, or common gray earthenware. While this testimony is more or less of a negative character and not entirely satisfying, it is the only testimony in the case which touches that question. The burden, however, was not upon the Government to prove that the ware in question was not common yellow, brown or gray earthenware; but that the protestant, who mentioned that it should be assessed unde that paragraph 79 under which the collector placed it, must prove that fact affirmatively. This he has entirely failed to do. The articles in question vary in character; they are more or less ornamental, some vases, some jardiniers, some statuettes, some match safes, and various articles of a quasi-ornamental and quasiuseful character. In Butler Bros. vs. United States (9 Ct. Cust. ppls., ***; T .B. 37947), the court in effect holds that articles which respond to the descriptive provisions of paragraph 79, such as vases, statuettes, mugs, etc., cannot, if the characterof the ware is such that it may be embraced in either But paragraph, come within the provisons of paragraph 79. in the view we take of the case at bar it is not necessary to place the decision of this case upon that ground, but rather than upon the ground that the evidence does not show that the articles in question are common yellow, brown or gray



Feathers or flues stripped from peacock quills are properly dutiable at the rate of 20 per cen ad valorem under the first clause of paragraph 347 of the tariff law. This ruling sustains a protest of Henri Bendel, Inc., against the collector's assessment of duty at 40 and 60 per cent ad valorem under other provisions of said paragraph 347.

Fish Nets.

Large fish nets or trawls for deep sea fishing, composed of so-called manila hemp, which is shown to be not a true hemp in the tariff sense, are dutiable at the rate of 35 per cent under Paragraph 284 of the Tariff Act of 1913 as manufactures of vegetable fiber not specially provided for, rather than as "nets *** made of hemp" under Paragraph 271, with duty at the rate of 25 per cent ad valorem. This decision partly overrules and partly sustains protests filed by the W. N. Proctor Company of Boston.

The merchandise in question consisted of large fish nets or trawls for deep sea fishing, composed of manila fiber, i. e. socalled manila hemp, the nets weighing between 500 and 700 pounds. In some instances they were assessed for duty at the rate of 60 per cent ad valorem, under paragraph 358 of the Tariff Act of 1913, while in other instances the goods were assessed at the rate of 35 per cent ad valorem, as manufacturers of vegetable fiber not specially provided for under paragraph 271, and as to the goods assessed under paragraph 358, alternative claims for assessment were made either under paragraphs 271 or 284

The general appraisers held the merchandise under consideration dutiable under paragraph 284 of the Tariff Act of 1913, as manufacturers of vegetable fiber not specially provided for, at 35 per cent ad valorem. Therefore, as to the goods assessed under paragrauh 358 the Board sustains the protests making such claim, and in the cases where the collector assessed the merchandise under said paragraph 84, his action stands.

Fishing Rod Guides

Agate rings, 6-16ths of an inch in outside diameter and 1-8th of an inch in thickness, the opening in each ring being a little more than 2-16ths of an inch in diameter, used as line guides on fishing rods, are not beads, as claimed by the Union Hardware Co., nor dutiable as such under paragraph 333, act of 1913, at 35 per cent ad valorem. Judge Sullivan, in overruling the claim of the importers for the 35 per cent ad valorem rate, finds that the articles at issue should be classified as manufactures of agate and duty collected at the rate of 45 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 98.

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Advances are made on the dutiable values of the gauge glasses at issue.

At the trial of this issue the Assistant Attorney General's office in charge of customs litigation brought up the question regarding the difference in Germany between export prices and inland prices. It was pointed out that the glass manufacturers in Germany have united, under instructions from the German Government, in asking a higher price for merchandise exported than the home price; also that merchandise shipped to the United States is sold in dollars. The tariff law provides that duty is to be assessed on the value in the home market on the date of exportation. Abormal conditions have created a condition in Germany, whereby, for the first time in the history of the customs appraisers the export price is higher than the home price. This means that importers, in entering goods through the customs here, pay duty on the basis of the home rather than the export value, which means a considerable saving in

customs rates.

German Goods

The decision sustains protest of Wecker & Company, New York. The board holds that it is not necessary to invoice and enter imports from Germany in American dollars, because German manufactures will not sell for export in marks. The Government contended in this case that because the German manufacturers would not quote in marks for export proved that there was not an open market in Germany for goods shipped to this country.

The merchandise, the subject of this case, consisted of chiffon velvet invoiced and entered in German marks. It was appraised in American dollars, which meant an advance of 35c per yard on black velvet and $1.08 per yard on colored velvet. In the decision just rendered the advance is not upheld, and the importers win their case.

Hide Rope.

"Cuban sisal hide rope,” used exclusively for tying hides, is free of duty under the provision in the tariff act for "hide rope". The decision upholds protests of Lunham & Moore of New Orleans. The provision in paragraph 505 of the tariff act for "hide rope," the board rules. is not limited to rope made from cattle hides, as claimed by the Government, but includes also rope commercially known and designated as "hide rope, made from material other than cattle hides. Judge Fischer writes the majority opinion in this case, while a dissenting opinion is written by Judge Weller.

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Judge Sullivan finds that as to certain rugs, imported from Japan the Japanese textile consumption tax applied, while as to other rugs it does not apply. It depends upon the method employed in Japan in levying the tax. If it is part of the home market value of the rug it is not to be added to the dutiable value of the rug, the general appraiser finds, in view of the fact that it already has been included.

Japanese Tax Cases

These cases have been pending determination for a long time and involved the question of whether the tax levied by the Japanese Government on certain goods should

be included in the dutiable value of these goods when entered through the American customs.

Summarizing the lengthy and rather technical discussion in the test cases, standing in the name of J. R. Simon & Co. et al., Judge Howell writes:

"The Japanese Textile Fabric Tax Law levies a tax of 10 per cent. on all textiles manufactured in the Empire, but exempts such textiles from the tax when exported to foreign countries. Held that this tax is a part of the foreign market value of hte merchandise (silk fabrics), and that in appraising textile fabrics imported from Japan the tax should be included."

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Photographic Dye.

Judge Sullivan, handed down a reappraisement decision on the dutiable value of a shipment of photographic dye from England. The decision reads:

"Photographic dye, imported by Ilford, Ltd., London, Goods entered at England. Invoice dated January 1, 1919. St. Louis February 19, 1919. File No. 95556. Entry No. 751. "Red and green photographic dye, invoiced and entered at 40 shillings per gramme, less 10 per cent. Add box and postage. Reappraised as entered. The only issue in this hearing is with reference to the discount of 10 per cent. It was appraised as net. I find from the testimony that the discount of 10 per cent has at all times been allowed, and as that is the only issue the entered value is sustained."

Precipitated Chalk.

The tariff rate on precipitated chalk, imported by the National Aniline & Chemical Company, the R. Hillier's Son Co., the P. E. Anderson Co., McKesson & Robbins and John L. Vand ver, is reduced. In the decision reducing the duty from 25 per cent ad valorem to one-tenth of one cent per pound. Judge McClelland of the customs board writes:

"The special reports of the appariser on these protests state that the merchandise consists of precipitated chalk, suitable for medicinal or toilet preparations.' Duty was assessed thereon at the rate of 25 per cent ad valorem under the provisions of paragraph 15 of the tariff act of 1913. testants claim that duty should have been assessed at the rate of one-tenth of one cent per pound under paragraph 60 of said act.


"The record shows that the merchandise is similar in all respect to that involved in United States vs. Amerman & Patterson et al (T. D. 38205), and the evidence therein is incorThe porated and made a part of the record in this case. claims of the importer are therefore sustained, the decisions of the collector being modified accordingly."


The m

The subject of this case consisted of books giving descriptions of the dyestuffs manufactured by the Geigy Company, with directions for the use of same. Duty was levied thereon at the rate of 15 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 329 of the tariff law as books not specially provided for. portrs contended before the General Appraisers that the books should have been admitted through the customs free of duty under the provision in paragraph 425 of the Tariff Act for "publications of individuals for gratuitous private circulation, "not advertising matter" to the provision for "publications of in an opinion by Judge Fischer. This ruling, summarized, reads as follows:

The motive which actuated Congress in adding the words "not advertising matter" to the rovision for "publications of individuals for gratuitous private circulation,' was to express clearly its intention to exclude from said provision trade documents and publications gratuitously circulated because of the advertising matter contained therein. Hence, the present books are excluded from said provision, because the samples thereof

and the record as well show them to contain purely advertising matter intended to promote the sale of the colors and dyestuffs made by the Geigy Company."

Reliquidation for Fraud.

In this decision the protests of the importers, F. Vitell & Son, are overruled and the following important rules established by the customs board:

I. The collector is not required before he may reliquidate an entry on the ground of fraud after the expiration of one year from the time of entry, under the act of June 22, 187 1874, to go into a court and have that fraud first judically found.

2. Where the collector reliquidates an entry after the expiration of one year from the time of entry upon the ground of fraud the burden of proving the existence of fraud is with him, either in an action in personam in the United States District Court or by protest filed against his action and tried before the Board of United States General Appraisers.

3. When the collector reliquidates an entry after the expiration of one year from the time of entry the importer has two remedies, either of which he may elect. The one is to refuse to pay, in which event the collector would have to commence an action in personam in a court of competent jurisdiction; the other, he may pay the duties assessed upon reliquidation and file a protest under paragraph N of Section III of the tariff act of 1913.

4. The Board of United States General Appraisers under existing law is a tribunal peculiarly competent to consider and decide a question of fraud arising in the reliquidation of an entry after the expiration of one year from the time of entry under the provisions of the act of June 22, 1874.

5. Full credence should be given to the testimony of an accomplice where that testimony is corroborated by the facts and circumstances which surround the transaction about which the testimony is given.

6. The collector may reliquidate an entry after the expiration of one year from the time of entry upon the ground of fraud under the provisions of the act of June 22, 1874, even where that fraud has not been participated in by the importer or brought to his knowledge. It is the fact that the Government was deprived of the revenues justly due it regardless of who was the perpetrator or who had knowledge of the fraud that authorizes the reliquidation.

7. While fraud is never presumed it may be established by evidence which shows a wide discrepancy between the weights upon which the entry was liquidated and the weights correctly ascertained by public weighers upon delivery of the merchandise.

Rock Sugar.

Rock candy, invoiced as "rock-sugar," is properly dutiable at the rate of 2 cents per pound under paragraph 180, Tariff Act of 1913, as "confectionery." This decision overrules a protest of the importers, Chew Chong Tai & Co., of San Francisco, for classification of the merchandise as "sugar," with duty at the appropriate rate, under paragraph 177.

Steamer Rugs.

In a decision handed down the Board overrules protests of the Rice Stix Dry Goods Company of St. Louis and Sears, Roebuck & Co., of Chicago. In these protests, the importers objected to the collector's assessment of duty at the rate of 35 per cent ad valorem on imported steamer rugs. The rugs in question were classified as manufactures of wool, under paragraph 288 of the tariff act of 1913, and the importers claimed that they should have been classified as "blankets" under paragraph 289 of the tariff act, with duty at the rate of but 25 per cent ad valorem. The claims for the lower duty are denied in an upinion written by Judge Brown of the customs board.


Tintometers for measuring the depth of color in liquids or solids, without lenses, or glass of any character, are not optical instruments under paragraph 93, but dutiable as manufactures in chief value of wood under paragraph 176.

Certain standards of colored glass imported with the tintometers, but invoiced and priced separately, are dutiable not as parts of the tintometers at the same rate but as manufactures of colored glass at 45 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 84.

Recent Books of Particular Interest


International Lawyers and Practitioners:

J. BASDEVANT, Le deportations du Nord de la France et de la Belgique en vue du travail force et le droit international, 1917.

E. BLUMENSTEIN & A. GASSMAN, Die schweizerisher Zollgesetzgebund, 1918.

P. COGLIOLO, La legislazione di guerra nel diritto civile e commerciale, 1917.

DESPAGNET, Precis de droit international prive par de Boeck,


F. HARRISON, On Jurisprudence and the Conflict of Laws, 1919.
W. H. HIBBERT, International Private Law, 1918.

A. ISORE, La Guerre et la Condition privee de la femme, 1919.
J. LABAURIE, L'Usurpation en matiere literaire et artistique, 1919
J. SALEMES, Les banques, le moratorium et la reprise des af-
faires, 1919.

M. SAUTERAUD, Du maintien de la nationalite de la femme francaise qui epouse un etranger, 1919.

J. VALERY, Manuel de droit international prive, 1919.

On sale by


299, BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N. Y., U. S. A.

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