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and merchandise, shall be final and conclusive, any act of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding; and any person who shall willfully and corruptly swear or affirm falsely on such examination shall be deemed guilty of perjury; and if he be the owner, importer, or consignee, the merchandise shall be forfeited; and all testimony in writing, or depositions taken by virtue of this section, shall be filed in the collector's office, and preserved for future use or reference, to be transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury when he shall require the same. Ibid. § 17.
§ 195. Importer may demand reappraisement. If the importer, owner, agent, or consignee of any such goods shall be dissatisfied with the appraisement, and shall have complied with the foregoing requisitions, he may forthwith give notice to the collector, in writing, of such dissatisfaction, on the receipt of which the collector shall select two discreet and experienced merchants,2 citizens of the United States, familiar with the character and value of the goods in question, to examine and appraise the same, agreeably to the foregoing provisions; and if they shall disagree, the collector shall
This notice, under treasury regulations, must be given within twentyfour hours after receipt of notice of appraisement.
2 This provision was modified by the act of March 3, 1851; and in cases of appeal from the decision of the local appraisers the reappraisement is now required to be made by an appraiser at large, if practicable, and one merchant selected as above. If there be no appraiser at large resident at the port, the reappraisement may be made by two merchants. The provisions of the act of March 3, 1851, are as follows:
§3. There shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, four appraisers of merchandise, to be allowed an annual salary each of two thousand five hundred dollars, together with their actual traveling expenses, to be regulated by the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall be employed in visiting such ports of entry in the United States, under the direction of the said secretary, as may be deemed useful by him for the security of the revenue, and shall at such ports afford such aid and assistance in the appraisement of merchandise thereat as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary of the Treasury to protect and insure uniformity in the collection of the revenue from customs; and wherever practicable in cases of appeal from the decision of the United States appraisers under the provision of the seventeenth section of the tariff act of August 30, 1842, the collector shall select one discreet and experienced merchant, to be associated with one of the appraisers appointed under the provisions of this act, who together shall appraise the goods in question; and if they shall disagree, the collector shall decide between them; and the appraisement thus determined shall be final, and deemed and taken to be the true value of said goods; and the duties shall be levied thereon accordingly, any act of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding.
Under this act, appraisers of merchandise, or general appraisers, as commonly known, have been appointed at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Under subsequent acts, like officers have been appointed at New Orleans and San Francisco.
decide between them; and the appraisement thus determined shall be final, and deemed and taken to be the true value of said goods; and the duties shall be levied thereon accordingly, any act of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding. Ibid. § 17.
196. Other officers to act as appraisers in certain cases. Where goods, wares, and merchandise shall be entered at ports where there are no appraisers, the mode hereinbefore prescribed of ascertaining the foreign value thereof shall be carefully observed by the revenue officers to whom is committed the estimating and collection of duties. Ibid. § 22.
§ 197. Secretary of Treasury to establish regulations respecting appraisements. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, from time to time, to establish such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws of the United States, to secure a just, faithful, and impartial appraisal of all goods, wares, and merchandise, as aforesaid, imported into the United States, and just and proper entries of such actual market value, or wholesale price thereof, as the case may require.2 Ibid. § 23.
§ 198. One package out of every invoice, and one package out of every ten packages, to be examined. - The collector shall designate, on the invoice, at least one package of every invoice, and one package, at least, of every ten packages of goods, wares, or merchandise, and a greater number should he or either of the appraisers deem it necessary, to be opened, examined, and appraised, and shall order the package or packages so designated to the public stores for examination; and if any package be found by the appraisers to contain any article not specified in the invoice, and they, or a majority of them, shall be of opinion that such article was omitted in the invoice with fraudulent intent on the part of the shipper,
1 The collector, in the exercise of this power, can act only as an arbiter, and must adopt one appraisement or the other. He can not set aside both, and make a new appraisement.
2 These instructions, though binding on the custom house officers, do not justify the acts of the collector if not in accordance with law. 10 Howard, 225.
3 When the packages are described in the invoice by marks and numbers, the collector must designate on the invoice the particular number or numbers to be examined.
4 If the goods have been delivered to the importer under the bond authorized by the fourth section of the act of May 28, 1830, the collector may require the redelivery of the whole or any part of the importation; and if the importer fail to deliver, he cannot afterwards object that the appraisement was made on an insufficient examination.
owner, or agent, the contents of the entire package in which the article may be shall be liable to seizure and forfeiture, on conviction thereof before any court of competent jurisdiction; but if said appraisers shall be of opinion that no such fraudulent intent existed, then the value of such article shall be added to the entry, and the duty thereon paid accordingly, and the same shall be delivered to the importer, agent, or consignee: Provided, That such forfeiture may be remitted by the Secretary of the Treasury, on the production of evidence satisfactory to him that no fraud was intended: Provided, further, That if, on the opening of any package or packages of goods, a deficiency of any article shall be found on examination by the appraisers, the same shall be certified to the collector on the invoice, and an allowance for the same be made in estimating the duties.1 Act August 30, 1842, § 21.
§ 199. What is meant by period of the exportation. Under the construction of the treasury, "the period of the exportation" is deemed and taken to be the time at which the vessel, in which goods, wares, or merchandise are imported, actually departs from the foreign country on her voyage to the United States. This construction was sustained by the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Massachusetts, in the case of Forman vs. Peaslee, and has since been confirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Sampson vs. Peaslee. It may, therefore, be considered as finally settled, that the time of valuation is the sailing of the vessel, regardless of the date of invoice, bill of lading, or clearance, and the value at that time in the principal markets of the country from which the importation may have been made, is the value on which duty, under existing laws, is required to be assessed.2
1 Abatement of duties, under this proviso, for deficiency of articles in packages, can only take place where it shall satisfactorily appear to the appraisers that the packages had not been opened after their shipment. Such abatement, on separate articles or packages, included in the manifest, but not found on board the vessel at the time of unlading the same in the United States, can not be made, unless satisfactory proof be adduced, that, by accident or other cause, such articles or packages had never been actually shipped; or that, being shipped, they had been actually lost or destroyed by accident or other cause during the voyage, and before the arrival of the vessel within the limits of any collection district of the United States. No abatement can be made for an alleged deficiency or difference in the character or description of articles contained in a package, discovered by the importer after the package has passed out of the custody of the officers of the customs into the possession of the importer. Treasury Reg.
2 Importations from countries having no shipping ports of their own, through the ports of other countries. Merchandise from such countries, as
§ 200. What are to be regarded as principal markets. What are to be regarded as the principal markets of a country for the merchandise, in any given case, is for the determination of the appraisers. It is a question of fact, not of law, and the decision of the appraisers is conclusive upon the government and the importer. Gen. Reg. Art. 301.
§ 201. What is to be understood by the term "country.”. The term "country," as used in the law, is to be regarded as embracing all the possessions of a nation, however widely separated, which are subject to the same supreme executive and legislative authority and control. Accordingly, where duties were assessed on merchandise imported from Halifax, on its general market value in Liverpool at the date of its exportation from Halifax to the United States, the proceeding was sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States; Liverpool being, in the opinion of the appraisers, a principal market of Great Britain for the merchandise in that case. Gen. Reg. Art. 302.
§ 202. Actual examination to be made. The law makes it the duty of the collector to designate on the invoice at least one package of every invoice, and one package, at least, of every ten packages of imported goods, wares, or merchandise, and a greater number should it be deemed necessary by himself or either of the appraisers, and order the same to the public store, to be opened, examined, and appraised; but if the articles are bulky, he may direct their examination on the wharf, or other safe and suitable place, to be designated by him for that purpose. If the merchandise be such as, by commercial usage, is bought and sold by samples, or where, by such usage, the character and quality of the merchandise are so determined, the appraisement may, in such cases, be made by samples, due care being taken that they are properly and fairly selected from the packages designated on the in
from Switzerland, for example, destined for the United States by the way of Havre, is considered as exported, within the meaning of the law, when it passes the frontier boundary between France and Switzerland, on such destination. The wholesale price or general market value of such merchandise in the principal markets of the interior country, at the date when it passed the frontier for its destination in the United States, will, on importation and entry, be ascertained by the appraiser with a view to the assessment of duty; and to the value so ascertained will be added the cost of transportation, and other expenses to the frontier, as dutiable charges. Of course, no cost of transportation by sea or land, or other expenses incurred after the merchandise shall have left the interior country from which it was exported to the United States, as above defined, will be treated as dutiable charges. Treas. Reg.
voice by the collector, and identified as such. Gen. Reg. Art. 320, 321.
§ 203. Examination and appraisement to be made at port of importation. - The revenue laws require that, in all cases of importation of merchandise, the examination and appraisement of the same shall take place at the first port of entry; at which port, also, the actual quantity must be ascertained by weighing, gauging, or measuring, as the case may be, and the amount of duties ascertained and paid, or secured to be paid. Gen. Reg. Art. 330.
§ 204. But when goods are transported under bond to another port, appraisement may be revised. — When goods are transported under bond from one port to another, on their arrival at the port of destination the same examination shall be had as is required by law on importations of merchandise from foreign ports, in which the appraisers shall have reference as well to the valuation and classification of such merchandise as to its identity with that described in the certified copy of invoice accompanying the transportation entry, and they shall accordingly appraise and estimate the same in the manner required by law in case of merchandise from foreign ports, and make due report thereof to the collector. And should it appear by such report that the merchandise was appraised, at the port where originally entered, at less than the actual value or wholesale price in the principal markets of the country from which such merchandise was imported, or that the same was improperly classified, the collector shall call upon the appraisers for a statement of the grounds of their opinion, and immediately transmit the same, with a copy of their report, to the department, for its consideration and such investigation as may be necessary. To enable the appraisers to act understandingly in the examination and appraisement of merchandise transported under bond, collectors will see that the copy of invoice, required to accompany the transportation entry, in all respects conforms to the original document, and that the date of exportation from the foreign port is indorsed thereon. Gen. Reg. Art. 449, 460.
§ 205. Percentage advances and average valuations prohibited. - The appraisers will make the addition to, or advance upon, the value declared on entry, in the currency in which the invoice is made out, in a specific sum, and not by percentage, and in the weight, gauge, or measure, as expressed in the invoice; but in no case will an average valuation be made. Gen. Reg. Art. 332.