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TO COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS.
MARCH 23, 1868.
I herewith enclose for your information and guidance a synopsis of sundry decisions rendered by this Department during the month of February last.
Secretary of the Treasury.
STEAM VESSELS, FERRY-BOATS, &c., GENERALLY LIABLE TO INSPECTION.
Steam vessels plying. on waters solely within the limits of a single State, come under the jurisdiction of the Steamboat laws in all cases where such boats, of whatever class or description, are engaged intermediately in commerce and intercourse with other States or countries, and where they form a link, however short, upon any route by which such commerce and intercourse are conducted. Under this rule comparatively few steam vessels will be found entitled to run free of inspection; and where cases of doubtful jurisdiction occur, the benefit of the doubt will be given to the safety of the traveling public, leaving parties aggrieved to their remedy at law. (Letter to Coll., Toledo, Ohio Feb. 5, 1868.)
A FOREIGN-BUILT, DERELICT, VESSEL MAY NOT BE REGISTERED UNDER THE ACT OF 1852.
A foreign-built [Hawaiian] vessel which had been abandoned at sea and found in shore-ice within the waters of the United States, cannot be repaired and registered as a vessel of the United States under the Act of 1852.-(Coll., San Francisco, Cal., Feb. 7, 1868.)
RED GRANITE SARCOPHAGUS, DUTY 20 PER CENT. AD VAL.
A Red Granite Sarcophagus should be classified as a non-cnumerated manufacture subject to duty at the rate of 20 per cent. ad val., under Section 24 of the Act of March 2, 1861.-(Coll. at Petersburg, Va., Feb. 8, 1868.)
ON WINES DESTROYED IN RE-DISTILLATION-INT. REV. TAX NOT REFUNDED.
A claim for refunding the Internal Revenue Tax paid on certain High Wines, destroyed by an accident while in process of re-distillation, cannot be allowed,—(To Comm'r of Int. Rev., Feb. 8, 1868.)
OLD IRON COTTON TIES, UNFIT FOR USE, $8 PER TON.
Old Iron Cotton Ties, if unfit for use, should be classified as "Old Iron," subject to a duty of $8 per ton, under Section 3 of the Act of June 30, 1864; but if fit for use, they should be classified as "Hoop Iron," unless covered by Department's decision of November 30, 1864, on “Beard's Patent Lock-Tie."—(Coll. at Petersburg, Va., Feb. 8, 1868.)
UNITED STATES BUILT VESSELS SAILING TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES-NOT EXPORTED.
A vessel built in the United States cannot, on sailing to a foreign country to be sold, be said to be exported thereto, in the sense contemplated by the law regulating drawbacks.--(To Messrs. Olyphant & Co., New York, Feb. 11, 1868.)
SLEEPING CARS FROM CANADA DUTIABLE.
Sleeping cars cannot be brought from Canada, for use in the United States, without payment of duty, as per decision of Sept. 13, 1867.—(Letter to Coll., Chicago, Ill., Feb. 12, 1868.)
DEER CARCASSES AND DRESSED POULTRY-DUTY ON-10 PER CENT. AD VAL.
Deer Carcasses are liable to a duty of 10 per cent ad val., the same as "Dressed Poultry," as a raw or unmanufactured article," under the 24th Section of the Act of Mareh 2, 1861.—(Letter to Coll. at Ogdensburgh, New York, Feb. 13. 1868.)
EMPTY PETROLEUM BARRELS OF AMER. MANUFACTURE FREE-INTERNAL REVENUE BRAND ERASED.
Petroleum Barrels of American manufacture exported to a foreign country and returned empty are to be admitted free of duty, on compliance with regulations and establishing their identity, after erasure of the Internal Revenue brand under supervision of an Officer of the Customs.—(Letter to Coll., New York, Feb. 14, 1868.)
WINE, UNLESS IN BOTTLES, MAY BE IMPORTED IN PACKAGES OF ANY CAPACITY.
The 1st section of the act of July 28, 1866, so far as it restricts the quantity which may be imported in a package, applies only to "brandy and other spirituous liquors," and that wine, other than that put up in bottles, may be imported in packages of any capacity.-(Collector, Savannah, Georgia, February 14, 1868.)
VESSELS OF LESS THAN 20 TONS BURDEN CANNOT BE LICENSED AS YACHTS.
No yacht license can be granted to a vessel of less than 20 tons burthen; licenses erroneously granted to such vessels will be recalled.—(Collector, Norfolk, Virginia, February 18, 1868.)
REPACKING OF IMPORTED MERCHANDISE, IN BOND, FOR EXPORTATION, RESTRICTED.
Mackerel imported in barrels and entered, in bond, cannot be repacked in kits for exportation. Repacking of merchandise, in bond, is permitted by law, (2 March, 1799, Sec. 78, and 1st of March, 1823, Sec. 32,) simply to secure the safety or preservation thereof; and the Regulations (Art. 646) contemplate, as well as those laws, a simple substitution of one package by another of a similar description, bearing the same marks and containing the entire contents of the former.
The law does not authorize the subdivision of packages, nor any change in them for the mere convenience of importers. The packing in drums for exportation of foreign-caught fish, imported in bulk and remaining in warehouse, under bond, is liable to the same objection, and cannot under existing laws be allowed.—(Letter to the Collector at Boston, February, 18, 1868.)
BUGGY AND CUTTER, EXCLUSIVELY USED BY AN IMMIGRANT, FREE AS "PERSONAL EFFECTS."
Personal effects, (not merchandise,) &c., of persons arriving in the United States, and household effects, old and in use, of persons or families from foreign countries, if used by them abroad, and not intended for any other person or persons, or for sale, are entitled to free entry.
This provision is held to embrace a buggy and cutter which had been actually used by a practising physician in Canada, and which he intended to use, on emigrating thence, in the United States.— (Letter to Collector at Buffalo, N. Y., February 19, 1868.)
TONNAGE DUES NOT TO BE COLLECTED OF VESSELS OF THE BRAZILIAN MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY.
The vessels of the Brazilian Mail Steamship Company are not subject to tonnage duty, under existing laws, so long as they are likewise exempt from the equivalent Brazilian anchorage dues, &c., [Section 4, Act May 23, 1864,] levied upon all other vessels in Brazilian ports (Letter to Collector, New York, February 20, 1868.)
NO ALLOWANCE FOR DEFICIENCY IN GOODS UNLESS SHORT SHIPPED.
No allowance can be made for deficiency in cigars in bond, notwithstanding the packages were in such bad order when opened by appraisers that they deemed it necessary to have the consignee present while cases were being opened. All goods in bond are at the risk of the owner, importer, agent, or consignee.-(Letter to Collector, Baltimore, February 21, 1868.)
FAILURE TO PROTEST AND APPEAL.
Failure to protest and appeal, as required by Sections 14 and 15 of the Act of June 30, 1864, will be fatal to a claim for any illegal charges or exactions of whatever character, other than those excepted in the 13th Section of said Act; and where protest has been duly made, but not properly followed by the appeal, in conformity with Department's decisions of November 19, 1862, and the 5th. Section of the Act of March 3, 1857, a return of duty will in no case be allowed.--(Letter to Messrs. Turner & Co. and to Collector at Boston, February 24, 1868.)
NOTE.-Collectors should, as far as practicable, advise parties of these requirements when paying in a doubtfi? case, as requested n Tonnage Circular of November 1, 1866.
ALLOWANCE FOR SHRINKAGE AND WASTAGE ON GRAIN EXPORTED, 13 PER CENT. ON AMOUNT, PER BOND. It is deemed advisable to adopt as a general average for shrinkage from natural causes during the voyage of exportation, and for waste in handling and measuring of grain, both inclusive, an allowance of one and one-half per cent. upon the quantity called for by the export bond.
In cases exceeding the above rate, application for relief must be made to this Department, accompanied with proper evidence in due form, and showing that there was no unlawful abstraction of the grain during the voyage, nor opportunity therefor, and that no portion was consumed on shipboard.-(Letter to Collector, New York, February 25, 1868.)
CONSUL'S CERTIFICATE REQUIRED TO INVOICES ON FREE GOODS.
Circular 49 of Department of State, March 26, 1864, prescribes a fee of $2.50 for the consular certificate to invoice of merchandise, and under this Department's construction of Section 1, Act 3d of March, 1863, such certificate is required to be attached to the invoice of free goods, as well as to invoices of merchandise subject to duty.-(To the Secretary of State, February 26, 1868.)