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No. 348—Bath, Me.
No. 349—Beaufort, S. C.
No. 215—Bridgeport, Conn.
No. 350—Chattanooga, Tenn.
No. 351- Ellsworth, Me.
No. 252—Hartford, Conn.
No. 356-Portsmouth, N. H.
No. 353—Reedville, Va.
No. 354Salem, Mass.
No. 357-Unalaska, Alaska.

No. 343—Wrangel, Alaska. 5. Publications

All publications are free so long as the authorized issue last. Thereafter reprints may be obtained at price quoted. (See a.)

(a) Treasury Department, Bureau of Public Health Service, Miscellaneous Publication No. 12, May, 1924, contains a complete list of book publications of the United States Public Health Service under its present name, as well as under its earlier names, "Marine Hospital Service" and "Public Health and Marine Hospital Service.”

(b) Annual Report of Surgeon General. (c) Public Health Bulletins. (d) Bulletins of the Hygienic Laboratory. (e) Price list No. 51 of publications on “Health” for sale by the Superintend

ent of Documents. (f) Weekly Public Health Report, free to public health officials and sanitari

ans; others, $1.50 per year.




The Customs Service is a branch of the Treasury Department having charge of the collection of duties on imports, the collection of taxes, fees, and penalties assessed against vessels for violation of the customs laws, the enforcement of laws relating to the entry and departure of vessels carrying merchandise, the registering and licensing of vessels, the enforcement of laws restricting imports and exports, the transmittal of papers yielding statistics of imports and exports, and the enforcement of laws and regulations governing the departure of persons under certain circumstances.

2. History

Customs officers were employed in the colonies from the first and, during the Revolutionary War, functioned in all parts freed from British control. Under the Articles of Confederation, the greatest weaknesses were inability to raise revenue and to control shipping. The Constitution of the United States accordingly gave Congress power:

"To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.” "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states." To provide for the general welfare.1

The customs service really antedated the Treasury Department itself. The first of the long series of Tariff Acts was approved July 4, 1789. This act provided for duties on imported merchandise, as well as a bounty on certain exports. The next act imposed a duty on tonnage. Customs districts, ports of entry, customs officers, and procedure were provided for in the next act.4 The Navigation Act was enacted governing the registry and clearing of vessels and the regulation of coasting trade.5

The Treasury Department was created by Act of September 2, 1789,8 which included among the Secretary's duties that of superintendence of customs collections, which automatically placed the previously authorized customs service in the Treasury Department, in view of section 9 of the Act of July 31, 1789,4 providing for the keeping of customs accounts in such manner as might be directed by the proper department or officer appointed by law to superintend the revenue.

As the several states ratified the Constitution, customs districts were created therein. The service was complete in this respect with the organization


1 U. S. Const. art. 1, § 8.
21 Stat. 24.
3 Act July 20, 1789 (1 Stat. 27).

Act July 31, 1789 (1 Stat. 29-49). 5 Act Sept. 1, 1789 (1 Stat. 55). 61 Stat. 65.


of Rhode Island. English and French aggressions against American commerce, arising out of war declared in 1793, resulted in Embargo Acts, the Alien Acts, and the Sedition Act.10 The Marine Hospital Service 11 and the enactment of quarantine laws 12 added new duties to the customs officials. The administration of the customs was reorganized in 1799 13 and provisions looking to protection of seamen were made.14

A duty of enforcing an act regulating the number of passengers and their accommodations on ships plying between United States and foreign ports fell upon collectors.

An act specifying the method of determining values for statistical purposes and requiring ship manifests 16 placed on an official basis the collection of foreign commerce and tonnage statistics, to which the Customs Service had given some attention from the first.

The appraisal of merchandise was progressively systematized 17 until the establishment of the present Board of General Appraisers in 1890.

The storage of imported merchandise in a government warehouse under bond was provided for in the original Customs Act of 1789; the warehouse system was established in 1846,18 and the use of private bonded warehouses provided for in 1854.19

Control over imports of specific classes of merchandise was first given in 1848, in reference to drugs and adulterations,20 which remained in force until the advent of Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906.

In 1850 custom houses were made recording offices for all papers affecting title to vessels, and thus was established a national system of recording title to marine property. 21 The inspection of domestic steamboats originally was under the jurisdiction of District Judges,22 but in 1852 Supervising Inspectors were provided for, and the selection of local inspectors was placed with the Collector of Customs, the District Judge, and the Supervising Inspector for the district 23

7 Act June 14, 1790 (1 Stat. 126); Mayo, Synopsis of the Commercial and Revenue System of the United States, p. 226.

8 Resolution March 26, 1794 (1 Stat. 400); Resolution April 2, 1794 (1 Stat. 400); Resolution April 18, 1794 (1 Stat. 401); Resolution May 7, 1794 (1 Stat. 401); Act May 22, 1794 (1 Stat. 369); Act June 4, 1794 (1 Stat. 372). See also Hart, Formation of the Union, pp. 160, 161; Mayo, Synopsis of the Commercial and Revenue System of the United States, p. 61.

9 Act June 18, 1798 (1 Stat. 566); Act June 25, 1798 (1 Stat. 570).
10 Act July 14, 1798 (1 Stat. 596).
11 Act July 16, 1798 (1 Stat. 605).
12 Act May 27, 1796 (1 Stat. 474); Act Feb. 25, 1799 (1 Stat. 619).
13 Act March 2, 1799 (1 Stat. 627).
14 Act Feb. 28, 1803 (2 Stat. 203).

15 Act March 2, 1819 (3 Stat. 488). See, also, Act Feb. 22, 1847 (9 Stat. 127); Act May 17, 1848 (9 Stat. 220).

16 Act Feb. 10, 1820 (3 Stat. 543).

17 Act July 31, 1789 (1 Stat. 41); Act April 20, 1818 (3 Stat. 436); Act March 1, 1823 (3 Stat. 736); Act May 19, 1828 (4 Stat. 273); Act Aug. 30, 1842 (5 Stat. 563); Act March 3, 1851 (9 Stat, 630); Act June 10, 1890 (26 Stat. 131-142).

18 Act Aug. 6, 1846 (9 Stat. 53).
19 Act March 28, 1854 (10 Stat. 271).
20 Act June 26, 1848 (9 Stat. 237).
21 Act July 29, 1850 (9 Stat. 410).
22 Act July 7, 1848 (5 Stat. 304).

Provisions were first made for the protection of seamen through Shipping Commissioners in 1872.24

The Department of Commerce and Labor, and later the Department of Commercé, have relieved the Customs Service of some duties, as in matters relating to measurement, enrollments, licensing and inspection of vessels, 25 and the compilation of statistics of imports and exports.26

By the act of 1890 27 an appeal might he had from the Board of General Appraisers to the United States Circuit Court, which resulted in numerous irreconcilable conflicts of authority. The Court of Customs Appeals was therefore created, to have exclusive jurisdiction to review the decision of the Board of General Appraisers.28

The Special Agency Service was created in 1922 as a separate unit in customs administration, co-ordinate with the Division of Customs, to control all the investigatory work of the service, including examination of accounts, investigations of frauds, and the collection of information which might be of value in the administration of the customs laws.29

A codification of the administrative provisions of the customs laws was effected by the Tariff Act of September 21, 1922.30 The service was reorganized in 1923.31 3. Activities; Collection of Duties; Kinds of Duties

Duties are: (1) Specific; i. e., a definite duty on a unit of quantity, e. g., 30 cents per pound. (2) Ad valorem; i. e., on the value, e. g., 10 per cent. of the value. (3) Compound; i. e., a duty based upon both quantity and value, e. g., 2 cents per pound plus 10 per cent. of the value. 4. Same; Initial Steps; Entry

The shipper must prepare an invoice before an American consular officer, showing quantity, value, and character of the goods. The captain of the vessel, or conductor of the train, by which the goods are transported into the United States, delivers a manifest to the customs officer. The importer then makes a formal entry regardless of whether the goods are free or dutiable. Entries are of several kinds :

(1) "Entry for Consumption."—Where the goods are to become a part of the general stock of goods in the country. The collector makes an estimate of the amount of duties and designates at least one package out of every ten for examination and appraisement. The importer may then obtain his merchandise except the package or packages retained by the appraiser, by paying the estimated duty, and upon filing a bond to the amount of the invoice value plus the duty to insure the return of any of the merchandise so obtained. If the merchandise is subject to a specific rate of duty, its quantity must be determined before delivery.

23 Act Aug. 30, 1852 (10 Stat. 61). 24 Act June 7, 1872 (17 Stat. 262). 25 Act Feb. 14, 1903 (32 Stat. 825). 26 Act Jan. 5, 1923 (42 Stat. 1109). 27 Act June 10, 1890 (26 Stat. 131-142). 28 Tariff Act of 1909 (36 Stat. 106). 29 T. D. 38982, of January 23, 1922. 30 42 Stat. 858. 31 Act March 4, 1923 (42 Stat. 1453).

(2) "Entry for Immediate Transportation Without Appraisement.”—Upon approval of such entry, the goods are delivered to a common carrier, who is under bond to deliver the identical goods to the Collector of Customs at the port of destination. At such destination the procedure is the same as in “entry for consumption." Customs Inspectors located at important points outside the United States will seal cars, so that they may move over bonded lines to destination without examination at the frontier. Passengers coming to the United States from Canada may have their baggage sealed. Merchandise may be shipped in bond through the United States from one foreign territory to another, but this privilege does not extend to intoxicating liquor, the importation of which into United States territory is constitutionally prohibited. 32

(3) "Entry for Warehouse.”—Under which the importer may store dutiable goods in a designated bonded warehouse for three years without the payment of duty. The warehouse usually is privately owned, with a government storekeeper, designated by the Collector of Customs, in charge. The owner of the storehouse must pay the storekeeper's salary and give bond to indemnify the government against removal of goods. The importer must give bond in double the estimated duty. Charges for storage and protection are settled between the importer and warehouse owner. Merchandise so in bonded warehouses is technically in the custody of the United States, and subject to the orders and decrees of United States courts, and not subject to levy, attachment, or other process of a state court. Collectors cannot be enjoined by state courts from delivering such merchandise to importers or their assigns. A bonded warehouse may be an entire building, or only a part, or even a shed, so long as bond is filed for payment of duties and keys are in the custody of the government storekeeper. Goods in such warehouse are exempt from local taxation. If the importer wishes to withdraw the goods within three years, the duties are determined as for "entry for consumption.” At the end of three years, merchandise remaining is forfeited to the government and is sold. Repacking of goods, sorting and cleaning (but not manufacturing) is permissible in bonded warehouses established for that purpose, and such goods may be withdrawn therefrom for exportation, without payment of duty, or for consumption upon payment of duties accruing thereon in the condition of the goods at the time of such withdrawal. The government also maintains warehouses for goods undergoing examination by the appraiser seized or unclaimed goods, etc.

32 Cunard Steamship Co. v. U. S., 262 U. S. 100, 43 Sup. Ct. 504, 67 L. Ed. 894, 27 A. L R. 1306.


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