« AnteriorContinuar »
PARAGRAPH 536–COAL-TAR PRODUCTS,
act which would remove all possible doubt and controversy, as we assume that it is the intent of Congress that all coal-tar oils used precisely as dead and creosote oils are used should be accorded the same treatment. We would therefore suggest the following modification:
"Coal-tar products known as dead or creosote oil, and other oils derived from coal tar used chiefly as wood preservatives, soluble and sulphonated dead and creosote oil, anthracene and anthracene oil, benzol, naphthol, resorcin, toluol, xylol; all the foregoing not medicinal and not colors or dyes, 5 per cent ad valorem.” Respectfully submitted.
GERHARD Bros. & ScHoch,
Attorneys at Law.
The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. On behalf of various clients, including H. B. Claflin Co., John Pullman & Co., Royal Embroidery Works, Zahner & Schiess Co., Witcombe, McGeachin & Co., James Elliot & Co., Fensterer & Ruhe, Samstag & Hilder Bros., A. Steinhardt & Bro., Chas. F. Welek & Co., St. Louis, Mo., and others, we respectfully ask to have a provision inserted in the free list for:
"Samples intended for use merely as samples by which to sell the class of goods which they represent, subject to such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe.
The reasons for this request are:
First. It is logical, encouraging to broader business, and clearly advantageous to the consumers that "samples brought into this country for the purpose of soliciting orders, not intended for sale, and which do not mingle in the commerce of the country, should not be considered as imported merchandise within the meaning of the tariff act." "They are, as the Secretary of the Treasury pointed out in T. D. 31771, "'incidents of commerce, rather preliminaries to importations than actual importations in the strict sense.
Second. This question of the dutiability of samples has been the source of almost unending litigation, as shown by T. D. 4828, 6132, 8943,
9069, 9243, 9462, 9939, 10134, 12562, G. A. 1246, T. D. 12626, G. A. 1275, T. D. 12645, G. A. 1294, T. D. 13445, G. A. 1782, T. D. 22815, T. D. 23111, G. A. 4940, T. D. 26567, T. D. 26675, T. D. 28834, also Abstracts 10236, 10621, 11005, 11144, 11822, 10509, 10542, 12406, 12407, 12217, 12702, 13196, 13300, 13637, 13666, 14113, 14070, 15588, 16984, 17689, 17843, 18647, 19375, 19657, 21421, also T. D. 31136, T. D. 30821, T. D. 31335, Abstract 24900, and T. D. 31429, Abstract 25110; and a considerable number of protests on this issue are still pending before the Board of General Appraisers for trial.
Third. Although the Secretary of the Treasury, in T. D. 31771 and T. D. 32082, officially recognized the justice and advisability of permitting such samples to be admitted free of duty, and specifically directed that they should be admitted free, his instructions have been disregarded and overruled by the Board of General Appraisers in numerous recent decisions, including T. D. 32681 (Abs. 29155), T. D. 32776 ?Abs. 29547/8), T. D. 33780 (Abs. 29585), T. D. 32943 (Abs. 30490 and Abs. 30534), T. D. 32997 (Abs. 30682), T. D. 33031 (Abs. 30801), and T. D. 33055 (Abs. 31011 and 31012), the board uniformly taking the position that when such samples have been given either an invoiced value or an appmised value duty must be assessed upon that value, and that the Secretary of the Treasury has no power or authority to nullify in any way the provision of the law, section 28, subsection 7, of the act of August 5, 1909, that "the duty shall not, however, be assessed in any case upon an amount less than the entered value."
Fourth. Under the present practice importers are confronted by the dilemma that even though they are satisfied that the samples are of no commercial value they must, as required by section 28, subsection 5, of the act of August 5, 1909, state in their declaration that the invoice figures represent the actual cost of the merchandise, and they can not enter the samples as of no value without subjecting themselves to liability for additional duties and penalties; while on the other hand they can not enter the samples at their invoice value or cost price without laying themselves open to the necessity, under the recent rulings of the board above cited and article 768 of the Customs Regulations of 1908, of paying duties upon that value, said article 768 providing that
"Whenever imported goods of any description not expressly exempted from duty by law are given a value in the invoice or entry duty must be assessed, even though the appraiser returns the articles as of no commercial value.”
PARAGRAPH 536–COAL-TAR PRODUCTS. Fifth. The enactment of a provision for samples in the free list as herein requested, the lack of which in the present and prior tariff laws has led to so much litigation, will undoubtedly tend to minimize the number of protests, it will clarify the situation, and banish the uncertainty under which importers are now acting owing to the unfortunate circumstance that the rulings of the Board of General Appraisers are directly at variance and in conflict with the rulings of the Treasury Department. Respectfully submitted.
Comstock & WASHBURN,
Attorneys for Importers,
12 Broadway, New York City. New York, January 29, 1918.
The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: On behalf of large importing interests throughout the United States we beg to call your attention to the necessity for amendment of subsection 7 of section 28, tariff act of August 5, 1909. This section provides for the assessment of additional duties in cases where the entered value is less than the appraised value, and provides further that the duty shall not be assessed in any case upon an amount less than the entered value. The additional duties the provided for are calculated upon the basis of 1 per cent for every 1 per cent the appraised value exceeds the entered value. The section further provides that these additional duties shall not be remitted nor payment thereof in any way avoided except in cases arising from a manifest clerical error. It very frequently occurs that the entered value of merchandise of importers dealing in entire good faith with the Government is advanced by an examiner, special agent, or appraiser, also acting in good faith, but proceeding upon some mistaken theory of what constitutes market value. For example, an importer enters his goods at a certain valuation in good faith; this valuation is increased by the appraiser. The importer is then compelled to determine whether to add on succeeding entries of the same merchandise an amount sufficient to meet the examiner's or appraiser's advance and thereby avoid the possibility of a penalty (subsection 7, sec. 28) pending the determination of the real market value by the Board of General Appraisers, or continuing to enter the goods at the prices actually paid by him, but which may not be the market value, he being without precise information of what the market value is at the time by reason of having made a contract for the delivery of the goods at some other time, or for some other cause, and the law requiring that the market value prevailing at the time of shipment be taken. If the importer adds on entry to bring his value up to the value thought by the appraiser to be the correct value, he can not recover any portion of this additional duty, by reason of the provision in subsection 7 that “the duty shall not, however, be assessed in any case upon an amount less than the entered value.” If he does not add on entry an amount to bring the entered value up to what the appraiser believes to be the market value, the importer is in danger of having to pay an additional duty in the event that the appraised value on the test shipment is sustained by the board of appraisers. This condition of the law has frequently been the subject of comment by the Board of General Appraisers, the last reference being on January 9, 1913, in Abstract 31056, T, D. 33106. It is suggested, therefore, that the sections above referred to be so amended to permit importers whenever their entered value is challenged by the appraiser on a particular shipment to add a sum on subsequent shipments to bring the invoice value up to the value thought by the appraiser to be the correct market value and thereby protect the Government in its duties, and at the same time lodge with the collector some form of protest which can be later called by the importer to the attention of the collector in the event that the Board of General Appraisers finds that the market value in the test shipment was the entered value. The result of this amendment would be that the Government would be protected throughout to the full amount of its duty and the importer would be permitted to recover back the duties paid upon the increased valuation when he properly protected his rights and when the reappraisement board found that the entered value was corrrect in the test case. In other words, the importer would always, then, be paying the full legal duty calculated on the legal market value and not as at present, when he is compelled in many cases to pay an excessive illegal duty upon an excessive illegal amount of market value. Respectfully submitted.
COMSTOCK & WASHBURN,
Attorneys for Importers.
PARAGRAPH 536–COAL-TAR PRODUCTS.
TESTIMONY OF E. A. STERLING, REPRESENTING AMERICAN
WOOD PRESERVERS' ASSOCIATION, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
Mr. STERLING. I wish to discuss section 23 of the chemical schedule, coal-tar creosote; the letter which I will present later in the form of a brief sums up this situation for your consideration. I want to say orally that this suggestion of a duty on coal-tar creosote at the present time seems to come at a time when it will most vitally affect the woodpreserving industry, for the reason that for the past year there has been a growing scarcity of coal-tar creosote. The price has advanced to a point where many large wood-consuming concerns are kept from the saving which would result from the use of treated material.
Mr. HARRISON. What is the price now per gallon?
Mr. HARRISON. What is the price at the customhouse on imported creosote oil ?
Mr. STERLING. There is no duty, so far as my knowledge goes.
Mr. HARRISON. But they keep a unit of value on it, even though they do not pay duty ?
Mr. STERLING. I should say that the unit of value did not include freight. In 1911 the price of oil was about 6 cents.
Mr. HARRISON. Can it have risen so much in less than a year? Mr. STERLING. Yes, sir. The price ranged from 8 to 8} cents, which is over 30 per cent increase in a little over a year; so that levying a duty would very seriously affect the whole industry.
I might say that I am speaking on behalf of the American Wood Preservers’ Association, which is a voluntary association maintained for the advancement of the whole industry, from both the technical and commercial standpoint.
Mr. HAMMOND. Is there anything in this country used as extensively as creosote will be for preserving wood ?
Mr. STERLING. No, sir; the other preser vative is zinc chloride. There has been no increase in the consumption of zinc chloride, whereas the consumption of creosote has been advancing, creating a scarcity.
Mr. HAMMOND. Neither one is used in marine timber?
Mr. STERLING. Yes, sir. Creosote is used very largely in treating marine timber.
Mr. HAMMOND. I understand that it is used on the coast
Mr. STERLING. I could not say as to that specific case, but I do know that large amounts of creosoted timber is shipped to the West Indies and Cuba.
Mr. HAMMOND. What proportion of it is domestic and what percentage foreign?
Mr. STERLING. About 30 per cent domestic, the rest foreign; the domestic output has remained almost constant for five years. The slight increase in domestic output has been taken care of by an increase in the whole consumption. The domestic consumption will perhaps increase, but from all the information I can gather it is
PARAGRAPH 536–COAL-TAR PRODUCTS.
probable we will have to draw very largely on the European supply for many years to come.
Would it be your pleasure to have me read the brief which I haveit is very short-or do you prefer to ask questions? Mr. HARRISON. It will be printed, but you can read it if you desire. .
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 31, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: As chairman of a committee appointed by the American Wood Preservers’ Association at the ninth annual meeting in Chicago, January 21 to 23, I should like to submit briefly the salient arguments against the proposed duty on coal-tar creosote, which we understand is covered by the chemical schedule of the tariff bill under revision by the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives.
The American Wood Preservers’ Association represents the various interests throughout the country which are actually engaged in the preservative treatment of timber in various forms, and includes practically all of the commercial and railroad treating plants which use creosote oil.
The preservative treatment of timber with creosote on a large scale is a development of the past 10 years, and the latest statistics of the United States Forest Service, which are for the year 1910, show a total of 65,274,887 cubic feet of timber treated with creosote, or 783,298,644 board feet.
The importance of wood preservation is shown by the fact that the life of treated timber is increased from two to five times over that of untreated timber, and to that extent the drain on the Nation's diminishing forest resources is reduced.
The United States Department of Agriculture, in Circular 118, states that "if all ties, poles, posts, piling, mine props, shingles, and structural lumber adapted to treatment were given a proper treatment, an annual saving of about 6,000,000,000 board feet would ensue." The same circular also states that the financial saving that would result in the United States—were a uniform policy adopted-would amount to $72,000,000.
In view of the Government's policy of administering and conserving national forest lands, and of acquiring additional lands for stream protection and forest perpetuation in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, under a congressional act appropriating $11,000,000, it appears that the logical policy should be to conserve these forest resources by reducing the consumption of timber through preservative treatment with creosote, as well as by protecting the timber at its source.
Your committee has no doubt received information from many sources elaborating on the details regarding the extent and value of the wood-preserving industry in its many phases. The specific points which we should like to bring out at the present time are:
(1) That the domestic output of coal-tar creosote has amounted to approximately only one-third of the total consumption during the past five years. Even with the efforts now being made to increase the domestic output, present developments in the wood-preserving industry are such that we shall continue to be dependent on foreign creosote to a large extent.
(2) While we must depend on the European supply of creosote or oil in the future, as in the past, there has occurred during the past year an increase in the selling price and in ocean freight rates on foreign oil which amounts to an approximate increase of over 30 per cent to the American consumer.
(3) In the case oi actual or potential consumers of treated material in regions where timber is still comparatively cheap, the possible saving, in view of the present high price of creosote, is so slight over the use of untreated material that any increase in the price of creosote due to a duty would result in the use of untreated material, and, in certain cases where treatment would be practiced if creosote prices were lower, existing plants would be forced to suspend operations.
For specific reference to further arguments against the levying of an import duty on coal-tar creosote we would respectfully refer to the brief of Burdett, Thompson & Law, addressed to the Hon. Oscar W. Underwood, under date of January 10, 1913, and printed in tariff schedule No. 7, hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means.
We would also refer to a letter by E. A. Sterling while president of the American Wood Preservers' Association, addressed to the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, under date of January 19, 1913, copy of which is hereto attached.
PARAGRAPH 536–COAL-TAR PRODUCTS.
We also submit herewith resolutions adopted by the American Wood Preservers' Association at their ninth annual meeting in Chicago, January 21 to 23, 1913.
In conclusion, we would respectfully submit for your consideration the advisability of referring this question to the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for an opinion as to the value of creosote treatment of timber in relation to the conservation of the national timber resources and as to the probable effect of the levying of an import duty on the wood-preserving industry. Respectfully submitted.
WM. A. FISHER.
E. A. STERLING, Chairman. (Submitted by E. A. Sterling, 1331 Real Estate Trust Building, Philadelphia, Pa.)
JANUARY 9, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD, Chairman Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Sır: Our attention has been called to the fact that coal-tar creosote or dead oil of tar is listed under article 23 in the Underwood bill, now under consideration by the Ways and Means Committee. In this connection and on behalf of the American Wood Preservers' Association, which represents most of the creosote-consuming interests in the country, I should like to respectfully call your attention to a few fundamental points that would seem to fully justify a retention of coal-tar creosote on the free list.
As a first consideration the United States is producing only about 30 per cent of the creosote used in the wood-preserving industry, the remainder being imported from Great Britain and Germany. The total consumption has been increasing quite rapidly, or from 56,000,000 gallons in 1908 to 73,000,000 gallons in 1911; while the domestic output has maintained practically a constant percentage to the total amount used, being 31 per cent in 1908 and 30 per cent in 1911.
The selling price and ocean freight rates on foreign coal-tar creosote have increased, 80 that the consumers of creosote in the timber States who are forced to buy at least part of their oil abroad, because the domestic supply is not sufficient, now have to pay a delivered price about 25 per cent higher than a few years ago. There is an actual shortage of creosote in the European market, so that prices will likely go still higher, and if, in addition, a duty is imposed it will not only work a hardship on the woodpreserving industry, but actually result in the discontinuation of much wood-preserving work.
As a further consideration, it is clearly recognized that preservative treatment of timber is a strong factor in the conservation of our forests. Creosoted cross ties, piling, trestle timbers, and other material will last from two to four times longer than untreated material, and thereby to exactly that extent reduce the drain on our diminishing forest resources. Since the Government is expending millions of dollars in purchasing and conserving forest lands, it hardly seems consistent to put a premium, in the form of an import duty, on the preservative material which figures very largely in the work of timber conservation.
It is, perhaps, unnecessary to explain that the coal-tar creosote in which wood preservers are interested is not a manufactured product, but is a by-product of a byproduct (coal tar), and is produced only when tar is distilled to recover other products.
I understand that the hearings on the chemical schedule in which creosote is included have already been held, so I should be glad to be advised of the proper procedure in order to have the matter fully explained and considered by the Ways and Means Committee. Yours, respectfully,
E, A. STERLING,
RESOLUTIONS OF THE AMERICAN Wood PRESERVERS' ASSOCIATION REGARDING THE
LEVYING OF AN IMPORT DUTY ON COAL-TAR CREOSOTE.
(Adopted at the ninth annual meeting, Jan. 21, 22, and 23, 1913.) Whereas it has become known to the American Wood Preservers' Association that the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives of the Sixty-second Congress has under consideration a bill which provides for the levying of an import duty on dead oil of coal tar, otherwise known as creosote oil; and