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within ten days after entry abandon to the United States all or any portion of goods, wares or merchandise of every description included in any invoice and be relieved from the payment of duties on the portion so abandoned: Provided, That the portion so abandoned shall amount to ten per centum or more of the total value or quantity of the invoice. The right of abandonment herein provided for may be exercised whether the goods, wares or merchandise have been damaged or not, or whether or not the same have any commercial value: Provided further, That section twenty-eight hundred and ninety-nine of the Revised Statutes, relating to the return of packages unopened for appraisement, shall in no wise prohibit the right of importers to make all needful examinations to determine whether the right to abandon accrues, or whether by reason of total destruction there is a nonimportation in whole or in part. All merchandise abandoned to the Government by the importers shall be delivered by the importers thereof at such place within the port of arrival as the chief officer of customs may direct, and on the failure of the importers to comply with the direction of the collector or the chief officer of customs, as the case may be, the abandoned merchandise shall be disposed of by the customs authorities under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, at the expense of such importers. Where imported fruit or perishable goods have been condemned at the port of original entry within ten days after landing, by health officers or other legally constituted authorities, the importers or their agents shall, within twenty-four hours after such condemnation, lodge with the collector, or the person acting as collector, of
notice thereof in writing, together with an invoice description and the quantity of the articles condemned, their location, and the name of the vessel in which imported. Upon receipt of said notice the collector, or person acting as collector, shall at once cause an investigation and a report to be made in writing by at least two customs officers touching the identity and quantity of fruit or perishable goods condemned, and unless proof to ascertain the shortage or nonimportation of fruit or perishable goods shall have been lodged as herein required, or if the importer or his agent fails to notify the collector of such condemnation proceedings as herein provided, proof of such shortage or nonimportation shall not be deemed established and no allowance shall be made in the liquidation of duties chargeable thereon.
SEC. 23. That whenever it shall be shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury that, in any case of unascertained or estimated duties, or payments made upon appeal, more money has been paid to or deposited with the collector of customs than, as has been ascertained by final liquidation thereof, the law required to be paid or deposited, the Secretary of the Treasury shall direct the Treasurer to refund and pay the same out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. The necessary moneys therefor are hereby appropriated, and this appropriation shall be deemed a permanent indefinite appropriation; and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to correct manifest clerical errors in any entry or liquidation, for or against the United States, at any time within one year of the date of such entry, but not afterwards: Provided, That the Secietary of the Treasury shall, in his annual report to Congress, give a detailed statement of the
various sums of money refunded under the provisions of this Act or of any other Act of Congress relating to the revenue, together with copies of the rulings under which repayments were made.
“ SEC. 24. That from and after the taking effect of this Act, no collector or other officer of the customs shall be in any way liable to any owner, importer, consignee, or agent of any merchandise, or any other person, for or on account of any rulings or decisions as to the classification of said merchandise or the duties charged thereon, or the collection of any dues, charges, or duties on or on account of said merchandise, or any other matter or thing as to which said owner, importer, consignee, or agent of such merchandise might, under this Act, be entitled to appeal from the decision of said collector or other officer, or from any board of appraisers provided for in this Act.
Sec. 25. That any person who shall give, or offer to give, or promise to give, any money or thing of value, directly or indirectly, to any officer or employee of the United States in consideration of or for any act or omission contrary to law in connection with or pertaining to the importation, appraisement, entry, examination, or inspection of goods, wares, or merchandise, including herein any baggage or of the liquidation of the entry thereof, or shall by threats or demands, or promises of any character attempt to improperly influence or control any such officer or employee of the United States as to the performance of bis official duties shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not exceeding two thousand dollars, or be imprisoned at hard labor not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court; and evidence of such giving, or offering, or promising to give, satisfactory to the court in which such trial is had,
shall be regarded as prima facie evidence that such giving or offering or promising was contrary to law, and shall put upon the accused the burden of proving that such act was innocent and not done with an unlawful intention.
“ SEC. 26. That any officer or employee of the United States who shall, excepting for lawful duties or fees, solicit, demand, exact, or receive from any person, directly or indirectly, any money or thing of value in connection with or pertaining to the importation, appraisement, entry, examination, or inspection of goods, wares, or merchandise, including herein any baggage or liquidation of the entry thereof, on conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding five thousand dollars or be imprisoned at bard labor not more than two years, or botb, in the discretion of the court; and evidence of such soliciting, demanding, exacting, or receiving, satisfactory to the court in which such trial is had, shall be regarded as prima facie evidence that such soliciting, demanding, exacting, or receiving was contrary to law, and shall put upon the accused the burden of proving that such act was innocent and not with an unlawful intention.
“Sec. 27. That any baggage or personal effects arriving in the United States in transit to any foreign country may be delivered by the parties having it in charge to the collector of the proper district, to be by him retained, without the payment or exaction of any import duty, or to be forwarded by such collector to the collector of the port of departure and to be delivered to such parties on their departure for their foreign destination, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.
SEC. 28. That sections twenty-six hundred and eight, twenty-eight hundred and thirty-eight, twenty-eight hundred and thirty-nine, twenty-eight hundred and forty-one, twenty-eight hundred and forty-three, twenty-eight hundred and forty-five, twenty-eight hundred and fifty-three, twenty-eight hundred and fifty-four, twenty-eight hundred and fifty-six, twenty-eight hundred and fifty-eight, twenty-eight hundred and sixty, twenty-nine hundred, twenty-nine hundred and two, twenty-nine hundred and five, twenty-nine hundred and seven, twenty-nine hundred and eight, twenty-nine hundred and nine, twenty-nine hundred and twenty-two, twenty-nine hundred and twenty-three, twenty-nine hundred and twenty-four, twenty-nine hundred and twenty-seven, twenty-nine hundred and twenty-nine, twenty-nine hundred and thirty, twenty-nine hundred and thirty-one, twenty-nine hundred and thirty-two, twenty-nine hundred and forty-three, twenty-nine hundred and forty-five, twenty-nine hundred and fifty-two, three thousand and eleven, three thousand and twelve, three thousand and twelve and one-balf, three thousand and thirteen, of the Revised Statutes of the United States, be, and the same are hereby, repealed, and sections nine, ten, eleven, twelve, fourteen, and sixteen of an Act entitled 'An Act to amend the customs-revenue laws and to repeal moieties,' approved June twenty-second, eighteen hundred and seventyfour, and sections seven, eight, and nine