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President for the following causes, and no other: Neglect of duty, malfeasance in office, or inefficiency.
“That hereafter the salary of each of the general appraisers of merchandise shall be at the rate of nine thousand dollars per annum.
“That the boards of general appraisers and the members thereof shall have and possess all the powers of a circuit court of the United States in preserving order, compelling the attendance of witnesses, and the production of evidence, and in punishing for contempt.
“All notices in writing to collectors of dissatisfaction of any decision thereof, as to the rate or amount of duties chargeable upon imported merchandise, including all dutiable costs and charges, and as to all fees and exactions of whatever character (except duties on tonnage), with the invoice and all papers and exhibits, shall be forwarded to the board of nine general appraisers of merchandise at New York to be by rule thereof assigned for hearing or determination, or both. The President of the United States shall designate one of the board of nine general appraisers of merchandise as president of said board and others in order to act in his absence. Said general appraisers of merchandise shall be divided into three boards of three members each, to be denominated respectively Board 1, Board 2, and Board. The president of the board shall assign three general appraisers to each of said boards and shall designate one member of each of said boards as chairman thereof, and such assignment or designation may be by him changed from time to time, and he may assign or designate all boards of three general appraisers where it is now or heretofore was provided by law that such might be assigned or designated by the Secretary of the Treasury. The president of the board shall be competent to sit as a member of any board, or assign one or two other members thereto, in the absence or inability of any one or two members of such board. Each of the boards of three general appraisers, or a majority thereof, shall have full power to hear and determine all cases and questions arising therein or assigned thereto; and the general board of nine general appraisers, each of the boards of three general appraisers, and each of the general appraisers of merchandise, shall have all the jurisdiction and powers and proceed as now, heretofore, and herein provided. The said board of nine general appraisers shall have power to establish from time to time such rules of evidence, practice and procedure, not inconsistent with the statutes, as may be deemed necessary for the conduct and uniformity of its proceedings and decisions and the proceedings and decisions of the boards of three thereof; and for the production, care, and custody of samples and records of said board. The president of the board shall have control of the fiscal affairs and the clerical force of the board, make all recommendations for appointment, promotion, and otherwise affecting said clerical force; he may at any time before trial under the rules of said board assign or reassign any case for hearing, determination, or both, and shall designate a general appraiser or a board of general appraisers, and, if necessary, a clerk thereto, to proceed to any port within the jurisdiction of the United States for the purpose of hearing, or determining if authorized by law, causes assigned for hearing at such port, and shall cause to be prepared and duly promulgated dockets therefor. No member of any of said boards shall sit to hear or decide any case on appeal in the
decision of which he may have previously participated. The board of three general appraisers, or a majority of them, who decided the case, may, upon motion of either party made within thirty days next after their decision, grant a rehearing or retrial of said case when in their opinion the ends of justice may require it. WSEC. 13. That the appraiser shall revise and correct the reports
the assistant appraisers as he may judge proper, and the appraiser, or, at ports where there is no appraiser, the person acting as such, shall report to the collector his decision as to the value of the merchandise appraised. At ports where there is no appraiser the certificate of the customs officer to whom is committed the estimating and collection of duties, of the dutiable value of any merchandise required to be appraised, shall be deemed and taken to be the appraisement of such merchandise. If the collector shall deem the appraisement of any imported merchandise too low, he may, within sixty days thereafter, appeal to reappraisement, which shall be made by one of the general appraisers, or if the importer, owner, agent, or consignee of such merchandise shall be dissatisfied with the appraisement thereof, and skall have complied with the requirements of law with respect to the entry and appraisement of merchandise, he may within ten days thereafter give notice to the collector, in writing, of such dissatisfaction. The decision of the general appraiser in cases of reappraisement shall be final and conclusive as to the dutiable value of such merchandise against all parties interested therein, unless the importer, owner, consignee, or agent of the merchandise shall be dissatisfied with such decision, and shall, within five days thereafter, give notice to the collector, in writing, of such dissatisfaction, or unless the collector shall deem the reappraisement of the merchandise too low, and shall within ten days thereafter appeal to re-reappraisement; in either case the collector shall transmit the invoice and all the papers appertaining thereto to the board of nine general appraisers, to be by rule thereof duly assigned for determination. In such cases the general appraiser and boards of general appraisers shall proceed by all reasonable ways and means in their power to ascertain, estimate, and determine the dutiable value of the imported merchandise, and in so doing may exercise both judicial and inquisitorial functions. In such cases hearings may in the discretion of the General Appraiser or board of General Appraisers before whom the case is pending be open and in the presence of the importer or his attorney and any duly authorized representative of the Government, who may in like discretion examine and cross-examine all witnesses produced. The decision of the appraiser, or the person acting as such (in case where no objection is made thereto, either by the collector or by the importer, owner, consignee or agent) or the single general appraiser in case of no appeal, or of the board of three general appraisers, in all reap, praisement cases, shall be final and conclusive against all parties and shall not be subject to review in any manner for any cause in any tribunal or court, and the collector or the person acting as such shail ascertain, fix, and liquidate the rate and amount of the duties to be paid on such merchandise, and the dutiable costs and charges thereon, according to law.
“SEC. 14. That the decision of the collector as to the rate and amount of duties chargeable upon imported merchandise, including all dutiable costs and charges, and as to all fees and exactions of
whatever character (except duties on tonnage), shall be final and conclusive against all persons interested therein, unless the owner, importer, consignee, or agent of such merchandise, or the person paying such fees, charges, and exactions other than duties, shall, within fifteen days after but not before such ascertainment and liquidation of duties, as well in cases of merchandise entered in bond as for consumption, or within fifteen days after the payment of such fees, charges, and exactions, if dissatisfied with such decision, give notice in writing to the collector, setting forth therein distinctly and specifically, and in respect to each entry or payment, the reasons for his objections thereto, and if the merchandise is entered for consumption shall pay the full amount of the duties and charges ascertained to be due thereon. Upon such notice and payment the collector shall transmit the invoice and all the papers and exhibits connected therewith to the board of nine general appraisers, for due assignment and determination as hereinbefore provided; such determination shall be final and conclusive upon all persons interested therein, and the record shall be transmitted to the proper collector or person acting as such, who shall liquidate the entry accordingly, except in cases where an application shall be filed in the United States Court of Customs Appeals within the time and in the manner provided for in this Act.
“SEC. 15. That the general appraisers, or any of them, are hereby authorized to administer oaths, and said general appraisers, the boards of general appraisers, the local appraisers or the collectors, as the case may be, may cite to appear before them, and examine upon oath any owner, importer, agent, consignee, or other person touching any matter or thing which they, or either of them, may deem material respecting any imported merchandise, in ascertaining the dutiable value or classification thereof; and they, or either of them, may require the production of any letters, accounts, or invoices relating to said merchandise and may require such testimony to be reduced to writing, and when so taken it shall be filed in the office of the collector, and preserved for use or reference until the final decision of the collector or said board of appraisers shall be made respecting the valuation or classification of said merchandise, as the case may be.
“SEC. 16. That if any person so cited to appear shall neglect or refuse to attend, or shall decline to answer, or shall refuse to answer in writing any interrogatories, and subscribe his name to his deposition, or to produce such papers when so required by a general appraiser, or a board of general appraisers, or a local appraiser or a collector, he shall be liable to a penalty of one hundred dollars; and if such person be the owner, importer, or consignee, the appraisement which the general appraiser, or board of general appraisers, or local appraiser or collector, where there is no appraiser, may make of the merchandise shall be final and conclusive; and any person who shall willfully and corruptly swear falsely on an examination before any general appraiser, or board of general appraisers, or local appraiser or collector, shall be deemed guilty of perjury; and if he is the owner, importer, or consignee, the merchandise shall be forfeited.
'Sec. 17. That all decisions of the general appraisers and of the boards of general appraisers, respecting values and rates of duty, shall be preserved and filed, and shall be open to inspection under proper regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. All decisions of the general appraisers shall be reported forthwith to the Secretary of the Treasury and to the board of general appraisers on duty at the port of New York, and the report to the board shall be accompanied, whenever practicable, by samples of the merchandise in question, and it shall be the duty of the said board, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, to cause an abstract to be made and published of such decisions of the appraisers as they may deem important, and of the decisions of each of the general appraisers and boards of general appraisers, which abstract shall contain a general description of the merchandise in question, and of the value and rate of duty fixed in each case, with reference, whenever practicable, by number or other designation, to samples deposited in the place of samples at New York, and such abstract shall be issued from time to time, at least once in each week, for the information of customs officers and the public.
“SEC. 18. That whenever imported merchandise is subject to an ad valorem rate of duty, or to a duty based upon or regulated in any manner by the value thereof, the duty shall be assessed upon the actual market value or wholesale price thereof, at the time of exportation to the United States, in the principal markets of the country from whence exported; that such actual market value shall be held to be the price at which such merchandise is freely offered for sale to all purchasers in said markets, in the usual wholesale quantities, and the price which the manufacturer or owner would have received, and was willing to receive, for such merchandise when sold in the ordinary course of trade in the usual wholesale quantities, including the value of all cartons, cases, crates, boxes, sacks, casks, barrels, hogsheads, bottles, jars, demijohns, carboys, and other containers or coverings, whether holding liquids or solids, and all other costs, charges and expenses incident to placing the merchandise in condition, packed ready for shipment to the United States, and if there be used for covering or holding imported merchandise, whether dutiable or free, any unusual article or form designed for use otherwise than in the bona fide transportation of such merchandise to the United States, additional duty shall be levied and collected upon such material or article at the rate to which the same would be subjected if separately imported. That the words “value," or "actual market value," or "wholesale price,” whenever used in this Act, or in any law relating to the appraisement of imported merchandise, shall be construed to be the actual market value or wholesale price of such, or similar merchandise comparable in value therewith, as defined in this Act.
“SEC. 19. Any merchandise deposited in any public or private bonded warehouse may be withdrawn for consumption within three years from the date of original importation, on payment of the duties and charges to which it may be subject by law at the time of such withdrawal: Provided, That nothing herein shall affect or impair existing provisions of law in regard to the disposal of perishable or explosive articles.
*SEC. 20. That in all suits or informations brought, where any seizure has been made pursuant to any Act providing for or regulating the collection of duties on imports or tonnage, if the property is claimed by any person, the burden of proof shall lie upon such claimant: Provided, That probable cause is shown for such prosecution, to be judged of by the court.
“SEC. 21. That all fees exacted and oaths administered by officers of the customs, except as provided in this Act, under or by virtue of existing laws of the United States, upon the entry of imported goods and the passing thereof through the customs, and also upon all entries of domestic goods, wares, and merchandise for exportation, be, and the same are hereby, abolished; and in case of entry of merchandise for exportation, a declaration, in lieu of an oath, shall be filed, in such form and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury; and the penalties provided in the sixth section of this Act for false statements in such declaration shall be applicable to declarations made under this section: Provided, That where such fees, under existing laws, constitute, in whole or in part, the compensation of any officer, such officer shall receive, from and after the passage of this Act, a fixed sum for each year equal to the amount which he would have been entitled to receive as fees for such services during said year.
“SEC. 22. No allowance shall be made in the estimation and liquidation of duties for shortage or nonimportation caused by decay, destruction or injury to fruit or other perishable articles imported into the United States whereby their commercial value has been destroyed, unless under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Proof to ascertain such destruction or nonimportation shall be lodged with the collector of customs of the port where such merchandise has been landed, or the person acting as such, within ten days after the landing of such merchandise. The provisions hereof shall apply whether or not the merchandise has been entered, and whether or not the duties have been paid or secured to be paid, and whether or not a permit of delivery has been granted to the owner or consignee. Nor shall any allowance be made for damage, but the importers may 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 twentyeight 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