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PART I

DRAFT OF PROPOSED LAW

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.

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UNITED STATES TARIFF COMMISSION,

Washington, May 7, 1921. THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS:

Pursuant to your request of May 3, 1921, the Tariff Commission herewith submits for consideration in amended form the commission's report of August 26, 1918, upon the Revision of the Customs Administrative Laws.

The larger part by far of the report herewith transmitted is noncontroversial in character. It presents no difficulties. However, should the discussion of some particular sections appear to require more attention by the Congress than is practicable in view of the immediate pressure of other duties, the Tariff Commission, without departing in any respect from its recommendations, is prepared to assist in such modifications as will advance for enactment the strictly procedural provisions of the proposed code, thereby opening the way for early subsequent enactment of any sections which may be reserved for more deliberate consideration by the Congress.

The Committee on Ways and Means should particularly scrutinize section 11 of the proposed code which has been prepared in response to the committee's invitation. That section makes provision for basing ad valorem duties on American instead of foreign values. Elsewhere in the revision all existing administrative laws are appropriately and consistently amended to give effect to this change in the basis of dutiable values.

The Tariff Commission takes this opportunity once more to emphasize that its revision of the customs administrative laws is in no respect a hasty compilation. On the contrary, it is an exhaustive codification, the necessity for which is universally acknowledged. The commission's report has been widely approved by manufacturers, exporters, importers, judicial officers, and customs officials. Apart from the provisions for American valuation, to which reference has been made, the submitted revision of the customs laws, which was carried on approximately for an entire year, is the result of expert investigation.

The Tariff Commission in previous reports to the Congress has recommended the enactment of these provisions into law. It strongly renews that recommendation. Present conditions make such action particularly important. The codification of the procedural provisions of the law separate and apart from the general tariff is favored by all interests concerned-governmental, importing, and manufacturing. It is of the first moment to all business concerns, in view of the proposed adoption of American valuation and new antidumping legislation, that administrative laws and regulations for the collection of duties on imports be definitely formulated for the information of the American business public as long as possible before the date when tariff revision is to take effect. In other words, not only will the general customs administrative machinery of the country be simplified and made more efficient by such separate enactment, but appraisal on the basis of American values and any added antidumping legislation will be far easier of administration and much more certain to realize the intent of the Congress, if included in a coherent and well-rounded administrative code.

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The commission having in view its official obligations desires to add that its accompanying detailed report is precisely such material as an investigative governmental agency, acting under statutory powers and in accordance with well-defined duties, is exceptionally equipped to prepare, and that the conclusions reached ought not to be lightly set aside in favor of either hurriedly drafted or merely individual legislative proposals. Respectfully,

THOMAS WALKER Page, Chairman.
THOMAS O. MARVIN.
DAVID J. LEWIS.
WILLIAM S. CULBERTSON.
EDWARD P. COSTIGAN.

CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATIVE LAWS.

AN ACT TO REVISE, CODIFY, AND AMEND THE CUSTOMS ADMINISTRA.

TIVE LAWS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the laws relating to the collection and protection of duties on imports be, and they hereby are, revised, codified, and amended with chapters, headnotes, and sections, entitled, numbered, and to read as follows:

CHAPTER 1.-DEFINITIONS.

SECTION 1. Vessel.—The word "vessel” includes every description of water craft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on or in water.

Extension to subsea craft. Sec. 2. Vehicle. The word "vehicle” includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land, or through the air.

Extension to air craft. SEC. 3. Port.-The word "port” means a place designated as a port of entry at which vessels may enter and clear or at which merchandise may be entered and the duties thereon collected.

Specific mention of entry and clearance of vessels. SEC. 4. Merchandise.—The word "merchandise” includes goods, wares, and chattels of every description capable of being imported.

Sec. 5. Person.—The word “person” shall include partnerships, associations, and corporations, and the reference to any officer shall include any person authorized by law to perform the duties of such office, unless the context shows that 'such word was intended to be used in a more limited sense.

SEC. 6. Master.—The word “master” includes any person having the chief charge or command of the employment and navigation of a vessel.

Sec. 7. Day.—"Day'' is the time from 7 o'clock a. m. to 6 o'clock p. m.

Fixed time instead of variable.

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