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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/53

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actions and papers involve the payment of fees, or the purchase and affixing of stamps. Thus, by section 377 of the tariff law of December, 1884, it is ordained that "the custom house shall give to every individual who makes any importation, upon the payment of duties, a certificate of the sum paid, which certificate, on being presented to the administrator of the stamp office in the place of importation, shall be changed for an equal amount in custom-house stamps. For this operation the interested party shall pay, to the administrator of whom he received the stamps, two per cent in money (coin) of the total value of the stamps." All imports into Mexico are liable, therefore, to these multiple assessments; and the extent to which they act as a prohibition on trade may be best illustrated by a practical example.

In 1885, an American gentleman, residing in the city of Mexico as the representative of certain New England business interests, with a view of increasing his personal comfort, induced the landlady of the hotel where he resided (who, although by birth a Mexican, was of Scotch parentage) to order from St. Louis an American cooking-stove, with its customary adjuncts of pipes, kettles, pans, etc. In due time the stove arrived; and the following is an exact transcript of the bills contingent, which were rendered and paid upon its delivery:

Original Invoice:
1 stove weight 282 pounds.
1 box pipe " 69 "
1 box stove-furniture " 86 "
Total 437 pounds, or 199.3 kilos.
Cost in St. Louis, United States currency $26 50
Exchange at 20 per cent 5 30
Total $31 80
Freight from St. Louis to city of Mexico (rail), at 3.15 per 100 pounds. $15 75
Mexican consular fee at El Paso 4 85
Stamps at El Paso 45
Cartage and labor on boxes examined by custom-house at El Paso 50
Forwarding commission, El Paso 2 00
Exchange 162/3 per cent on $7.64 freight advanced by Mexican Central Railroad 1 25 $56 60
Import Duties:
1 box, 128 kilos (stove), iron, without brass or copper ornaments, at 19 cents per kilo $24 42
1 box, 31.3 kilos, iron pipe, at 24 cents per kilo. 7 51
1 box iron pots, with brass handles, at 24 cents per kilo 9 48
$41 41
Add 4 per cent as per tariff. 1 65
$43 06
Package duty, 50 cents per 100 kilos 1 00
$44 06