Saxonville Mills v. Russell/Opinion of the Court
The duties chargeable upon the importations in question were levied and collected under section 1 of the act of March 2, 1867, 'to provide increased revenue from imported wool and for other purposes.' 14 St. 559. It provides that 'from and after the passage of this act, in lieu of the duties now imposed by law on the articles mentioned and embraced in this section, there shall be levied, collected, and paid on all unmanufactured wool, hair of the alpaca, goat, and other like animals, imported from foreign countries, the duties hereinafter provided.' For the purpose of fixing the duties to be charged thereon, the articles mentioned are divided into three classes, as follows: Class 1, clothing wool; class 2, combing wools; class 3, carpet wools and other similar wools, the last being 'such as Douskoi, native South American, Cordova, Valparaiso, native Smyrna, and including all such United States from Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere.' The importations affected by this suit were of this class. It was further provided that 'upon wools of the third class, the value whereof at the last port or place whence exported into the United States, excluding charges in such port, shall be twelve cents or less per pound, the duty shall be three cents per pound; upon wools of the same class, the value whereof at the last port or place whence exported to the United States, excluding charges in such port, shall exceed twelve cents per pound, the duty shall be six cents per pound.' By the act of June 6, 1872, (17 St. 230, § 2,) the duties on wool, imposed by the act of 1867, among other things, were reduced 10 per centum of such duties.
As the value of the wool in question, at the last port or place whence exported into the United States, excluding charges in such port at the time of shipment, was less than 12 cents per pound, under these provisions of the law, standing alone, it would be subject to a duty of but 3 cents per pound, and it is contended by the plaintiff in error that the case is governed exclusively by these sections. But as the wool was bought in Rosario, and was shipped from there to the United States, and was invoiced there and entered at the custom-house in Boston at the price paid for it in the currency and weight in which it was bought, which, upon being reduced to United States currency and weight, showed the cost to be above 12 cents per pound, it is contended on the part of the collector that it was properly chargeable according to that value, with the duty actually exacted of 6 cents per pound. This conclusion is based upon a proviso, occurring in the seventh section of the act of March 3, 1865, 'amendatory of certain acts imposing duties upon foreign importations,' (13 St. 491,) and repeated in the ninth section of the act of July 28, 1866, 'to protect the revenue, and for other purposes.' 14 St. 330. The first of these sections is as follows:
'Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, that in all cases where there is or shall be imposed any ad valorem rate of duty on any goods, wares, or merchandise imported into the United States, and in all cases where the duty imposed by law shall be regulated by, or directed to be estimated or based upon, the value of the square yard, or of any specified quantity or parcel of such goods, wares, or merchandise, it shall be the duty of the collector within whose district the same shall be imported or entered to cause the actual market value or wholesale price thereof, at the period of the exportation to the United States, in the principal markets of the country from which the same shall have been imported into the United States, to be appraised, and such appraised value shall be considered the value upon which duty shall be assessed; that it shall be lawful for the owner, consignee, or agent of any goods, wares, or merchandise which shall have been actually purchased, or procured otherwise than by purchase, at the time, and not afterwards, when he shall produce his original invoice, or invoices, to the collector, and make and verify his written entry of his goods, wares, or merchandise, as provided by section thirty-six of the act of March 2, 1799, entitled 'An act to regulate the collection of duties on imports and tonnage,' to make such addition in the entry to the cost or value given in the invoice as in his opinion may raise the same to the actual market value or wholesale price of such goods, wares, or merchandise, at the period of exportation to the United States, in the principal markets of the country from which the same shall have been imported; and it shall be the duty of the collector within whose district the same may be imported or entered to cause such actual market value or wholesale price to be appraised in accordance with the provisions of existing laws, and if such appraised value shall exceed by ten per centum or more the value so declared in the entry, then, in addition to the duties imposed by law on the same, there shall be levied, collected, and paid a duty of twenty per centum ad valorem on such appraised value; provided, that the duty shall not be assessed upon an amount less than the invoice or entered value, any act of congress to the contrary not-withstanding.'
'Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, that in determining the dutiable value of merchandise hereafter imported, there shall be added to the cost, or to the actual wholesale price or general market value at the time of exportation in the principal markets of the country from whence the same shall have been imported into the United States, the cost of transportation, shipment, and transhipment, with all the expenses included from the place of growth, production, or manufacture, whether by land or water, to the vessel in which shipment is made to the United States, the value of the sack, box, or covering of any kind in which such goods are contained; commission at the usual rates, but in no case less than 2 1/2 per centum; brokerage, export duty, and all other actual or usual charges for putting up, preparing, and packing for transportation or shipment; and all charges of a general character incurred in the purchase of a general in voice shall be distributed pro rata among all parts of such invoice, and every part thereof charged with duties based on value shall be advanced according to its proportion, and all wines or other articles paying specific duty by grades shall be graded and pay duty according to the actual value so determined: provided, that all additions made to the entered value of the merchandise for charges shall be regarded as part of the actual value of such merchandise, and if such addition shall exceed by 10 per centum the value so declared in the entry, in addition to the duties imposed by law, there shall be levied, collected, and paid a duty of 20 per centum on such value: provided, that a duty shall in no case be assessed upon an amount less than the invoice or entered value: provided, further, that nothing herein contained shall apply to long-combing or carpet wools costing 12 cents or less per pound, unless the charges so added shall carry the cost above 12 cents per pound, in which case 1 cent per pound duty shall be added.'
In our opinion, the rule declared in the provisos in both these sections, that the duty shall not be assessed upon an amount less than the invoice or entered value, is applicable to the valuation of wools, for the purpose of determining the rate of duty chargeable upon them under the acts of 1867 and 1872, and was therefore properly applied in the present case. It is quite true that the act of 1867 provides a different classification of wools, and imposes a specific and not an ad valorem duty; but, nevertheless, the duty varies according to the value per pound of the article, and a valuation is therefore as necessary to the ascertainment of the rate of duty as if it were strictly an ad valorem duty, and there is nothing in the act of 1867 which, by express words or necessary implication, repeals the proviso in question, as found in the previous acts of 1865 and 1866. In the act of 1865 the rule is declared to be of general application, not only 'in all cases where there is or shall be imposed any ad valorem rate of duty on any goods, wares, or merchandise imported into the United States,' but also 'in all cases where the duty imposed by law shall be regulated by, or directed to be estimated or based upon, the value of the square yard, or of any specified quantity or parcel of such goods, wares, or merchandise.' There is no more inconsistency between this provision and the act of 1867 than if the proviso had been expressly added to the section of the latter act, which contains the substituted classification of wools for dutiable purposes, and fixes the varying rates of duty upon them. It would be an unsound and unsafe rule of construction which would separate from the tariff revenue system, consisting of numerous and diverse enactments, each new act altering it, in any of its details, or prescribing new duties in lieu of existing ones on particular articles. The whole system must be regarded in each alteration, and no disturbance allowed of existing legislative rules of general application beyond the clear intention of congress.
The judgment of the circuit court is affirmed.