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Officers not to receive part of informer's fee, except in cases
of smuggling. SEC. 7. That except in cases of smuggling as aforesaid, it shall not be lawful for any officer of the United States, under any pretense whatever, directly or indirectly, to receive, accept, or contract for any portion of the money which may, under any of the provisions of this or any other act, accrue to any such person furnishing infor• mation; and any such officer who shall so receive, accept, or contract for any portion of the money that may accrue as aforesaid shall be guilty, of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court, and shall not be thereafter eligible to any office of honor, trust or emolument. And any such person so furnishing information as aforesaid, who shall pay to any such officer of the United States, or to any person for his use, directly or indirectly, any portion of said money, or any other valuable thing, on account of or because of such money, shall have a right of action against such officer or other person, and his legal representatives, to recover back the same, or the value thereof.
This section is absolute that all officers of the United States, except in cases of smuggling, are debarred from receiving any share of a fine. All decisions and regulations to the contrary are revoked (T. D. 14005, Reg. 1892, Articles 979-991).
Who may Testify. SEC. 8. That no officer, or other person entitled to or claiming compensation under any provision of this act, shall be thereby disqualified from becoming a witness in any action, suit, or proceeding for the recovery, mitigation, or remission thereof, but shall be subject to examination and cross-examination in like manner with other witnesses, without being thereby deprived of any right, title, share, or interest in any fine, penalty, or forfeiture to which such examination may relate; and in every such case the defendant or defendants may appear and testify and be examined and cross-examined in like manner.
SECS. 9, 10 and 11. (Relating to entry of merchandise over $100 in value without certified invoice, when allowed.) Repealed by $29, Act June 10, 1890. See $4 of said Act.
SEC. 12. (Relating to fraudulent or false invoices.) Repealed by section 29, Act June 10, 1890. (See $9 of
Penalties for False entries. SEC. 13. That any merchandise entered by any person or persons violating any of the provisions of the preceding section, but not subject to forfeiture under the same section, may, while owned by him or them, or while in his or their possession, to double the amount claimed, be taken by the collector and held as security for the payment of any fine or fiues incurred as aforesaid, or may be levied upon and sold on execution to satisfy any judgment recovered for such fine or fines. But nothing herein contained shall prevent any owner or claimant from obtaining a release of such merchandise on giving a bond, with sureties satisfactory to the collector, or, in case of judicial proceedings. satisfactory to the court, or the judge thereof, for the payment of any fine or fines so incurred: Provided, hvorvever, That such merchandise shall in no case be released until all accrued duties thereon shall have been paid or secured. (See $9, Act June 1o, 1890, post.)
Sec. 14. (Relating to fraudulent or false invoices ) Repealed by section 7, Act of March 3, 1883, and by section 29, Act of June 10, 1890.
To whom violations of Customs Laws reported. SEC. 15. That it shall be the duty of any officer or person employed in the customs-revenue service of the United States. upon detection of any violation of the customs laws, forthwith to make complaint thereof to the collector of the district, whose duty it shall be promptly to report the same to the district attorney of the district in which such frauds shall be committed. Immediately upon the receipt of such complaint, if, in his judgment, it can be sustained, it shall be the duty of such district attorney to cause investigation into the facts to be made before a United States conimissioner having jurisdiction thereof, and to initiate proper proceedings to recover the fines and penalties in the premises, and to prosecute the same with the utmost diligence to final judgment.
SEC. 16. (Relating to fraudulent intent.) Repealed by section 29, Act of June 10, 1890.
Petition for remission of fines, penalties or forfeitures.
SEC. 17. That whenever, for an alleged violation of the customs-revenue laws, any person who shall be charged with having incurred any fine, penalty, forfeiture, or disability other than imprisonment, or shall be interested in any vessel or merchandise seized or subject to seizure. when the appraised value of such vessel or merchandise is
not less than one thousand dollars, shall present his petition to the judge of the district in which the alleged violation occurred, or in which the property is situated, setting forth, truly and particularly, the facts and circumstances of the case, and praying for relief, such judge shall, if the case, in his judgment, requires, proceed to inquire, in a summary manner into the circumstances of the case, at such reasonable time as may be fixed by him for that purpose, of which the district attorney and the collector shall be notified by the petitioner, in order that they may attend and show cause why the petition should be refused. (See $5292, R.S., supra.)
Secretary of the Treasury to remit fines, penalties, or
forfeitures in certain cases. SEC. 18. That the summary investigation hereby provided for may be held before the judge to whom the petition is presented, or, if he shall so direct, before any United States commissioner for such district, and the facts appearing thereon shall be stated and annexed to the petition, and, together with a certified copy of the evidence, transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereupon have power to mitigate or remit such fine, penalty, or forfeiture, or remove such disability, or any part thereof, if, in his opinion, the same shall have been incurred without willful negligence or any intention of fraud in the person or persons incurring the same, and to direct the prosecution, if any shall have been instituted for the recovery thereof, to cease and be discontinued upon such terms or conditions as he may deem reasonable and just. (See $S5292, 5293, R. S., supra.)
Felony for officers to compromise fines, penalties or forfeit
Sec. 19. That it shall not be lawful for any
officer or officers of the United States to compromise or abate any claim of the United States arising under the customs laws, for any fine, penalty, or forfeiture incurred by a violation thereof; and any officer or person who shall so compromise or abate any such claim, or attempt to make such compromise or abatement, or in any manner relieve or attempt to relieve from such fine, penalty, or forfeiture, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall suffer imprisonment not exceeding ten years, and be fined not exceeding ten thousand dollars; Provided, however, That the Secretary of the Treasury shall have power to remit any fines, penalties, or forfeitures, or to compromise the same, in accordance with existing law. (This section construed by Act January 22, 1875, post) (see 885292, 5293, R. S, supra.)
Applications for remission of fines, penalties or forfeitures
when not less than $1,000. SEC. 20. That whenever any application shall be made to the Secretary of the Treasury for the mitigation or remission of any fine, penalty, or forfeiture, or the refund of any duties, in case the amount involved is not less than one thousand dollars, the applicant shall notify the district attorney and the collector of customs of the district in which the duties, fine, penalty, or forfeiture accrued; and it shall be the duty of such collector and district attorney to furnish to the Secretary of the Treasury all practicable information necessary to enable him to protect the interests of the United States. (See $S5292-5294, R. S., supra.)
1. No remission of any penalty under the revenue laws will be made except upon application by the party in interest (T. D. 4254).
2. The Secretary of the Treasury cannot remit a judgment of a court; for example, a judgment upon custom-house bonds (T. D. 2520).
3. A claim growing out of the undervaluation of merchandise by an importer is a case for petition for remission rather than for compromise (T. D. 1675).
4. The remission of a forfeiture relieves the goods from all disability and are thereafter subject to entry and duties in the ordinary manner, unless the goods are specially prohibited, as in the case of obscene articles (T. D. 3480, 7284).
Limitations on power to Reliquidate entries. SEC. 21. That whenever any goods, wares, and merchandise shall have been entered and passed free of duty, and whenever duties upon any imported goods, wares, and merchandise shall have been liquidated and paid, and such goods, wares, and merchandise shall have been delivered to the owner, importer, agent, or consignee, such entry and passage free of duty and such settlement of duties shall, after the expiration of one year from the time of entry, in the absence of fraud and in the absence of protest by the owner, importer, agent, or consignee, be final and conclusive upon all parties. (See $24, Act June 10, 1890, and $i, Act March 3, 1875, post.)
1. Section 14, Act June 10, 1890, which substantially re-enacts section 2931, Revised Statutes, makes the decision of the collector final and conclusive against all " persons," which does not include the United States, and no limitation is thereby imposed on the power of the collector to reliquidate in the interest of the Government. By section 21, Act June 22, 1874, a limitation is imposed on such power, so that no relíquidation can be made after the period of one year from the date of the original entry, where the goods have been delivered to the importer and in the absence of protest (T. D. 3972, 4089, 4588, 5667, 8115, 8695; G. A. 1304, 2411). But if the merchandise remains in the custody of the collector the statute does not appty, and in a recent case where the merchandise had been delivered with the stipulation that it should be regarded as constructively in the possession of the United States, it was held
that a reliquidation after the one year limit was valid (G. A. 2411; Beard vs. Porter, 124 U. S., Sup. Ct. Rep. 437).
2. Where protest has been made and entries are up for reliquidation thereunder, all errors in liquidation may be corrected (T. D. 8583).
3. Protests relating to weights do not keep an entry open or take it out of the limitation of this section, nor re-open the question of duty (G. A. 1822).
4. Where entry has been made, and the case suspended without liquidation more than one year, such entries may be liquidated, additional duties collected or refunds made (Reg. 1892, Art. 928).
5. The withdrawal fiom warehouse of portion of an importation, does not bar the claim for higher rate of duty on the entry as an entirety under reliquidation (T. D. 7376).
Suits to be commenced within three years to recover
penalties or forfeitures. SEC. 22. That no suit or action to recover any pecuniary penalty or forfeiture of property accruing under the customs-revenue laws of the United States shall be instituted unless such suit or action shall be commenced within three years after the time when such penalty or forfeiture shall have accrued; Provided, That the time of the absence from the United States of the person subject to such penalty or forfeiture, or of any concealment or absence of the property, shall not be reckoned within this period of limitation.
SEC. 23. Fixes salaries of certain collectors, naval officers and surveyors.
Secretary of Treasury to make regulations for bonded w
houses, general-order stores, &c. SEC. 24. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall, from time to time, make such regulations as he may deem necessary for the conduct and management of the bonded warehouses, general-order stores, and other depositories of the imported merchandise throughout the United States; all regulations or orders issued by collectors of customs in regard thereto shall be subject to revision, alteration, or revocation by him; and no warehouse shall be bonded and no general-order store established without his authority and approval. And it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, in granting permits to establish generalorder warehouses, to require such warehouse or warehouses to be located contiguous, or as near as may be, to the landing places of steamers and vessels from foreign ports; and that no officer of the customs shall have any personal ownership of, or interest in, any bonded warehouse or general-order store. (See $S2892, 2989, R. S., supra.)