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If any package whatever which has been so reported is wanting, and not found on board such vessel, or if the merchandise on board such vessel does not otherwise agree with the report or manifest delivered by the master of any such vessel, in every such case the master shall be liable to a penalty of five hundred dollars; except that if it is made to appear to the satisfaction of the collector, naval officer, and surveyor, or to the major part of them where those officers are established at any port, or to the satisfaction of the collector alone where neither of the others is established, or in case of trial for the penalty, to the satisfaction of the court, that no part whatever of merchandise of such vessel has been unshipped, landed, or unladen since it was taken on board, except as specified in the report or manifest, and pursuant to permits, or that the disagreement is by accident or mistake, in such case the penalty shall not be inflicted. But in all such cases the master of any vessel shall be required and shall make a post entry or addition to the report or manifest by him delivered of any and all merchandise omitted to be included and reported in such manifest; and it shall not be lawful to grant a permit to unlade any such merchandise so omitted before such post entry or addition to such report or manifest has been made. (R. S., 2887.)
Returns of unlading of cargo.
When the delivery of merchandise from on board of any vessel is completed, copies of the accounts or entries which have been kept or made thereof, by the officer charged with the deliveries, shall be returned to the collector of the district, and the naval officer, if any, within three days after such delivery has been completed, if at the port where such officer resides, and if at any other port as soon as the nature of the case will admit, not exceeding fifteen days. The accounts or entries to be so returned shall comprise all deliveries made pursuant to permits, and all packages or merchandise sent to the public stores; also each and every package remaining on board of such vessel for the purpose of being exported therein to a foreign port, or to some other district of the United States. (R. S., 2888.)
Such returns shall be signed by the inspectors respectively under whose superintendence the deliveries have been made; and, after
examination, and on being found correct, shall be countersigned or certified by the surveyor of the port, if any, at the port where the deliveries have been made. The returns shall be transmitted by him to the naval officer, if any; who shall compare the same with the manifests and entries in his possession; and if any
difference appears, the particulars thereof shall be noted by indorsement on the returns; and if no difference appears, it shall be so noted by like indorsements. The naval officer shall transmit the returns to the collector of the district; and on being returned to the collector, shall be by him compared with the manifests and entries of the merchandise, which have been made by the owner, consignee, or his factor or agent; and if any difference appears, the same shall be noted by indorsement on such manifests, specifying the particulars thereof; and if no difference appears, it shall be noted by like indorsement, that the delivery corresponds with the entry or entries thereof. The indorsement or memorandum shall, in each case, be subscribed by the officer by whom the comparison was made. (R. S., 2889.) Vessels in distress.
If any vessel from any foreign port, compelled by distress of weather, or other necessity, shall put into any port of the United States, not being destined for the same, the master, together with the mate or person next in command, may, within twenty-four hours after her arrival, make protest in the usual form upon oath, before a notary public or other person duly authorized, or before the collector of the district where the vessel arrives, setting forth the cause or circumstances of such distress or necessity. Such protest, if not made before the collector, shall be produced to him, and to the naval officer, if any, and a copy thereof lodged with him or them. The master shall also, within forty-eight hours after such arrival, make report in writing to the collector, of the vessel and her cargo, as is directed hereby to be done in other cases. And if it appear to the collector, by the certificate of the wardens of the port, or other officers usually charged with, and accustomed to ascertain the condition of vessels arriving in distress, if any, or by the certificate of two reputable merchants, to be named for that purpose by the collector, if there are no such wardens, or other officers duly qualified, that there is a necessity for unlading the vessel, the collector and naval officer, if any, shall grant a permit for that purpose, and shall appoint an inspector to oversee such unlading, who shall keep an account of the same, to be compared with the report made by the master of the vessel. (R. S., 2891.)
All merchandise so unladen from any vessel arriving in distress shall be stored under the direction of the collector, who, upon request of the master of such vessel, or of the owner thereof, shall, together with the naval officer, where there is one, and alone where there is none, grant permission to dispose of such part of the cargo as may be of a perishable nature, if any there be, or as may be necessary to defray the expenses attending such vessel and her cargo. But entry shall be made therefor, and the duties paid. (R. S., 2892.)
In case the delivery of the cargo does not agree with the report thereof, made by the master of such vessel so arriving in distress, and if the difference or disagreement is not satisfactorily accounted for in manner prescribed by this Title [R. S., 2517-3129), the master of such vessel shall be liable to such penalties as in other like cases are prescribed. (R. S., 2893.)
The merchandise, or the remainder thereof, which shall not be disposed of, may be reladen on board the vessel so arriving in distress, under the inspection of the officer who superintended the landing thereof, or other proper person; and the vessel may proceed with the same to the place of her destination, free from any other charge than for the storing and safe-keeping of the merchandise, and fees to the officers of the customs as in other cases. (R. S., 2894.)
Obstruction by ice.
When a vessel is prevented by ice from getting to the port or place at which her cargo is intended to be delivered, the collector of the district in which such vessel may be obstructed may receive the report and entry of such vessel, and, with the consent of the naval officer, where there is one, grant permits for unlading or landing the merchandise imported in such vessel, at any place within his district, most convenient and proper. The report and entry of such vessel, and her cargo, or any part thereof, and all persons concerned therein, shall be subject to the same regulations and penalties as if the vessel had arrived at the port of her destination, and had there proceeded to the delivery of her cargo. (R. S., 2896.) Salvage of merchandise.
All merchandise imported into the United States shall, for the purpose of this title [R. S., 2517–3129] be deemed and held to be the property of the person to whom the merchandise may be consigned; but the holder of any bill of lading consigned to order and endorsed by the consignor shall be deemed the consignee thereof.
And in case of the abandonment of any merchandise to the underwriters, the latter may be recognized as the consignee, and under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, merchandise saved from a vessel wrecked or abandoned at sea, or on or along the coasts of the United States and promptly brought into a port of the United States by or in possession of the salvors of the same, can, for the purpose of its title, be regarded as the property of such salvors, and the valuation thereof and payment of duties thereon can be made accordingly and with due reference to the condition of said merchandise as thus saved and the necessities of the
Provided, however, That such bringing in by salvors shall be in good faith and without intent to evade the just payment of duty:
And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prejudice in any other respect the rights of property, or of or through abandonment or allowance of the owner or any other person interested in said merchandise. (R. S., 3058; Feb. 23, 1887.) Fradulent importation of merchandise.
If any person shall fraudulently or knowingly import or bring into the United States, or assist in so doing any merchandise, contrary to law, or shall receive, conceal, buy, sell, or in any manner facilitate the transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise after importation, knowing the same to have been imported contrary to law, such merchandise shall be forfeited and the offender shall be fined in any sum not exceeding five thousand dollars nor less than fifty dollars, or be imprisoned for any time not exceeding two years, or both. Whenever, on trial for a violation of this section, the defendant is shown to have or to have had possession of such goods, such possession shall be deemed evidence sufficient to authorize conviction, unless the defendant shall explain the possession to the satisfaction of the jury. (R. S., 3082.) Bribery and solicitation of bribes.
Any person who shall give, or offer to give or promise to give any money or thing of value, directly or indirectly, to any officer or employee of the United States in consideration of or for any act or omission contrary to law in connection with or pertaining to the importation, appraisement, entry, examination, or inspection of goods, wares, or merchandise, including herein any baggage, or of the liquidation of the entry thereof, or shall by threats or demands, or promises of any character attempt to improperly influence or control any such officer or employee of the United States as to the performance of his official duties shall, on conviction thereof, be fined not exceeding two thousand dollars, or be imprisoned at hard labor not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court; and evidence of such giving, or offering, or promising to give, satisfactory to the court in which such trial is had, shall be regarded as prima facie evidence that such giving or offering or promising was contrary to law, and shall put upon the accused the burden of proving that such act was innocent, and not done with an unlawful intention. (June 10, 1890; sec. 26; Oct. 3, 1913, sec. III, AA.)
Any officer or employee of the United States who shall, excepting for lawful duties or fees, solicit, demand, exact or receive from any person, directly or indirectly, any money or thing of value, in connection with or pertaining to the importation, appraisement, entry, examination, or inspection of goods, wares, or merchandise, including herein any baggage, or liquidation of the entry thereof, on conviction thereof, shall be fined not exceeding five thousand dollars, or be imprisoned at hard labor not more than two years, or both, in the discretion of the court. And evidence of such soliciting, demanding, exacting, or receiving, satisfactory to the court in which such trial is had, shall be regarded as prima facie evidence that such soliciting, demanding, exacting, or receiving was contrary to law, and shall put upon the accused the burden of proving that such act was innocent and not with an unlawful intention. (June 10, 1890; sec. 27; Oct. 3, 1913; sec. III, BB.) Liens for freight or general average.
Whenever the collector of the port of entry of the vessel, or other proper officer of the customs, shall be duly notified in writing of the existence of a lien for freight, charges, or contribution in general average upon imported goods, wares, or merchandise in his custody, he shall, before delivering such goods, wares, or merchandise to the