A-31197, NOVEMBER 5, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 209

A-31197: Nov 5, 1930

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11. IN CONNECTION WITH SERVICES OF ADMEASURING OF VESSELS YOU STATE: "WHERE THE DUTY IS PERFORMED OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE PORT THE COLLECTOR SHOULD COLLECT FROM THE PARTIES FOR WHOM THE SERVICE IS PERFORMED THE PER DIEM COMPENSATION OF THE CUSTOMS OFFICER. PROVIDES THAT COLLECTORS WILL CHARGE TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES. THE COMPENSATION OF THE ADMEASURER IS NOT APPARENTLY BEING COLLECTED AT ANY OF THE PORTS.'. VESSELS ARE REQUIRED TO BE ADMEASURED BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE PROVISION OF SECTION 4148. THIS DEFINITE PROVISION OF LAW REQUIRING THE COLLECTOR TO ADMEASURE THE VESSEL AT THE PORT OR PLACE WHERE SHE MAY BE IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION.

A-31197, NOVEMBER 5, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 209

CUSTOMS SERVICE - ADMEASUREMENT OF VESSELS AS SECTION 4148, REVISED STATUTES, REQUIRES THAT, BEFORE A VESSEL SHALL BE REGISTERED, IT SHALL BE MEASURED BY A SURVEYOR AT THE PORT OR PLACE WHERE THE VESSEL MAY BE, BUT DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT SUCH SERVICES SHALL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE VESSEL, NEITHER THE COMPENSATION NOR THE EXPENSES OF THE CUSTOMS OFFICERS MAKING SUCH MEASUREMENT SHOULD BE COLLECTED FROM THE VESSEL, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE SERVICE MAY BE RENDERED OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE PORT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, NOVEMBER 5, 1930:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1930, A-31197, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, RELATIVE TO AN EXAMINATION OF THE ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS OF THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS AT PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND.

IN CONNECTION WITH SERVICES OF ADMEASURING OF VESSELS YOU STATE: "WHERE THE DUTY IS PERFORMED OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE PORT THE COLLECTOR SHOULD COLLECT FROM THE PARTIES FOR WHOM THE SERVICE IS PERFORMED THE PER DIEM COMPENSATION OF THE CUSTOMS OFFICER. ALTHOUGH TREASURY DECISION 37128, DATED APRIL 17, 1917, PROVIDES THAT COLLECTORS WILL CHARGE TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, AND ALSO THE PER DIEM COMPENSATION OF CUSTOMS OFFICERS FOR SERVICES PERFORMED UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF TREASURY DECISION 33249 OF MARCH 10, 1913, THE COMPENSATION OF THE ADMEASURER IS NOT APPARENTLY BEING COLLECTED AT ANY OF THE PORTS.'

TREASURY DECISIONS 33249 AND 37128 REFER SPECIFICALLY TO THE ENTRY AND DELIVERY OF MERCHANDISE AT OTHER THAN THE PORT OF ENTRY, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 7 OF CUSTOMS REGULATIONS AND TREASURY DECISION 33249.

VESSELS ARE REQUIRED TO BE ADMEASURED BY CUSTOMS OFFICERS UNDER THE PROVISION OF SECTION 4148, REVISED STATUTES (P. 9, NAVIGATION LAWS, 1927), AND SECTION 7725, COMPILED STATUTES OF 1918 (SEE ALSO SECTION 7735, COMPILED STATUTES) WHICH READS:

"BEFORE ANY VESSEL SHALL BE REGISTERED, SHE SHALL BE MEASURED BY A SURVEYOR, IF THERE BE ONE, OR BY THE PERSON HE SHALL APPOINT, AT THE PORT OR PLACE WHERE THE VESSEL MAY BE, AND IF THERE BE NONE, BY SUCH PERSON AS THE COLLECTOR OF THE DISTRICT WITHIN WHICH SHE MAY BE SHALL APPOINT.'

THIS DEFINITE PROVISION OF LAW REQUIRING THE COLLECTOR TO ADMEASURE THE VESSEL AT THE PORT OR PLACE WHERE SHE MAY BE IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION, WHETHER OR NOT TRAVEL EXPENSE AND PER DIEM COMPENSATION SHOULD BE COLLECTED, AS REQUESTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1930.

THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1886, 24 STAT. 79, PROVIDES:

THAT ON AND AFTER JULY FIRST, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-SIX, NO FEES SHALL BE CHARGED OR COLLECTED BY COLLECTORS OR OTHER OFFICERS OF CUSTOMS, OR BY INSPECTORS OF STEAM VESSELS OR SHIPPING COMMISSIONERS,FOR THE FOLLOWING SERVICES TO VESSELS OF THE UNITED STATES, TO WIT: MEASUREMENT OF TONNAGE AND CERTIFYING THE SAME; ISSUING OF LICENSE OR GRANTING OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRY, RECORD, OR ENROLLMENT, INCLUDING ALL INDORSEMENTS ON THE SAME AND BOND AND OATH; * * *

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT IN SECTIONS 447, 451, AND 456 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1922, 42 STAT. 953, 954, AND 955, AND IN THE SAME NUMBERED SECTIONS IN THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930, 46 STAT. 714, 715, AND 716, IT IS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THAT WHEN EXTRA SERVICES OF THE NATURE THEREIN SPECIFIED ARE REQUIRED OF CUSTOMS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES THE COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES OF THE CUSTOMS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES SHALL BE PAID BY THE PARTY FOR WHOSE BENEFIT THEY WERE RENDERED, AND SECTION 524 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1930, 46 STAT. 741, PRESCRIBED THE DISPOSITION TO BE MADE OF AMOUNTS COLLECTED FOR SUCH REIMBURSABLE SERVICES. SECTION 4148, REVISED STATUTES, QUOTED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, PROVIDING FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF VESSELS MAKES NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE COMPENSATION OR EXPENSES NECESSARY THERETO BE PAID BY THE VESSEL. UNDER THE WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION--- EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS--- THE CONGRESS HAVING FAILED TO REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH SERVICES, NOTWITHSTANDING SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SERVICES OF CUSTOM OFFICERS UNDER OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MUST BE HELD THAT NEITHER THE COMPENSATION NOR THE EXPENSES OF CUSTOMS OFFICERS INCIDENT TO MEASURING A VESSEL IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4148, REVISED STATUTES, IS CHARGEABLE TO THE VESSEL. SEE 46 COMP. DEC. 646.

ANY CHARGES RAISED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS COVERING COMPENSATION OR EXPENSES OF CUSTOMS OFFICERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE MEASUREMENT OF VESSELS WILL BE DISCONTINUED.