A-38679, NOVEMBER 7, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 172

A-38679: Nov 7, 1931

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WHICH OPERATE UNDER AGREEMENTS WHEREBY THE MEMBERS OF THE CREW ARE ENTITLED TO SHARE IN THE PROCEEDS OF THE CATCH. ARE REQUIRED BY CUSTOMS OFFICIALS TO FURNISH A CONSULAR INVOICE. THE CERTIFICATION OF SUCH INVOICE IS AN OFFICIAL SERVICE OF CONSULAR OFFICERS TO AMERICAN VESSELS AND SEAMEN WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26. THE COLLECTION BY AN AMERICAN CONSUL OF FEES THEREFOR IS IN ERROR AND SUCH FEES MAY BE REFUNDED. 1931: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 8. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE THE HONOR TO REFER TO MY DESPATCH NO. 742. ARE IN PART AS FOLLOWS: 4. IF FISH OR OTHER PRODUCTS ARE SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE MASTER. WHEN THE INVOICE IS CERTIFIED FOR THE OWNER.

A-38679, NOVEMBER 7, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 172

REFUND OF CONSULAR FEES - AMERICAN FISHING VESSELS WHERE AMERICAN FISHING VESSELS, WHICH OPERATE UNDER AGREEMENTS WHEREBY THE MEMBERS OF THE CREW ARE ENTITLED TO SHARE IN THE PROCEEDS OF THE CATCH, TOUCH AT A FOREIGN PORT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING THE CARGO, BUT, UPON FAILURE TO RECEIVE A SATISFACTORY PRICE THEREFOR, RETURN TO A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT HAVING LANDED THE CARGO AT A FOREIGN PORT, AND ARE REQUIRED BY CUSTOMS OFFICIALS TO FURNISH A CONSULAR INVOICE, THE CERTIFICATION OF SUCH INVOICE IS AN OFFICIAL SERVICE OF CONSULAR OFFICERS TO AMERICAN VESSELS AND SEAMEN WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1884, 23 STAT. 56, FOR WHICH NO CHARGE OR FEE SHOULD BE COLLECTED. SUCH SERVICES BEING REQUIRED TO BE RENDERED FREE OF CHARGE, THE COLLECTION BY AN AMERICAN CONSUL OF FEES THEREFOR IS IN ERROR AND SUCH FEES MAY BE REFUNDED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, NOVEMBER 7, 1931:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 8, 1931 (FA 146.4/108), REGARDING THE REQUEST OF THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, FOR AUTHORITY TO REFUND FEES COLLECTED ON CERTAIN CONSULAR INVOICES AS SET FORTH IN LETTER TO YOU DATED SEPTEMBER 19, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO REFER TO MY DESPATCH NO. 742, DATED AUGUST 26, 1931 (FILE NUMBER 622/862.8), REGARDING THE COLLECTION OF FEES FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF INVOICES COVERING RETURN OF HALIBUT CARGOES TO THE UNITED STATES, AND TO REQUEST, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THIS SERVICE WOULD APPEAR TO BE COVERED BY THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF NOTE (MM) 5 OF SECTION 721, ARTICLE XXXI OF THE CONSULAR REGULATIONS, THAT THIS OFFICE BY AUTHORIZED TO REFUND THE FOLLOWING FEES COLLECTED:

CHART INVOICE NUMBER DATE SHIPPER VESSEL

1931 470 ----------- AUG. 26 L. P. SUNDERLAND --------------- SENTINEL. 489 ----------- SEPT. 2 S. JOHANSEN -------------------- MITKOF. 518 ---- ------- SEPT. 12 O. KNUTSEN --------------------- RANIER. 519 ----------- SEPT. 12 MARCUS NESS -------------------- SENATOR. 520 ----------- SEPT. 14 JOHN MONSON -------------------- ATLAS. 521 ----------- SEPT. 14 WM. SILSET --------------------- SPRAY. 535 ----------- SEPT. 16 NELS LARSEN -------------------- TUSCAN.

INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 721, ARTICLE XXXI, OF THE CONSULAR REGULATIONS FOR THE GUIDANCE OF CONSULAR OFFICERS, CONCERNING SPECIAL REGULATIONS AFFECTING "FISH TAKEN BY AMERICAN VESSELS" (NOTE MM), ARE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

4. IF FISH OR OTHER PRODUCTS ARE SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT OF THE TAKING VESSEL OR VESSELS, OTHERWISE THAN IN THE TAKING VESSEL, THE MERCHANDISE MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A CONSULAR INVOICE EXECUTED BY SAID MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT, AND THERE MUST BE ATTACHED TO OR INCLUDED IN SUCH INVOICE A DECLARATION AS FOLLOWS:

5. THE PROCEDURE SHOULD BE AS FOLLOWS WITH REGARD TO FISH OR OTHER PRODUCTS SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES BY A FIRM IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY WHICH HAS PURCHASED THEM FROM THE MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT OF THE TAKING VESSEL. THE DECLARATION PRESCRIBED IN (4) ABOVE, SHOULD BE EXECUTED BY THE MASTER AND TWO MEMBERS OF THE CREW OF THE AMERICAN FISHING VESSEL FOR THE ENTIRE QUANTITY DISCHARGED AT THE FOREIGN PORT, THIS FORM TO BE KEPT ON FILE BY THE AMERICAN CONSUL HAVING JURISDICTION AT THAT PORT. AT THE TIME OF THE SHIPMENT OF ANY PART OF THIS MERCHANDISE TO THE UNITED STATES A CONSULAR INVOICE SHOULD BE EXECUTED BY THE FIRM WHICH PURCHASED THE FISH FROM THE AMERICAN VESSEL (OR BY THE AGENT OF SUCH FIRM), AND THERE SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO OR INCLUDED IN SUCH INVOICE A DECLARATION AS FOLLOWS:

6. WHEN THE INVOICE IS CERTIFIED FOR THE OWNER, MASTER, OR OTHER AGENT OF THE TAKING VESSEL, NO FEE IS TO BE CHARGED; BUT IF THE FISH OR OTHER PRODUCTS BE SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES BY A FIRM WHICH HAS PURCHASED THEM FROM THE OWNER, MASTER, OR OTHER AGENT OF THE TAKING VESSEL, THE FEE PRESCRIBED BY ITEM 1 OF THE TARIFF OR FEES SHOULD BE COLLECTED.

7. FISH AND OTHER MARINE PRODUCTS LANDED BY AMERICAN VESSELS IN ALASKA, ASSEMBLED THERE, SHIPPED TO CANADA AND HELD IN BONDED STORAGE AT A PLACE WHERE A UNITED STATES CUSTOMS OFFICER IS STATIONED OR AVAILABLE, UNTIL A SALE THEREFOR IS OBTAINED, MAY COME FORWARD TO THE UNITED STATES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 217 THROUGH 219 OF THE CUSTOMS REGULATIONS OF 1923, UNDER IN TRANSIT SEALS AND MANIFEST, IF SUCH PRODUCTS ARRIVED AT THE POINT OF STORAGE AND TRANSSHIPMENT IN CANADA UNDER LIKE SEALS AND MANIFEST. IN SUCH A CASE NO CONSULAR DOCUMENTATION IS REQUIRED. HOWEVER, IF THE PRODUCTS DID NOT ARRIVE IN CANADA UNDER IN- TRANSIT SEALS, A CONSULAR INVOICE AND DECLARATION SHOULD BE EXECUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH (4) OR (5) ABOVE, AS THE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY REQUIRE.

IT THUS APPEARS THAT CONSULAR INVOICES TO ACCOMPANY THE MERCHANDISE ARE REQUIRED WHEN THE FISH OR OTHER PRODUCTS OF AMERICAN FISHERIES ARE SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES (1) BY THE MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT OF THE TAKING VESSEL, OR (2) BY A FIRM IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY WHICH HAS PURCHASED THEM FROM THE MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT OF THE TAKING VESSEL. WHEN FISH OR OTHER MARINE PRODUCTS ARE LANDED BY AMERICAN FISHING VESSELS IN ALASKA, ASSEMBLED AND SHIPPED TO CANADA FOR STORAGE UNTIL A SALE THEREFOR IS OBTAINED, AND FORWARDED TO THE UNITED STATES, NO CONSULAR DOCUMENTATION IS REQUIRED IF SUCH PRODUCTS ARRIVED AT POINT OF STORAGE AND TRANSSHIPMENT IN CANADA UNDER IN TRANSIT SEALS. HOWEVER, IF THE PRODUCTS DID NOT ARRIVE IN CANADA UNDER IN TRANSIT SEALS, A CONSULAR INVOICE IS REQUIRED.

THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE ISSUANCE OF CONSULAR INVOICES AND THE COLLECTION OF FEES THEREFOR WITH RESPECT TO THE SHIPMENTS MENTIONED IN THE LETTER OF THE AMERICAN CONSUL, ARE NOT STATED. IT IS UNDERSTOOD, HOWEVER, FROM THE SUBMISSION, THAT THE SERVICES FOR WHICH THE FEES WERE COLLECTED IN EACH INSTANCE WERE RENDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE RETURN OF HALIBUT CARGOES TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 2, 1931, A-38679; THAT IS TO SAY, ON CARGOES OF FISH OR OTHER MARINE PRODUCTS, TAKEN BY AMERICAN FISHING VESSELS OPERATING UNDER AGREEMENTS WHEREBY THE MEMBERS OF THE CREW PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCEEDS OF THE CATCH, WHICH ARE BROUGHT TO A FOREIGN PORT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING SAME, BUT WHICH, UPON FAILURE TO OBTAIN A SATISFACTORY PRICE THEREFOR, ARE RETURNED ON THE VESSEL TAKING SAME TO A PORT OF THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT HAVING LANDED THE CARGO AT A FOREIGN PORT. IF SUCH ARE THE FACTS IN THE CASES HERE PRESENTED, CONSULAR DOCUMENTATION OF THE CARGOES UNDER CONSIDERATION IS NOT SPECIFICALLY COVERED BY THE INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED UNDER SECTION 721 OF THE CONSULAR REGULATIONS, SUPRA, SINCE THE CARGOES HAVE NOT BEEN SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE MASTER, OWNER, OR AGENT OF THE VESSEL OTHERWISE THAN IN THE TAKING VESSEL; NOR SOLD AND SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE PURCHASER; NOR LANDED OR SHIPPED TO A FOREIGN PORT FOR STORAGE OR OTHERWISE AND TRANSSHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES. WITH RESPECT TO REQUIRING CONSULAR DOCUMENTATION IN SUCH CASES AND THE COLLECTION OF FEES THEREFOR, IT WAS SAID IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 2, 1931:

THE NECESSITY FOR REQUIRING A CERTIFIED INVOICE IN SUCH CASES IS PRIMARILY A MATTER FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY. IT IS APPARENT, HOWEVER, THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE REQUIREMENT IN THIS INSTANCE IS NOT FOR THE COLLECTION OF DUTIES BUT TO INFORM THE GOVERNMENT WHETHER FORBIDDEN THINGS ARE BEING IMPORTED.

I HAVE TO ADVISE, THEREFORE, THAT THE SERVICES RENDERED BY CONSULAR OFFICERS IN CERTIFYING INVOICES FOR AMERICAN FISHING VESSELS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES REFERRED TO HEREIN ARE OFFICIAL SERVICES TO AMERICAN VESSELS AND SEAMEN WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF 1884, SUPRA, FOR WHICH NO CHARGE OR FEE SHOULD BE COLLECTED. * * *

IF THE FACTS ARE AS INDICATED, THE SERVICES IN THE CASE UNDER CONSIDERATION WERE REQUIRED TO BE RENDERED FREE OF CHARGE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1884, 23 STAT. 56, AND THE COLLECTION BY THE AMERICAN CONSUL OF FEES FOR SUCH SERVICES WAS MADE THROUGH ERROR, AND SAID OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED TO REFUND TO EACH OF THE VARIOUS CLAIMANTS THE AMOUNT OF FEES THUS ERRONEOUSLY COLLECTED, UPON TAKING THEIR RECEIPT THEREFOR IN FULL SETTLEMENT OF THE ERRONEOUS COLLECTION, SAID RECEIPT TO BE FILED WITH THE ACCOUNT IN WHICH CREDIT IS CLAIMED.