Customs' Collection of Additional Import Duties on Mushrooms

GGD-81-77: Published: May 15, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1981.

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GAO assessed whether the U.S. Customs Service made a mistake in a directive it issued to implement a Presidential Proclamation. Under the Proclamation, the duty on imports of canned and other prepared mushrooms was increased. It was believed that a mistake may have been made which resulted in the additional duties not being collected.

The Customs Service correctly implemented the Presidential Proclamation for import relief, and the additional duties for certain mushroom imports are being collected by Customs. Concern about the collection of the additional duties may have been caused by incorrect data published by the Bureau of the Census. Programing errors resulted in Census reporting the wrong duty for mushrooms for November 1980 through March 1981. Initially, Census officials inadvertently failed to program the November 1980 increased duty rate into their computer until January 1981. The programing errors have been corrected and all mushroom transactions during April and subsequent periods will reflect the correct data.

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