invoice value—additions for charges.

Sir: The department duly received your letter of the 20th ultimo, in which you call attention to its decision of April 25, 1878 (Synopsis 3550), in relation to additions for charges on invoice when such charges are not specified therein.

You state that it lias heretofore been the custom to regard as included in the invoice value charges for cartons, and packing of various descriptions of merchandise, such as leather gloves, German hosiery, and toys, and that the collector recently returned to you a number of invoices of German hosiery, because charges for cases and packing were not specified in such invoices, either as separate items or as being included in the invoice value, and for which no addition was made by you.

[Page 2]

In reply to your request for instructions, I have to state that the principle laid down in decision No. 3550 is, that when charges are not separately specified in the invoice, and the goods are not therein described as being free of charges, it is the duty of customs officers to add such charges for the purpose of assessment of duty.

The reason of the rule was that the insertion in the invoice of separate items, or declaration therein that the goods Were free of charges, would make the matter free from doubt, and compel a practice which would be an aid in securing uniformity at the various ports.

In view of the statements, however, made by you, that the charges for packing and carting are always merged in the invoice-price description of the classes of goods before named, I have to state that the department does not desire to adopt summarily a practice contrary thereto without giving parties concerned a notice thereof. You will, therefore, continue to accept invoices as correct where you shall be satisfied that the price paid includes charges for packing and cartons, until January 1, 1879, and on and after that date it will be required that invoices shall separately specify such charges, or declare that the price includes such charges; otherwise, additions for such charges shall be made.

A copy hereof will be furnished to the collector.

Very respectfully,

Assistant Secretary.

United States Appraiser, New York.