To the consular officers of the United
Washington, March 8, 1879.
Gentlemen: The act approved June 4, 1878, making appropriations for the consular and diplomatic service of the United States for the year ending June 30, 1879, provides that every consular officer shall furnish to the Secretary “of the Treasury, or to such officers of the customs as he may direct, as often as may be required, the prices-current of all articles of merchandise usually exported, to the United States from the port or place in which the consular officer is stationed.
In view of this provision of law, you are requested to forward to the appraising officers at the ports in the United States to Which invoices presented to you for certification show that goods are to be shipped from your district, prices-current of such goods, together with such information relating to the matters mentioned therein as, in your opinion, may be pertinent and important.
It is not required that such prices-current sliall be forwarded in all cases whenever issued, but only when, from changes in the prices of merchandise shipped, or from other causes, the consular officer may be of opinion that they will be of use as an aid to the appraising officer in ascertaining the true dutiable value of merchandise. They should, however, be sent at the end of each half year, whether changes have occurred in the prices or not. In some instances special requests have been made for the forwarding, at stated periods, of the prices-current of certain classes of merchandise to particular ports, and this circular will not be construed as revoking these requests, but such prices-current will be forwarded as heretofore.
I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,