The Spanish Minister to the Secretary of State.
New York , September 12, 1908 .
Mr. Secretary: The provisions of the commercial arrangement concluded between the United States and the German Empire relative to the certificates of value of merchandise interpret the definition of market value as set forth in section 19 of the customs administrative act of the United States to mean that the duties ad valorem are to be assessed on the price commanded by the merchandise in the wholesale trade and that the value stated in certificates issued by the chambers of commerce of the exporting country shall be accepted as competent evidence by the appraisers, and whilst it makes no change in the tariff of the Union, it is closely related to it in that it makes away with the controversies that might arise from a different appraisement of the products by the trade and the administration when one bases its reckoning on the price prevailing in wholesale transactions and the other on the retail price.
Under the aforesaid system the merchandise pays no higher duty than it is actually and equitably subject to, and the reliable basis of appraisement established by the agreement is preferable to the uncertainty consequent upon leaving to the discretion of the customs the right to decide what is the true value of the goods.
In view of the foregoing and on the strength of the cordial commercial relations which prevail between Spain and the United States since the commercial agreement of San Sebastian was reached two years ago, the Government of His Majesty would extremely appreciate the extension to Spain of the concession referred to in this note and granted to France and Great Britain, besides Germany.
Hoping to be able to forward a favorable answer to my Government, I renew, etc.