500.A 4 e/440: Telegram

The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

Summary number 2. Following are the customs tariff laws promulgated October 24th, 1925 and referred to by Dr. C. T. Wang in his address on October 26th.

  • Article 1. Foreign articles upon their import into any open port in China shall be subject to an import duty according to the provisions defined in this law.
  • Article 2. With the exception of tobacco, wine, and articles similar in nature to those under Government monopoly which shall be otherwise provided for, the highest rate of import duty shall be 40 percent and the lowest 7½ percent. The tariff schedule will be promulgated separately.
  • Article 3. The duty-paying value of goods subject to a specific duty shall be fixed, converted or adjusted on the basis of their average prices prevailing during the preceding year.
  • Article 4. The duty upon value of goods subject to an ad valorem duty shall be fixed on the basis of their wholesale prices prevailing at the port of entrance.
  • Article 5. In event an agreement exists with any country on terms of reciprocity with regard to the import duty of certain articles, the tariff on such articles shall be in accordance with that agreement.
  • Article 6. In event any country subjects Chinese articles to less favorable treatment than those of other countries, the Government may by mandate impose [an] import duty on articles from that country in addition to the duty as prescribed in the tariff, such increase of duty not to exceed in amount the value of such articles.
  • Article 7. In event a country grants an export bounty on its articles, the Government may by mandate impose an import duty on such goods of the same amount as the said bounty, in addition to the duties prescribed in [the] tariff.
  • Article 8. In event the prices of foreign articles are intentionally and unreasonably lowered to such an extent that the Government considers it a disturbance to the market, it may by mandate impose a duty equal to the proper prices, in addition to the duties prescribed in the tariff.
  • Article 9. Articles unentered in the tariff shall be subject to a tariff on the same scale as goods of the same or similar nature listed in the tariff.
  • Article 10. The following articles shall be exempt from import duty: Articles belonging to chiefs of foreign states and their suites visiting China; articles for the personal use of foreign ambassadors or ministers accredited to China or articles for the official use of foreign ambassador’s [embassies or] legations; arms, ammunitions, powder, explosives and munitions of war of every description imported by the Government; articles purchased or donated for relief purposes; samples of merchandise which are only fit to be used as such; native articles reimported within three years after exportation without any change in character and form; exported articles shipped by vessels which cleared from Chinese ports, but brought back on account of damage or danger to the vessel.
  • Article 11. The following articles, if imported for reexport within one year, shall be exempted from import duty, but a deposit must be made at the time of importation of an amount equivalent to the amount of import duty payable: Articles imported for the purpose of having work done thereon; articles imported for repair; articles imported for the purpose of scientific research; articles imported for trial.
  • Article 12. The import of the articles specified hereunder is prohibited: Salt; opium, utensils for smoking opium, poppy seeds, morphine, Chin Tan, hung wan, pai wan, and all pills containing [Page 869]morphine, opium or cocaine; counterfeit, altered or imitation coins, paper money or other negotiable papers; books, pictures, carvings and other articles injurious to public safety or morals.
  • Article 13. The importation of arms, ammunitions, powders, explosives and other munitions of war of every description is prohibited, except by the Government.
  • Article 14. The importation of the following articles is prohibited except with special permission of the Government: Saltpetre, chlorate of potash, sulphur, zinc (powder, spelter), hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulphuric acid, yearrow [yellow] phosphorus and explosives for industrial purposes.
  • Article 15. The following articles may be imported in reasonable quantities after analysis and joint certification by Government-registered medical practitioners, druggists and chemists as to their proper use and after report to and further examination by the customs authorities: Morphine; cocaine and hypodermic syringes; antiopium pills containing morphine, opium or cocaine; stovaine; heroin; strychnine; thebaine; cghanja; hashish; bhang; cannabis indica; tincture of opium; laudanum; codeine; dionin; and all other derivatives of opium and cocaine.
  • Article 16. Date on which the present law shall be put into operation shall be determined by mandate.
  • Article 17. On the date this law is put into force, the national tariff regulations promulgated on December 25th, the Sixth Year of the Republic of China, 1917, shall become null and void.”

“Law regulating the import duty on tobacco and wine:

  • [Article 1. Foreign tobacco and wine on] importation same into any open port in China shall be subject to an import duty according to the tariff given in this law.
  • Article 2. The import duty on tobacco and wine shall range from 50 percent to 80 percent ad valorem.
  • Article 3. Duty-paying value shall be fixed, converted or adjusted on the basis of the average wholesale prices prevailing during the preceding year.
  • Article 4. The date on which this law shall take effect will be promulgated by mandate.”

The following press communiqué was issued by the [secretary] general of the conference today:

“The committee on program and procedure appointed by the conference in its session on October 26th met at 11 a.m. on October 27th at committee room number 1, Chü Jen T’ang. There were present Dr. C. T. Wang of the Chinese delegation and heads of all the other delegations, with their respective secretaries.

The secretary general was present.

On the proposal of the Netherlands delegate, Dr. C. T. Wang was elected chairman.

A discussion of the agenda took place and it was decided to appoint three committees to deal with the three groups of questions on the agenda:

Committee one to deal with tariff autonomy.

Committee two to deal with progressional [provisional] measures to be taken during the interim period.

[Page 870]

Committee three to deal with related matters.

It was decided that a drafting committee was to be appointed.

The committee also passed on the rules of procedure and it was decided that the three committees should immediately proceed with their work.”