The Acting Secretary of State to the Netherlands Chargé (Van Hoorn)

Sir: In view of the provisions of Article 19 of the Tariff Law of the Netherlands to the effect that the privilege of importing articles for their personal use, free of duty during official residence would be extended to foreign consular officers on a reciprocal basis, the American Legation at The Hague was instructed to take the matter up with the appropriate authorities of the Netherland Government with a view to arranging for the extension of this privilege to American consular officers assigned to the Netherlands.

The Department is now in receipt of a despatch from the American Minister at the Netherlands, enclosing a copy of a note from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in which it is stated that the Netherland Government accepts this Government’s proposition on the understanding that gold and silver articles imported by Dutch consular officers will be exempt from excise tax, as well as import duties in case such taxes are assessed in the United States.

As the Department is informed by the Treasury Department that no excise tax is assessed on gold or silver articles imported for personal or family use, the American Minister at The Hague has been instructed to inform the Netherland Foreign Office accordingly, and I have pleasure in advising you that in addition to the free entry of baggage and effects upon arrival and return to their posts in this country after visits abroad, which Dutch consular officers assigned to the United States already enjoy, effective at once, upon the request of the Netherland Legation in each instance, this Department will arrange for the free entry of articles imported for personal use during their official residence in the United States by Dutch consular officers who are Dutch nationals and not engaged in any other business, and their families, with the understanding that no article, the importation of which is prohibited by the laws of the United States, shall be imported by them.

Accept [etc.]

W. R. Castle, Jr.