611.3331/451: Telegram

The Ambassador in Uruguay ( Dawson ) to the Secretary of State

355. Department’s circular [?] instruction 235, January 14, 1942, 236, January 14, 1942; 185, December 15, 1941; 468, April 24, 1942.20 At a meeting held in the Foreign Office yesterday afternoon Inter-Ministerial Commission definitely agreed to accept proposed English text of general provisions, related notes and final minutes transmitted with the Department’s instructions referred to above.

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With reference to paragraph 1 of the Department’s telegram No. 390 December 31, 1941,21 Uruguayans handed Embassy a draft note reading in translation as follows:

“I have the honor to refer to the discussions during the course of the negotiation of the trade agreement between the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and the United States of America, during which it was understood that the Government of the United States would agree to the deletion of paragraph 1 of article XVI relating to customs penalties for errors in documentation, subject to the condition that assurances be given by the Uruguayan Government that sympathetic consideration will be given to claims of North American exporters resulting from the imposition of customs penalties.

In the course of the discussions it was pointed out that the basic customs laws of Uruguay do not permit the consideration of good faith where errors in documentation have occurred, but Uruguayan customs legislation authorizes the correction of errors in documentation within given periods before the consular authorities of the port of embarkation as well as before the customs authorities of the port of destination. Moreover my Government assures Your Excellency’s Government that sympathetic consideration will be given to cases where North American exporters might be prejudiced through unintentional errors in the original documents which accompany the merchandise shipped.”

If the foregoing note is acceptable please furnish Embassy with proposed reply note.

As regards draft schedule I transmitted with the Department’s instruction 327, March 2,22 the Commission accepts the Department’s counter proposal with the following exceptions.23

Hardware 85 (files or furniture of iron or steel): Uruguayans adamant in their refusal to grant concessions other than binding with respect to this item on the grounds that long established local industry supplying the very large bulk of requirements would be seriously prejudiced by a reduction in duty.

Electrical 34 (radio receiving sets): the same arguments are advanced in refusing to grant any concession other than binding on this item.

Section 10 position 426 item 3036 (hygienic paper): Uruguayans offer to remove gold payment provision but insist on retaining aforo of 35 centavos. Resulting duty is 18.20 instead of 7.80. Imports of this item are insignificant.

Section 4 position 143 item 715 (concentrated grape juice): Uruguayans offer liquidated duty of 142 pesos per 100 net kilograms. Present duty is 141.85 pesos plus 29.79% ad valorem instead of that previously reported. New offer substantially meets Department’s request for exemption of gold payment provision and is based on official aforo of 2 pesos per kilo.

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There remains for consideration at a meeting Monday electrical 129 (radio tubes) and section 17 position 893 item 50 to 80 inclusive (automobile parts). Partial concessions are expected in both cases.

Definitive text of general provisions related notes final minutes and schedules I and II will be transmitted to you by air mail immediately upon receipt of formal note to Guani24 confirming agreement reached yesterday with Inter-Ministerial Commission.

Dawson
  1. None printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1941, Vol. vii, p. 589.
  3. Not printed.
  4. By telegram No. 273, May 16, 11 p.m., the Ambassador was authorized to accept the Uruguayan proposals referred to below (611.3331/453).
  5. Alberto Guani, Uruguayan Minister for Foreign Affairs.