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will not accept it, I shall be obliged to submit it to the Chair as a motion.

Mr. ROMERO (Mexico). The committee understands the recommendation precisely as does the honorable delegate from Peru, and it believes that its resolution is sufficiently explicit; but if the honorable delegate thinks that some other phrase would more clearly express the idea, the committee will gladly accept the amendment.

Mr. ZEGARRA (Peru). I believe that if after the words “common nomenclature which shall designate,” in the resolution as drawn, weshould insert these other words: “in alphabetical order," the statement would be explicit, for then the resolution would read as follows: “The International American Conference recommends to the Governments represented therein the adoption of a common nomenclature which shall designate in alphabetical order," etc.

The PRESIDENT. Does the committee accept the suggestion? Is there objection? The Chair hears none, and it will be inserted. As amended


the motion of the honorable delegate from Peru—is the Conference ready for the question ?

Mr. Davis. I presume that the Conference understands or knows that this is an advance report, and that there will be a subsequent report by the committee covering a good many other points.

The PRESIDENT. As a preliminary report and resolution, is there objection to its being considered as adopted? The Chair hears no objection. It is agreed to.

Mr. ROMERO. I request the ayes and noes by States.


The roll was called, with the following result:


United States,


Argentine Republic, Mexico,



Costa Rica,


The recommendations as amended were then declared adopted, as follows:


Resolved, That the International American Conference recommends to the Governments represented therein the adoption of a common nomenclature which shall designate in alphabetical order in equivalent terms, in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, the commodities on which import duties are levied, to be used respectively by all the American nations for the purpose of levying customs imposts which are or may hereafter be established, and also to be used in shipping manifests, consular invoices, entries, clearance petitions, and other customs documents; but not to affect in any manner the right of each nation to levy the import duties now in force, or which may hereafter be established.





[As adopted by the Conference in session of March 29, 1890.)

The Committee on “Customs Regulations,” appointed by resolution passed at the sitting of the twelfth day, has the honor to submit the following report. The subjects designated for consideration by this committee, as appears in the printed minutes of the Conference, are the following:

A.- Formalities to be observed in the importation and exportation of merchandise.

B.—The classification, examination, and valuation of merchandise.

C.--Methods of imposing fines and penalties for the violation of customs and harbor regulations.

The committee has already made a preliminary report to the Conference, recommending the adoption of a plan for the assistance of importers and exporters by means of an official and uniform nomenclature and classification of merchandise, in alphabetical order, which is intended to furnish equivalents in the English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages.

In continuation of its labors, the committee now presents the following suggestions:

A.-Importation and erportation of merchandise.

1. The committee has not been authorized to take into consideration the varying rates of duties imposed upon exports and imports by the countries represented in the Conference, and such recommendations as are made in this report are intended to be applicable alike to the present and the future rates of duty.

2. The committee has given due weight to the fact that each of the countries represented depends upon customs duties as the chief source of national revenue, and that the productiveness and security of this revenue must not be threatened nor impaired under the guise of simplification or improvement of regulations for its collection.

3. It is recognized that each country should regulate and administer its own system of customs revenue, and that differences of race, habit, condition, and environment prevail among the conferring nations. The committee, therefore, proposes nothing that does not take cognizance of these important considerations.

4. The committee realizes that an active and desirable international commerce can be established only by the energy and skill of private enterprise, and can not be created and maintained by the cultivation of mutual sentiments of amity and good will. The true bases of such intercourse can be found only in parallelism of interests and in satisfactory profits derived from the supply of material wants.

5. Convinced that an increased commerce amongst the American Republics would be mutually beneficial to the citizens of those Republics, the committee has considered the customs regulations of the several countries for the purpose of devising means of reducing some of the existing burdens of labor, time, expense, and risk.

6. The committee is gratified to find that, in a general sense, the revenue laws and regulations of the several Republics are reasonable and moderate in their provisions ; that their administration is, upon the whole, considerate of the rights and interests of the citizen, and that as a rule those who conduct the international navigation and commerce of the American continent are candid and honest in their relations with the revenue laws.

7. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the laws and regulations, as well as the administration thereof, are, in some respects, susceptible of important improvements, and it is proposed in part to effect these improvements by establishing certain uniform rules and practices, without attempting to regulate minor local details.

8. Commerce is now carried on mainly by the instrumentality of the steam-ship, the railway, and the telegraph. These agencies have created necessities and conditions which often conflict with administrative arrangements which are preserved only because they are traditional, and which do not accord with modern methods.

9. Excessive formality in administration is a serious evil, for the reason that it introduces expense, risk, and uncertainty in commercial transactions in such degree as to discourage commercial enterprise. It leads to the multiplication of agents in the business of importation, exportation, and transportation, and thereby reduces the legitimate profits and reasonable expectations of merchants and carriers, and increases the expenses of government.

10. A ship’s manifest is a marine document universally required of vessels arriving from foreign ports as a basis for determining their cargoes, and in the time of war to furnish the evidence of non-contraband goods. No vessel should be allowed to clear from any customs port before the master has lodged in the custom-house a manifest of his cargo; but consular certification of such manifests should not be required. Vessels belonging to regular lines of steamers, which are advertised to sail on schedule time, are usually compelled to take in cargo up to the last moment of their departure, and it is therefore impracticable before the hour of sailing to complete the manifest for clearance at the custom-house. The resident agents of such vessels should therefore be allowed to lodge in the custom-house, within twenty-four hours after the sailing of the vessel, such supplementary manifests as may be required to account for the whole cargo.

Before entering a foreign port the master of every vessel should prepare, for surrender to the customs authorities, an inward manifest containing all the facts shown by the outward manifests, together with a list of the passengers and crew and an account of surplus ship-stores remaining on board. This manifest should be lodged at the customhouse, together with the register and any other documents required by the local regulations, and should be verified

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