Heinemann v. Arthur's Executors - 120 U.S. 82 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Heinemann v. Arthur's Executors, 120 U.S. 82 (1887)
Heinemann v. Arthur's Executors
Submitted January 3, 1887
Decided January 24, 1887
120 U.S. 82
Wool of the third class was dutiable under § 1 of the Act of March 2, 1867, c. 197, 14 Stat. 560 at three cents per pound if its value at the last port or place whence exported into the United States, excluding charges in such port, was twelve cents or less per pound, and at six cents per pound if such value exceeded twelve cents per pound. On January 5, 1874, such wool, bought in Russia in October, 1873, the actual cost of which, exclusive of charges, was below twelve cents per pound at the time and place of exportation was entered at the custom house at the port of New York at an invoice value stated in Russian silver rubles. The collector computed the ruble at 77.17 cents under the authority of a proclamation to that effect made by the Secretary of the Treasury in December, 1873 in pursuance of an estimation of the value of the ruble for the year 1874 made by the Director of the Mint as required by the Act of March 3, 1873, c. 268, 17 Stat. 602. Prior to that act, the value of the ruble had been fixed by statute at seventy-five cents. If the ruble had been competed at seventy-five cents, the invoice value of the wool would hate been less than twelve cents per pound. Computing it at 77.17 cents raised such invoice value above twelve cents per pound. The collector exacted a duty of six cents per pound. In an action to recover back the excess of duty over three cents per pound.
(1) The effect of the act of 1873 was to repeal the prior statute.
(2) The requirement of § 7 of the Act of March 3, 18G5, c. 80, 13 Stat. 493, forbade the assessment of duty on an amount less than the invoice or entered value.
(3) the collector was therefore required to compute the ruble at 77.17 cents, although the cost of the goods, computing the ruble at seventy-five cents, was twelve cents or less per pound.