Junge v. Hedden - 146 U.S. 233 (1892)
U.S. Supreme Court
Junge v. Hedden, 146 U.S. 233 (1892)
Junge v. Hedden
Argued November 15-16, 1892
Decided November 28, 1892
146 U.S. 233
In construing tariff acts, an article may be held to be enumerated, although not specifically mentioned, if it be designated in a way to distinguish it from other articles.
The meaning of the term "article," when used in a tariff act, considered.
Dental rubber imported into the United States in 1885 was subject to a duty of 25 percent ad valorem as an article composed of India rubber not specially enumerated.
This was an action to recover an alleged excess of duties exacted upon importations of dental rubber into the port of New York in 1885.
The duty was assessed under the paragraph of Schedule N of section 2502 of the Revised Statutes, as reenacted by the Act of March 3, 1883, which reads: "Articles composed of India rubber, not specially enumerated or provided for in this act, twenty-five percentum ad valorem." 22 Stat. 513, c. 121.
The substance of the protests is stated in the record as follows:
"Upon certain 'India rubber in sheets,' claiming said goods to be entitled to free entry under the provisions in the free list for 'India rubber' crude (Act March 3, 1883), or second, if deemed not crude, it is nevertheless not a manufactured 'article of rubber' in the meaning of the law, but is entitled to free entry under the proviso of sec. 2499 of said act as crude; or, third at no more than 20% ad val., as a partially manufactured, nonenumerated article under sec. 2513, Act March 3, 1883, (see sec. 23, Act March 2, 1861, as to rubber in sheets), and not at 25% ad val., as charged by you."
The proviso of section 2499, and section 2513, thus referred to, are:
"Provided that nonenumerated articles, similar in material and quality and texture and the use to which they may be applied to articles on the free list, and in the manufacture of which no dutiable materials are used, shall be free."
22 Stat. 491.
"SEC. 2513. There shall be levied, collected, and paid on the importation of all raw or unmanufactured articles, not herein enumerated or provided for, a duty of ten percentum ad valorem, and all articles manufactured, in whole or in part, not herein enumerated or provided for, a duty of twenty percentum ad valorem."
22 Stat. 523.
Section 23 of the Act of March 2, 1861, 12 Stat. 195, c. 68, the free list, contains this item: "India rubber, in bottles, slabs, or sheets, unmanufactured."
The paragraph of Schedule N of section 2502 of the Act of March 3, 1883, under which the collector proceeded, is one of three, reading as follows:
"India rubber fabrics, composed wholly or in part of India rubber, not specially enumerated or provided for in this act, thirty percentum ad valorem."
"Articles composed of India rubber, not specially enumerated or provided for in this act, twenty-five percentum ad valorem."
"India rubber boots and shoes, twenty-five percentum ad valorem."
In the free list (section 2503) is to be found: "India rubber, crude, and milk of."
Upon the trial, various exhibits of crude rubber, washed rubber, dental rubber, and dental plates were put in evidence, and the proofs established that these importations were dental rubber, which was commercially so known, and fit for dental purposes only.
It further appeared that dental rubber was crude rubber put through a masticator, by which it was torn up and shredded into a state of pulp, sulphur and coloring matter added, and the mass rolled into sheets, cut into proper sizes, and backed with linen to prevent the pieces from sticking together; that the heat of the mill or masticator was not a vulcanizing heat,
but sufficient to render the rubber elastic. The circuit court, Lacombe J., refused to direct the jury to find for the plaintiff, but, on the contrary, directed a verdict for the defendant. There were a verdict and judgment accordingly, and plaintiff sued out this writ of error. The opinion of Judge Lacombe will be found in 37 F. 197.