United States v. Twenty-Five Packages of Panama Hats - 231 U.S. 358 (1913)


U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Twenty-Five Packages of Panama Hats, 231 U.S. 358 (1913)

United States v. Twenty-Five Packages of Panama Hats

No. 257

Argued October 30, 1913

Decided December 1, 1913

231 U.S. 358

Syllabus

The expression -- to attempt to introduce into the commerce of the United States -- includes more than to attempt to enter merchandise, and, as used in the Act of August 5, 1909, c. 6, 36 Stat. 11, 97, it covers fraudulent invoices made by consignors in foreign countries.

As statutes have no extraterritorial operation, a consignor making a fraudulent invoice in a foreign country cannot be punished therefor, but the goods being within the protection and subject to the commercial regulations of this country can be subjected to forfeiture for the fraudulent attempt to introduce them.

While punishment for crime and forfeiture of goods affected by the crime are often coincident, they are not necessarily so, and inability to reach the criminal is a reason for subjecting the goods to forfeiture.

A foreign consignor is charged with knowledge of the regulations of the United States in regard to importation of goods and their disposition in case they are not called for after removal from the vessel.

When goods are unloaded and placed in General Order, they are actually introduced into the commerce of the United States within the meaning of the statute intending to prevent fraud on the customs.

195 F. 438 reversed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the tariff laws of the United States in regard to attempted introduction into the commerce of the United States of goods fraudulently undervalued, are stated in the opinion.

Page 231 U. S. 359



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