Be it enaoted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act it shall he unlawful for any person or persons or corporation to import or bring into the United States any merchandise for sale as tea, adulterated with spurious leaf or with exhausted leaves, or which contains so great an admixture of chemicals or other deleterious substances as to make it unfit for use; and the importation of all such merchandise is hereby prohibited.
Sec. 2. That on making entry at the custom-house of all tea or merchandise de-cribed as tea imported into the United States, the importer or consignee shall givee a bond to the collector of the port that such merchandise shall not be removed from warehouse until released by the custom-house authorities, who shall examine it with reference to its purity and fitness for consumption; and that for the purpose of such examination samples of each line in every invoice shall be submitted by the importer or consignee to the examiner, with his written statement that such samples represent the true quality of each and every part of the invoice, and accord with the specification therein contained; and in case the examiner has reason to believe that such samples do not represent the true quality of the invoice, he shall make such further examination of the tea represented by the invoice, or any part thereof, as shall be necessary: Provided, That such further examination of such tea shall be made within three days after entry thereof has been made at the custom-house: And provided further, That the bond above required shall also be conditioned for the payment of all custom-house charges which may attach to such merchandise prior to being released or destroyed (as the case may be) under the provisions of this act.
Sec. 3. That if, after an examination, as provided in section 2, the tea is found by the examiner not to come within the prohibition of this act, a permit shall at once be granted to the importer or consignee declaring the tea free from the control of the custom authorities; but if on examination such tea, or merchandise described as tea, is found, in the opinion of the examiner, to come within the prohibitions of this act, the importer or consignee shall be immediately notified, and the tea, or merchandise described as tea, so returned shall not be released by the custom-house, unless on reexaminatoin called for by the importer or consignee the return of the examiner shall be found erroneous: Provided, That should a portion of the invoice be passed by the examiner, a permit shall be granted for that portion, and the remainder held for further examination, as provided in section 4.
Sec. 4. That in case of any dispute between the importer or consignee and the examiner, the matter in dispute shall be referred for arbitration to a committee of three experts, one to be appointed by the collector, one by the importer, and the two to choose a third, and their decision shall be final; and if, upon such final reexamination, the tea shall be found to come within the prohibitions of this act, the importer or consignee shall give a bond, with securities satisfactory to the collector, to export such tea, or merchandise described as tea, out of the limits of the United States
20393 - No. 13 - 10 within a period of six months after such final reexamination; but if the same shall not have been exported within the time specified, the collector, at the expiration of that time, shall cause the same to be destroyed.
Sec. 5. That the examination and appraisement herein provided for shall be made by a duly qualified appraiser of the port at which said tea is entered, and when entered at ports where there are no appraisers, such examination and appraisement shall be made by the revenue officers to whom is committed the collection of duties, unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall otherwise direct.
Sec. 6. That leaves to which the term "exhausted" is applied in this act shall mean and include any tea which has been deprived of its proper quality, strength, or virtue by steeping, infusion, decoction, or other means.
Sec. 7. That teas actually on shipboard for shipment to the United States at the time of the passage of this act shall not be subject to the prohibition thereof.
Sec. 8. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this act by appropriate regulations.
Approved, March 2, 1883.