This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Imports. Goods brought to this from a foreign country. Importations into the United States can be made only at ports of entry constituted by law. All goods so imported must be entered at a custom-house by presenting a bill of lading, and an invoice duly certified by the United States Consul at the port from whence they are shipped; also a sworn description of the goods by the importer. If the goods are free of duty, a permit to land is immediately issued, subject to official inspection and verification of the goods. If the goods are dutiable the tariff is estimated at the custom-house and paid in coin or government notes. A permit is then issued to send one or more packages to the government appraiser for examination, (to determine whether they have been invoiced properly) the balance of the goods being delivered to the importer under bond to produce them should the examination of the samples show discrepancies. If the appraiser finds them to have been undervalued, the goods are subject to merely the additional tariff on the excess. Any fraudulent under valuation involves the confiscation of the goods concerned. To interior ports goods may be transported in bond, directly from the importing vessel. There are custom houses in all the large cities of the United States. The following table shows the value of imports entered during the three years ending Oct. 1st 1891; also the value of articles free of duty, and the value of those on which there is a tariff:
Free Of Duty
Total Duties Collected
Total Sept. 30, 1889
Per cent. free and dutiable________
Total Sept. 30, 1890
Per cent. free and dutiable..........
Total Sept. 30, 1891
Per cent. free and dutiable______ .