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REPORTS FROM DIPLOMATIC AND CONSCLAR OFFICERS IN ANSWER
TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
Issued froin the Bureau of Foreign Commerce,
Department of State.
A clause in the general deficiency bill of July 19, 1897, authorized the Department of State to print a compilation of the tariffs of foreign countries, and on July 29, 1897, a circular signed by the Acting Secretary of State, Mr. Adee, was mailed to the diplomatic representatives of the United States in foreign countries and the consular officers resident in countries where there were no diplomatic representatives, instructing them to obtain, with the least possible delay, copies of the tariffs of the several countries, customs regulations, and bounty legislation relating to the export of domestic products and transmit them to the Department, as printed in the original official publications, with accurate translations where the matter was printed in foreign languages. The earlier publication of these tariffs has been impracticable because of the labor entailed upon diplomatic and consular officers in translating the tariffs and customs regulations and reducing weights and moneys to United States equivalents, and the omission of some officers to transmit to the Department tariffs in either their original or translated forms, entailing the necessity of supplying such deficiencies. For this purpose tariffs published by the International Tariffs Customs Bureau of Brussels and old tariffs published by the Bureau of the American Republics and by the Department of State were used as bases, all subsequent changes being incorporated therein from such official data as could be obtained. All foreign moneys have been reduced to United States equivalents, except in case of currencies so fluctuating that such reductions would be of no lasting value.
Instead of issuing these tariffs in one volume, as was done in the case of the publication by the Department in 1892 (Tariffs of Foreign Countries, Special Consular Reports, vol. 7), it has been considered more convenient and useful to issue them in three parts, viz: 1, Europe; 2, America; 3, Asia, Africa, Australasia, and Polynesia.
In most cases an alphabetical index, by articles and tariff numbers, . follows the tariff schedules. Where such is not the case, classes of goods with tariff numbers covering the same are given, the aim being to enable the importer and exporter to find the information sought with the least possible delay or trouble.
It need hardly be stated that owing to continual tariff and customs changes in the greater number of the countries this publication is only to be relied upon to date, but if those interested will watch the monthly consular reports as they are issued they will be enabled to keep fully posted in regard to this important and intricate subject. The United States ministers and consuls are instructed to immediately report all tariff and customs changes within their respective jurisdictions, and such changes are at once published upon their receipt at the Department. BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE,
December 1, 1899.