U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Nichols, 186 U.S. 298 (1902)
United States v. Nichols
Submitted May 2, 1902
Decided June 2, 1902
186 U.S. 298
Section 19 of the Customs Administrative Act of 1890, requiring that, whenever imported merchandise is subject to an ad valorem duty, the duty shall be assessed upon the value of all cartons, cases, crates, boxes, sacks and coverings of any kind, has no application to glass bottles filled with ad valorem goods. Such bottles are not "coverings" in the ordinary sense of the word, and are specially provided for in the tariff acts.
This case came before the court of appeals upon appeal from a decision of the Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York reversing a decision of the Board of General Appraisers which affirmed the action of the collector of the port of New York regarding the assessment of duty upon certain imported merchandise. The circuit court of appeals, being in doubt with regard to a certain question of law arising therein, desired the instruction of the Supreme Court for its proper decision.
The importation was made under the Tariff Act of 1894, and consisted of glass bottles, holding not more than one pint and filled with goods dutiable at ad valorem rates. Upon these facts, the question of law concerning which the instruction of this Court was desired was this:
"Should the value of the bottles filled with ad valorem goods be added to the dutiable value of their contents, under section 19 of the Customs Administrative Act of 1890, to make up the dutiable value of the imported merchandise?"