(a) Abatement or allowance for deterioration, loss or damage to merchandise in customs custody; exception
In no case shall there be any abatement or allowance made in the duties for any injury, deterioration, loss, or damage sustained by any merchandise while remaining in customs custody, except that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized, upon production of proof satisfactory to him of the loss or theft of any merchandise while in the appraiser's stores, or of the actual injury or destruction, in whole or in part, of any merchandise by accidental fire or other casualty, while in bonded warehouse, or in the appraiser's stores, or while in transportation under bond, or while in the custody of the officers of the customs, although not in bond, or while within the limits of any port of entry and before having been landed under the supervision of the officers of the customs, to abate or refund, as the case may be, the duties upon such merchandise, in whole or in part, and to pay any such refund out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to cancel any warehouse bond or bonds, or enter satisfaction thereon in whole or in part, as the case may be, but no abatement or refund shall be made in respect of injury or destruction of any merchandise in bonded warehouse occurring after the expiration of three years from the date of importation. The decision of the Secretary of the Treasury as to the abatement or refund of the duties on any such merchandise shall be final and conclusive upon all persons.
The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to prescribe such regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this subdivision and he may by such regulations limit the time within which proof of loss, theft, injury, or destruction shall be submitted, and may provide for the abatement or refund of duties, as authorized herein, by appropriate customs officers in cases in which the amount of the abatement or refund claimed is less than $25 and in which the importer has agreed to abide by the decision of the customs officer. The decision of the customs officer in any such case shall be final and conclusive upon all persons.
(b) Abandonment of merchandise to Government; remittal or refund of duties paid
Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe and subject to any conditions imposed thereby the consignee may at any time within three years from the date of original importation, abandon to the Government any merchandise in bonded warehouse, whereupon any duties on such merchandise may be remitted or refunded as the case may be, but any merchandise so abandoned shall not be less than an entire package and shall be abandoned in the original package without having been repacked while in a bonded warehouse (other than a bonded manipulating warehouse).
Provisions of this section authorizing transfer of cases before the United States Customs Court on June 18, 1930, to the Secretary of the Treasury, or to the collector, for consideration and determination, were omitted.
Prior provisions somewhat similar to those in this section, were contained in R.S. §2983, and section 2984 as amended by act Feb. 27, 1877, ch. 69, §1, 19 Stat. 247, which contained a further provision for cancellation or satisfaction of warehouse bonds. Both of these sections were superseded by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, §563, 42 Stat. 978, and repealed by section 642 thereof. Section 563 of the 1922 act was superseded and enlarged by section 563 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
1970—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91–271 substituted "appropriate customs officers" for "collectors of customs", and "customs officer" for "collector" wherever appearing.
1938—Act June 25, 1938, struck out "(or ten months in the case of grain)" wherever appearing.
Effective Date of 1970 Amendment
For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 91–271, see section 203 of Pub. L. 91–271, set out as a note under section 1500 of this title.
Effective Date of 1938 Amendment
Amendment by act June 25, 1938, applicable in the case of grain imported prior to the thirtieth day following June 25, 1938, except as otherwise provided, see section 23(b) of act June 25, 1938, set out as a note under section 1557 of this title.
Act June 26, 1934, ch. 756, §2, 48 Stat. 1225, which was classified to section 725a of former Title 31, Money and Finance, repealed the permanent appropriation under the title "Refunding duties on goods destroyed (Customs) (2x330)" effective July 1, 1935, and provided that such portions of any Acts as make permanent appropriations to be expended under such account are amended so as to authorize, in lieu thereof, annual appropriations from the general fund of the Treasury in identical terms and in such amounts as now provided by the laws providing such permanent appropriations.