United States Customs Decision in Importation of Insulators

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Glassworker

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
vol. 30, no. 1, p. 6,7,14,15, col. 1-4,1-4,1-4,1


Interesting Summary of an Appeal from the Board of

United States General Appraisers Various

Glassware Tariff Legislation is Cited.

In the case of the United States vs. Wakem & McLaughlin (No. 688) regarding "Glass Rosettes" Articles of Glass, Colorded [sic] Colored.

The goods in controversy are small hemispherical glass insulators, to the glass of which in a melted state an amber color has been given by mixing appropriate coloring matter. From its terms and its legislative history, paragraph 98, tariff act of 1909, must be taken to cover all articles of colored glass not otherwise specifically provided for, and the colored glass insulators here are, held dutiable as assessed under that paragraph.

United States Customs Court of Appeals, January 11, 1912. Appeal from Board of United States General Appraisers, G. A. 7220 (T. D. 31586). Decision reversed. Wm. K. Payne, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Chas. Duane Baker on the brief. Lester C. Childs for appellees. Case heard before Montgomery, Smith, Barber, DeVries and Martin, judges. Smith delivered the opinion of the court:

This case involves the classification of so-called "glass rosettes,'' which were assessed for duty by the collector of customs at the port of Chicago at 60 per cent ad valorem as articles of glass, colored, under the provisions of paragraph 98 of the tariff act of August 5, 1909, the part of which paragraph material to this case are as follows:

98. Glass bottles, decanters and all articles of every description composed wholly or in chief value of glass, ornamented or decorated in any manner, or cut, engraved, painted, decorated, ornamented, colored, stained, silvered, gilded, etched, sand blasted, frosted, or printed in any manner, or ground (except such grinding as is necessary for fitting stoppers' or for purposes other than ornamentation), and all articles of every description, including bottles and bottle glassware, composed wholly or in chief value of glass blown either in a mold or otherwise; all of the foregoing, not specially provided for in this section, sixty per centum ad valorem. .

The importers objected to the duty assessed and among other grounds of protest set up the claim that the importation was a manufacture of glass or paste dutiable at 45 per cent ad valorem under the provisions of paragraph 109, which is as follows:

109. Stained or painted glass windows, or parts thereof, and all glass or manufactures of glass or paste or of which glass or paste is the component of chief value, not specially provided for in this section, forty-five per centum ad valorem.

The Board of General Appraisers sustained the protest and the government appealed.

The board finds, and it is not disputed, that the goods and classification of which is in controversy are small, hemispherical glass insulators designed for the effective insulation of telegraph, telephone and electric light wires. These insulators are referred to in the record as "glass rosettes" and are made of a glass to which while in a melted condition a rich amber hue has been imparted by the admixture of some appropriate coloring matter. On this state of facts the government insists that the insulators are articles of colored glass and therefore dutiable as assessed under that part of paragraph 98 which imposes a duty of 60 per cent ad valorem on "all glass colored in any manner." To this the importers respond that colored glass articles and articles of colored glass are commodities quite different from artides of glass colored, and that as paragraph 98 was intended to cover articles and not materials processed as therein described, articles made of glass colored in the melting pot cannot be assessed for duty thereunder. In support of this proposition counsel for the importers aver that cutting, engraving, painting, decorating, ornamenting, staining, silvering, gilding, etching, sand blasting, frosting and printing are all processes which are applied to the article itself rather than to the substance of which it is made and that it would be reason