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mit. An agreement with Cuba became effective September 3, 1934, and with Belgium on May 1, 1935. Similar agreements were signed with Brazil on February 2, 1935, and with Haiti on March 28, 1935. Altogether 16 agreements had been put into effect by August 1937.
The commercial policy of the United States with particular reference to the trade-agreement program is designed to accomplish two objects, namely, (1)
mutual and reciprocal reduction in trade barriers and (2) the removal or prevention of discrimination against American commerce, equality of treatment being the keynote of this policy.
SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS Special restrictions apply in most countries to certain classes of commodities, notably food products, drugs, and pharmaceuticals, and explosives and inflammables. These restrictions do not admit of generalized description and must be investigated separately for each country.
Various additional forms of trade controls, such as government or semigovernment monopolies on trade in general or on particular products or groups of products, have grown up in recent years. On the whole, however, these are too varied and, in many cases, too complex to be discussed in detail here. Exporters should apply to the Division of Foreign Tariffs, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, or to the appropriate district office of the Bureau, for full information regarding the import controls generally applicable on their particular product or products in the areas to which it is proposed to ship.
Chapter VI.-PREPARING THE SHIPMENT
The American exporter cannot exercise too much care when preparing his shipments for foreign markets after the order has been received. There are a number of very essential details that must be attended to if he is to deliver his goods in good condition to his foreign customer and avoid subjecting him to unnecessary and embarrassing, if not expensive, conflicts with the customs at destination. If the shipment is properly prepared—that is, if it is properly packed and sent with the required documents and otherwise fulfills the import regulations of the importing country—there should be no penalties at port of importation, provided the importer handles promptly the formalities which devolve upon him and over which the exporter has no control. If the exporter does not carry out his obligations in
complying with the customs demands of the importing country, he may expect the foreign customer to hold him responsible for any resulting penalties by way of fine or confiscation of goods, and in the end he stands to lose his future orders.
Packing for foreign markets must meet two sometimes conflicting demands—first, the prime necessity of safe delivery of the goods in the foreign customs warehouse, and second, the desire to meet these requirements with the least expense to the importer by way of added customs duties and/or freight rates because of additional weight due to heavy packing. (See fig. 4.)
PROTECTION AGAINST STRAIN
Even under the best handling, transportation, and landing conditions, the wear and strain on packages for export shipment are tremendous and require much more careful packing than is necessary for shipments within the country. The type of packing which will deliver the commodity in good condition to the foreign customer will vary with the product concerned, the port of destination, the length of the journey, the climate of the place of delivery, and the heat and moisture to which the goods are subjected on the voyage. Experience will show the kind of case, cask, barrel, etc., best suited to the particular products, but the packing in any case must be sufficiently strong and braced to withstand the loading and unloading, whether by manual labor or by cranes or other machinery (often into lighters, which necessitates double handling at port of entry), the pressure of other cargo, the shifting of cargo from motion of the ship, etc.
PROTECTION AGAINST MOISTURE Protection of the goods from exposure to wetting by ocean spray and atmospheric humidity must be taken care of. When the shipment is to pass through tropical waters, or to be landed in a hot, damp climate, the cases should be lined with waterproof material. For certain kinds of goods, the lining may be of metal; for others, a thoroughly waterproofed paper or fabric will serve. Metal goods, especially the bright and unvarnished parts of machinery, fine tools, and apparatus, which are susceptible to damage from rust, should be protected from water and dampness in transit by a coating of slushing compound that will keep out all dampness, but will not liquefy and run off under changing weather conditions. These compounds must be of a kind that can be removed from the machinery, etc., without damage when the shipment is unpacked at destination.
PROTECTION AGAINST PILFERAGE
The question of pilferage must also be considered. Flimsy cases which arrive in damaged condition, easily pried open, or which show the contents through the cracks not only lend assistance to the pilferer in plying his trade, but bid openly for his attention. A stout case which resists his operations and can be pried open only with difficulty cannot be handled with sufficient dispatch and silence to win the favor of such a thief, who must work fast. He will always give his attention to the packages which yield easily to his tools, and of which he knows the contents. For this reason, the general advice is: Pack securely and put on the case nothing that will announce the contents to a pilferer.
Trade Promotion Series No. 1 "Packing for Foreign Markets, prepared by the Transportation Division of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, goes fully into the kinds of containers found to be adequate and satisfactory in packing various types of commodities. It is fully illustrated and shows both acceptable and unacceptable kinds of cases, lumber, etc., as worked out by experienced shippers. (This book is out of print at present but is available for reference in most public libraries.)
PACKING AND FOREIGN DUTIES
Packing in relation to the amount of duty that will be assessed against the goods is much more involved than its relation to safe de