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The bill of lading must also be sent with the other documents. On shipments going to certain Latin American areas it is necessary to present the bill of lading for visa along with the other documents; otherwise it will not serve at destination. It is not permissible to send goods on a “To order” bill of lading to certain of the Latin

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Figure 6.-Sextuplicate invoice and record. American countries. For example, in Venezuela, not only are such documents prohibited and the shipment penalized, but the captain of the transporting vessel is also heavily fined for permitting such goods on his ship. In Bolivia also “To order” bills of lading in blank are prohibited." In certain other of the Latin American areas the “To order" document is permitted or recognized, but not protected in any way. Its use is therefore not advisable in such countries, and the shipper should investigate the situation before making out his documents. Brazilian regulations may be taken as another way of handicapping the use of the “To order” bill of lading. “To order” shipments are duly recognized there, but such shipments are subject to a special tax of 2 milreis per thousand or fraction of the value, and the commercial invoice must show, specifically, the name of the consignee. In most other countries, "To order” bills of lading are commonly used, and goods may be safely indorsed in blank, since they are protected under the laws of the particular country.

SANITARY CERTIFICATES Certain food products, plants, seeds, and live animals are often required to be accompanied by certificates of purity or of absence of disease or pest, to be visaed by a consul of the importing country after inspection and certification by a recognized official inspector. Lard, meat, and meat products are the food products for which sanitary certificates are most often demanded.


In addition to the documents required by the foreign governments, the exporter must prepare a shipper's export declaration covering the goods which he plans to forward either to a foreign country, the Philippines, or to a noncontiguous territory of the United States (Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa). This declaration is required by the United States Government authorities for statistical purposes. The exporter's declaration formerly required on parcel-post packages has now been discontinued.

DUTIABLE VALUE A very important point in the preparation of shipping documents, especially to British areas where ad valorem rates of duty are so prevalent, is the valuation of the goods. This is true regarding all export shipments, but in the British areas the definition of the dutiable value of goods varies so in the different countries that it is necessary not only to invoice the goods at their true value in the country of origin, but also to know exactly what constitutes "value of goods for purpose of assessment of duty. The definition of dutiable value in the various British countries will be found in Trade Promotion Series No. 154, Preparing Shipments to British Countries, obtainable from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., for 20 cents (no stamps):

Outside of the British areas the general practice in levying ad valorem duties is to base the duty on the invoiced) c. i. f. value in port of entry, the invoiced value, or the invoiced value increased by a certain percentage estimated to cover insurance and transportation charges, though in a few countries fixed or official valuations for certain commodities are established as a basis for ad valorem rates. Argentina, Uruguay, British India, Netherlands Indies, and Italy (certain products only) are the main countries using official value for customs purposes.

Related to the subject of the dutiable value on invoices is the correct description of goods in regard to kind and quality. Attempts to obtain lower customs duties through false description of goods are generally heavily penalized, as efforts to defraud the customs.


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There is an increasing use of the mails, particularly the parcel post, as a channel of commerce and as a means of distributing samples and advertising matter to customers abroad. If postal instructions are followed carefully, it should be possible to reduce to a minimum the instances of wasted effort on the shipper's part or of complaints from the other end in connection with the commercial use of the mails in foreign trade.


To avoid the complete loss of goods sent by parcel post which are not deliverable, arrangements have been made whereby the sender may indicate, at time of mailing, the disposition to be made of the parcel if found undeliverable as originally addressed, such indication to be given by endorsement on the wrapper of the parcel or by means of a paster affixed thereto. These markings should take one of the following three forms:

(a) "If undeliverable as addressed, deliver to
(b) "If undeliverable as addressed, abandon.”
(c) "If undeliverable as addressed, return to sender."

Upon their return to the sender, parcel-post packages will be subject to postage charges at the rate prepaid thereon at the time of the first mailing. No return postage is collected on undelivered packages sent by the regular mails. All postal charges should be fully prepaid in the United States.


For foreign countries generally the letter-postage rate is 5 cents for the first ounce or fraction and 3 cents for each additional ounce or fraction, although to certain areas 3 cents an ounce suffices. Current foreign postage rates and weight limits of letters and packages may be obtained from the local post offices.


"Letter mail” in the foreign mails must not contain any letter, note, or document having the character of actual personal correspondence addressed to persons other than the addressee or persons residing with the addressee.

Typewritten matter cannot go as “printed matter” (“prints") but must be sent as “letter mail.”


Under a provision of the London Convention, articles liable to foreign customs duties may now be enclosed in letters or in packages prepaid at the letter rate to countries which permit importation in this manner, provided a green label, Form C 1 (United States Postal Form 2976), is affixed to the package to indicate that it is to be submitted to customs inspection at destination. Where the country of

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destination has neither accepted this service nor signified its unwillingness to permit importation of dutiable articles by "letter mail.” such mail will be accepted by United States post offices for transmission at the risk of the sender. Mention is made in the body of this bulletin under each country of the possibilities for using this class of regular mail for forwarding dutiable articles. A facsimile of Form C 1 (Postal Form 2976) follows.


May Be Officially Opened
Peut être ouvert d'office 2976 (C 1)


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“Second-class mail" in the foreign mails includes only newspapers and periodicals bearing notice of entry as second-class matter when mailed by publishers or registered news agents to certain countries. To other countries, such printed matter is classed as “prints” and must be sent at the rates and under the regulations for that class of regular mail.

PRINTED MATTER “Printed matter” (or "prints”) in the foreign mails includes circulars, newspapers, and periodicals not admitted as

second class; books, stitched or bound; pamphlets, sheets of music; visiting cards; address cards; proofs of printing, with or without related manuscript; engravings; photographs, and albums containing photographs; pictures, drawings, plans, maps, catalogs, prospectuses, advertisements, and notices of various kinds, printed, engraved, lithographed, or mimeographed; and, in general, all impressions or copies made upon paper, cardboard, or parchment by printing, engraving, lithography, autography, or any other mechanical process easy to recognize, except the copying press and typewriter, but including multigraphed matter.

Bulk shipments of "printed matter," that is, shipments exceeding the weight limits for such packages, must go by parcel post, freight, or express.



Samples of no commercial value may be sent by sample post to all countries up to a limit of 18 ounces. If the samples have commercial value or are dutiable, they are not admissible to the sample post, but, within the respective weight limits, they may be sent by dutiable letter mail” where permissible or by “small packet” or “8-ounce merchandise" mail where these services are available. If these services are not operative to the country of destination, the packages may go by parcel post, by freight, or by express.

Electrotypes and other printing plates may be sent by sample post, but not as "printed matter."

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Goods sent by sample post not only have the advantage of a lower rate of postage but also generally are exempt from customs formalities upon arrival in foreign countries. It is well to mark such packages “Samples without value,” “Muestras sin valor” (Spanish), “Āmostras sem valor" (Portuguese), “Échantillons sans valeur" (French), "Monsters zonder waarde” (Dutch), “Muster ohne Wert” (German), or “Campione senza valore”. (Italian), according to the language spoken in the country to which they are being sent.


It is permissible to include in the same package commercial papers, samples of merchandise, and "printed matter" (other than impressions in relief for the use of the blind), with the reservation that each article taken singly does not exceed the limits applicable to it in regard to weight and dimensions, that the total weight does not exceed 4 pounds 6 ounces per package, and that the charge is at least the minimum charge for commercial papers if the package contains commercial papers

and the minimum charge for samples if it is composed of "printed matter" and samples.

This provision for the transmission of composite packages (which must not be confused with "combination packages," described below), is applicable only to articles having the same rate of postage per unit of weight. When articles subject to different rates of postage are forwarded together, the entire package will bear the rate of postage applicable to the articles contained therein for which the rate is highest.


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“Combination packages"—that is, packages made up of two parts so attached that each part may be weighed separately but both addressed for delivery to the same addressee, and consisting of a sealed envelope containing a written or printed communication, fully prepaid at the letter rate of postage, and an unsealed container, with samples of merchandise or printed matter enclosed, fully prepaid at the appropriate rate of postage-are accepted by United States post offices for dispatch in the ordinary mail when going to a few countries. Since the countries accepting these packages change their regulations from time to time, they are not listed here. Current information regarding the sending of them should be obtained from the local postmaster.


Under the Universal Postal Convention of London, 1930, provision was made for a new class of mail known as "small packets." This is not to be confused with the parcel post; it is a distinct service, with its own postage rates and weight limits. It is particularly convenient for delivering packages of samples which are too large to fall within the sample-post weight limit of 18 ounces, especially when the samples cannot be separated into smaller units. It also serves as a way to deliver dutiable samples which cannot be sent by sample post, however small the package.

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