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200 Chests of
1824. in the original packages. as imported, an entry is
required, upon their being transported from one port to another, although that.precise term may not be used in the various revenue and navigation laws." All the formalities required by these acts were complied with on bringing these teas from the port of New-York to the port of Boston, and consequently an entry was made with the collector of the latter port, so as to authorize him to make the examination and seizure under the 67th section of the collection act. Nor was any allegation of an intention to defraud the revenue necèssary, since the libel pursues the language of the enacting clause of the act, by which the forfeiture is inflicted whenever the packages are found to differ in their contents from the entry; and the exemption from forfeiture, where the difference proceeds from accident or mistake, is contained in a separate proviso to the section, which is matter of defence for the claimant. By the act of April 16, 1816, c. 107. and by several preceding statutes, the first of which was enacted in 1789, a specific duty was imposed on “ bohea tea.” All these acts make a discrimination in terms, between “bohea” and “souchong and all other black teas." The Legislature must necessarily have had in view, in both cases, a certain commodity, known by those names respectively. Had this not been the fact, an ad valorem duty would long since have been imposed, in order to prevent the
upon the revenue, which must a Act of Feb. 18, 1793, for enrolling and licensing ships and vessels to be employed in the coasting trade, &c. c. 153. (viii.] s. 16, 17. 19.
be the inevitable consequence of permitting such 1824. . teas as those now in question to be imported as
200 Chests af bohea. The same distinctive term is used in the Tea. British revenue laws, and is supported by the authority of various writers on commerce. It is exclusively applied to the common bohea tea, sometimes called moji or moee by the Chinese; and, consequently, the various instances of the mixtures of teas in China, which are spoken of by the witnesses, as being composed ordinarily of not more than one third part of that species, and the residue of old souchong, congo, and others of the higher order of teas, and thus imported into this country under the name of bohea, must be regarded, in a legal point of view, as being an evasion of the several statutes on that subject.
Mr. Justice STORY delivered the opinion of the March 15th Court.
The two. hundred chests of tea in controversy in this suit, were imported into the city of NewYork, in the ship Ontario, from China, and entered there at the custom house, and the duties regularly secured as bohea teas. They were afterwards transported coastwise to Boston; and upon examination there, under the direction of the collector of the district, they were seized as forfeited, under the collection act of the 2d of March, 1799, ch. 128. 8. 67. on account of their differing in de
Q Stat. 43 Geo. II. c. 12. 24 Geo. III. c. 28. Milborne's Oriental Commerce, vol. ii. p. 521. Ree's Cyclopedid, art. Tea. Thea. Morrison's Chinese Dict. art. Tea.
800 Chests of
1824. scription from the contents of the entry. The li
bel states the facts specially, but contains no allegation of an intention to defraud the revenue. Upon this state of the case, the libel is assailed for a supposed defect, arising from the absence of such an allegation. But we think this objection cannot be sustained. The libel follows the language of the enacting clause of the act, which inflicts the forfeiture ; and the exemption from forfeiture, when the collector or the Court shall be satisfied that the difference between the entry and the packages “ proceeded from accident or mistake, and not from an intention to defraud the revenue,” being found in a separate proviso, is properly matter of defence, to be asserted and proved by the claimant, and is not, according to the course of adjudications in this Court, essential to the structure of the libel itself. This objection, then, may be dismissed without further observation.
Another question, of more serious importance, is, whether the examination and seizure authorized by the 67th section of the act, are not limited to the collector of the district where thc goods were originally entered and the dutics secured, upon importation; and so the case made by the libel is not within the purview of the act, whatever might be the authority of the collector to seize for forfeitures generally, and to assert the claim in a libel, properly framed for such a purpose.
The decision of this question would require a very minute and critical examination of the whole revenue and coasting acts; and as the Court can satisfac
200 Chests of
torily dispose of the cause upon the merits, in point 1824. of fact, it is deemed unnecessary to institute so laborious an inquiry.
Tea. The claim admits, that the teas were imported and entered as bohea teas; and asserts, that they are of the kind and denomination called bobea teas, and not of a different kind or quality of teas; and this forms the main point in controversy between the parties. One of the earliest acts of Congress, (the act of the 20th of July, 1789, ch. 2.) imposes duties on teas in the following words : “On bohea tea, per pound, six cents; on all souchong or other black teas, per pound, ten cents ; on all hyson teas, per pound, twenty cents; on all other green teas, per pound, twelve cents. The act of the 10th of August, 1790, ch. 39. varied the duties, but retained the same descriptions. The act of the 29th of January, 1795, ch. 82. declared that “teas commonly called imperial, gunpowder, or gomee," should “pay the same duties as hyson teas.” The act of the 3d of March, 1797, ch. 64. laid an additional duty of two cents “upon all bohea tea." And the act of the 27th of April, 1816, ch. 107. under which this cargo was imported, levies duties on "bobea, twelve cents per pound; souchong and other black, twenty-five cents per pound; imperial, gunpowder, and gomee, fifty cents per pound; hyson, and young hyson, forty cents per pound; hyson skin, and other green, twenty-eight cents per pound.” The legislation of Congress here detailed, exhibits a progressive discrimination in the kinds of green teas, but leaves
1324. the black teas with no other specific discrimination
than that of bohea and souchong. 200 Chests of Теа. .
The argument on behalf of the United States, is, that the two hundred chests of tea, now in controversy, are in reality simple congo tea, and not bohea ; that the latter is a pure unmixed tea, entirely distinct from congo, and known in China by an appropriate name; that it is to this pure and unmixed bohea tea, that the successive acts of Congress refer, and not to any other mixed tea, though known by the common denomination of bohea. If we were to advert to scientific classifications, for our guide on the present occasion, it is most manifest, from the works cited at the bar, that bohea is a generic term, including under it all the black teas, and not merely a terın indicating a specific kind. But it ippears to us unnecessary to enter upon this inqui y, because, in our opinion, Congress must be understood to use the word in its known commercial sense. The object of the duty laws is to raise revenue, and for this purpose to class substances according to the general usage and known denominations of trade. Whether a particular article were designated by one name or another, in the country of its origin, or whether it were a simple or mixed substance, was of no importance in the view of the Legislature. It did not suppose our merchants to be naturalists, or geologists, or botanists. It applied its attention to the description of articles as they derived their appellations in our own markets, in our domestic as cell as our foreign traffic. And it would have been as dangerous as useless, to attempt any other