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Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of H. P. Lambert Company, Incorporated, and Southeastern Drilling Corporation.

September 14, 1960

I AM withholding my approval from H.R. 7618, a bill "for the relief of H. P. Lambert Company, Incorporated, and Southeastern Drilling Corporation."

The bill would waive the applicable statute of limitations and permit a claim for refund of duty paid on certain non-dutiable equipment imported into the United States.

The claimants requested that certain oil field equipment be entered under provisions of the Tariff Act affording duty-free status to property originally manufactured in the United States. The equipment was admitted duty-free after the Lambert Company, the brokerage firm in the case, had posted a bond to assure production of the documentation required to establish United States origin. At the request of the brokerage firm, the time covered by the bond was extended on several occasions. At the end of two years and when no further request for extension had been received, customs officials personally contacted the firm and advised that the duty would be payable if the requisite documentation were not furnished promptly. Despite this notice and despite a subsequent assessment of the duty, of which the brokerage firm was apprised and which it could have protested within 60 days, the Lambert Company failed to produce proof of United States origin until after its consideration was barred by applicable law and regulations.

Statutes of limitations should be set aside only when justified by compelling equitable considerations. No such considerations appear here. The only extenuating circumstance advanced in this case is that the notice of the assessment of duty was sent to the wrong party. I am advised, however, that the notice was properly sent to the brokerage firm as the party liable for the payment of duty. furthermore, the firm, presumably well-versed in the customs laws, had not only been given repeated extensions on the bond it posted but had also been specifically advised of the imminence of an assessment of duty.

For these reasons, I am unable to approve this bill.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum of Disapproval of Bill for the Relief of H. P. Lambert Company, Incorporated, and Southeastern Drilling Corporation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235343

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