Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Customs Simplification Act of 1956.

August 02, 1956

I HAVE TODAY approved H. R. 6040, the Customs Simplification Act of 1956.

The heart of this measure is a revision of valuation procedures. This change will do more than any other single measure to free the importation of merchandise from customs complications and pitfalls for the inexperienced importer. It allows our customs value decisions to be based on normal commercial values current in trade with the United States. It permits businessmen to predict with greater certainty the amount of tariff duty to be paid on imports. It simplifies the valuation work of the Bureau of Customs and reduces delay in the assessment of duties.

I am also particularly gratified to approve H. R. 6040 because it marks the culmination of the legislative proposals which this Administration has made for customs simplification and customs management improvement. The Customs Simplification Act of

1953 made many important changes in customs administrative provisions which have resulted in more certain and equitable duty assessments. The Customs Simplification Act of 1954 began a study by the United States Tariff Commission looking toward a much needed revision of the tariff classification schedules of 1930 and made helpful changes in the administration of the antidumping laws. With the passage of H. R. 6040 all of the principal improvements relating to customs procedures recommended on January 23, 1954, by the Commission on Foreign Economic Policy, which I endorsed in my Special Message of March 30, 1954, have now been authorized or undertaken.

The legislation previously passed by the Congress, together with the regulatory and administrative changes made by the Treasury Department and the Bureau of Customs, have in the past three years cut the average time required for a final decision on customs duties from about one year to less than six months. Further progress in this direction is expected and I am confident that H. R. 6040 will contribute to it.

It cannot be said that our work is completed because customs simplification and procedural improvement problems require continuous attention. However, all of these measures add up to a record of real accomplishment in the Administration's program for greater certainty, fairness, and efficiency in customs administration. They represent real progress in facilitating the expansion of our trade with other nations, an essential step in strengthening our own economy and the economies of the Free World that are linked to ours.

Note: As enacted, H. R. 6040 is Public Law 927, 84th Congress (70 Stat. 943).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Customs Simplification Act of 1956. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233001

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