No. 26.
Mr. Kasson to Mr. Evarts.

No. 166.]

Sir: After ten years of trial of a liberal system of regulations for trade across the Austro-German frontier, the two governments concerned have condensed the fruits of this experience in the commercial treaty of the 16th December, 1878. Some of its provisions seem to me especially applicable to our commercial relations with Canada and with Mexico, and some appear quite new. The stipulations are thoroughly reciprocal; and the principle of the “most favored nation” is further extended in this treaty than in any other which has fallen under my observation. Should new commercial arrangements be contemplated by the United States Government, especially with contiguous territories, I venture to believe that a previous examination of these provisions will be advantageous to our negotiations. I therefore transmit to you by this mail an officially published copy of this treaty, and herewith inclose a translation of the same made at this legation.

I take the liberty to call your attention especially to the following provisions:

Touching the wide application of the “most favored nation” principle. (Articles 2, 18, 21.)

Touching premiums and drawbacks, and railway preferences, and other efforts at priority. (Articles 3, 9, 14, 15.)

[Page 45]

Touching the free introduction and reproduction of incomplete manufactures to be finished, or advanced, and then returned, a trade which has been very profitable to Germany. (Article 6.)

Touching the prevention of smuggling, and effective arrangements indicated. (Articles 10, 23.)

Disinfection of live-stock railway-wagons. (Article 17.)

Responsibility, of railway direction for violation of locks, seals, &c., covering goods in transit to destination with duties unpaid. (Article 18.)

The reciprocal service of consuls in places where only one nation is represented. (Article 22.)

I also transmit by this mail a copy of the late Austro-Italian commercial treaty for the files of the Department, the same being in French as well as German text.

I have, &c.,


Translation of the Austro-German commercial treaty of the 10th December, 1878.

Sent by same mail the original printed text of same; and double text of Austro-Italian treaty of the 27th December, 1878.

[Inclosure in dispatch No. 166.]

Commercial treaty of December 16, 1878, between Austria–Hungary and the German empire.

(Concluded at Berlin the 18th December, 1878; ratified at Godollo, by His I. and R. Apostolic Majesty, the 29th December, 1878, and exchanged in reciprocal ratifications at Berlin the 31st December, 1878.)

We, Francis Joseph the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, &c., &c., herewith announce and declare:

Inasmuch as our plenipotentiary on one side, and the plenipotentiary of His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, on the other side, have, for the purpose of a new organization of the commercial and trading intercourse between the respective territories, concluded and subscribed on the 16th of December, 1878, the following commercial treaty, consisting of 27 articles and an appendix, which, word for word, is as following:

His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, &c., and Apostolic King of Hungary, on one side, and His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, on the other side, induced by the wish to advance the commerce and traffic between the respective territories, have, after due denunciation of the commercial and customs treaty of the 9th March, 1868, determined to conclude a new treaty to this intent, and have appointed as their plenipotentiaries, His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, &c., and Apostolic King of Hungary, his chargé d’affaires, Anthony Count von Wolkenstein-Trostburg; His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, his secretary of state of the foreign office, minister of state, Bernard Ernest von Bulow; who have, after reciprocal communication of their full powers, found in good and due form, agreed upon and concluded the following commercial treaty:

  • Article 1. The contracting parties engage not to interrupt the mutual traffic between their countries by any import, export, or transit prohibitions. Exceptions hereto may only take place: (a) with tobacco, salt, and gunpowder; (b) for sanitary reasons; (c) in relation to war material under extraordinary circumstances.
  • Art. 2. With regard to the amount, assuring and collecting of the import and export duties as well as with regard to transit, no third nation may, by either of the contracting parties, be more favorably treated than the other contracting party. Every favor in these matters accorded to a third nation is, therefore, without equivalent, to be forthwith accorded to the other contracting party. Exceptions to this are: 1. Those favors which are accorded by one of the contracting parties to a neighboring country for facilitating the traffic in articles of food and objects of domestic industry for certain frontier districts and for the inhabitants of single territorial localities; 2. The favors admitted by one of the two contracting parties under a customs union already or hereafter to be concluded.
  • Art. 3. In the territories of the contracting parties the drawbacks allowed upon export of certain productions shall simply replace the duties, or internal taxes, which are levied upon these productions or the stuffs from which they are manufactured. They shall not possess any further export premium. Changes in the amount of these privileges or in their relation to the duties or to the internal taxes, shall be followed by a mutual communication to that effect.
  • Art. 4. Transit duties shall not be levied upon goods which shall be conveyed through the territory of one of the contracting parties out of or through the territory of the other contracting party. This arrangement applies as well to goods after previous loading or storage as to the goods, directly conveyed through.
  • Art. 5. For increased facility of reciprocal traffic there shall be allowed, so far as the identity of the exported and reimported goods shall exist without doubt, mutual exemptions from export and import duties: (a) for goods (excepting objects of consumption) which from the open traffic in the territory of one of the contracting parties shall be introduced into the territory of the other for the object of sale at markets or fairs, or sent in uncertain expectation of finding sale, apart from fair or market traffic, into the the territory of the other party, yet not put into, open traffic but, under the control of the customs authorities, stored in public warehouses (packing courts, retail stalls, &c.) for samples introduced by commercial travelers, all objects, if they, within a period to be previously determined, shall be brought back unsold; (b) for cattle which may be brought to market in the territory of the other contracting party and returned unsold.
  • Art. 6. For regulation of the neighbor traffic, for the purpose of improvement of goods, between the territories of the contracting parties, it is agreed that the following shall be exempt from import and export dues: (a) Yarns and textures of domestic manufacture, which may be introduced into the territory of the other party for preparation or finishing, and, after completion of the work, returned; such as yarns and textures for washing, bleaching, dyeing, fulling, dressing, printing, and embroidering, yarns in clipped (also milled) chains, together with the requisite mule-twists for manufacture of textures as well as webs (including the requisite accessories) for production of lace and fringe goods; (b) objects of every kind exported for the purpose of being repaired and then reimported; (c) other goods and objects which for the purpose of manipulation or elaboration in the frontier district, shall be exported, and, without having changed their material character and usual commercial appellation, shall be reimported. The traffic in all these cases is, however, united to the condition that the identity of the exported and reimported goods and articles can be satisfactorily proven.
  • Art. 7. In respect to the treatment at the custom-house of such goods as are subject to pass certificates, a mode of facilitating the passage of the same will be reciprocally admitted in this way: that upon the immediate transit of such goods out of the territory of one of the contracting parties into the territory of the other, the removal of plumbing, the affixing of another plumbing, and the unpacking of the goods is discontinued so far as suffices under the requisitions agreed upon on the subject. On all occasions the customs entry shall be accelerated as much as possible.
  • Art. 8. It shall also further receive the attention of the contracting parties, that their opposite frontier custom-houses, so far as practicable, shall be situated in one locality, in order that the official acts on the passage of goods from one custom domain into the other may take place simultaneously.
  • Art. 9. Internal duties which in one of the contracting parties, whether imposed, in the interest of the nation, or in the interest of communities, or of corporations, upon the production, preparation, or consumption of any product, may, under no pretext, be higher and more onerously affect products of the other party than the same products in the country of their origin.
  • Art. 10. The contracting parties engage also further for the prevention and punishment of smuggling to or from their territories to co-operate with appropriate measures and to maintain the penal laws promulgated for this purpose, to afford legal aid, to allow to the supervising officials of one party the pursuit of transgressors into their territory, and to permit all requisite information to be communicated, and assistance rendered to them by tax customs and police officials, as well as by the local authorities; the general enactments on this subject expressed in the Customs Cartel are contained in Appendix A. The regulations agreed upon for reciprocal aid in the coastguard service will be maintained upon frontier streams and for such frontier tracts where the territories of the contracting parties are contiguous to those of foreign states.
  • Art. 11. Each of the contracting parties shall admit the merchant vessels of the other and their cargoes upon the same conditions and on payment of the same charges as its own merchant vessels. This rule is also applicable to coast navigation; the nationality of vessels is to be decided by each of the contracting parties according to the legislative provisions of the country to which the vessel belongs. The bills of admeasurement which may be valid according to the legislative provisions of their country, shall suffice as evidence of the tonnage of merchant vessels in determining [Page 47] the navigation and port dues; and a reduction of the tonnage will not take place as long as the rules upon reciprocal equalization of hills of measurement, established in the correspondence on that subject in the year 1872, remain in force.
  • Art. 12. No navigation or port dues shall be exacted from vessels of one of the contracting parties which, from distress or from necessity, may enter the seaports of the other, unless their stay may be unnecessarily delayed or be used for trading purposes. In the case of average and wrecked goods with which a vessel of one of the contracting parties may be loaded, a duty may only then be exacted by the other, with reserve of possible salvage, when such goods shall be introduced into consumption.
  • Art. 13. In the navigation of all natural and artificial water communications in the territories of the contracting parties, the captains and vessels which belong to one of them shall be admitted under the same conditions and upon payment of the same dues for vessel and cargo as the captains and vessels of their own country.
  • Art. 14. The use of high-roads and other ways, canals, locks, ferries, bridges, bridge-openings, of the harbors and landing-places, of the indicating and lighting of navigable channels; of the pilot institutions; of cranes and weighing establishments; of storage depositories; of institutions for saving and shelter of cargoes, and the like, so far as the depositories or establishments are intended for public traffic, shall alike, whether the same be managed by the state or by private persons, be allowed to the subjects of the other contracting party under similar conditions, and upon payment of the same dues as to the subjects of the state where the same are situated. The dues may, under reservation of the admitted varying enactments in the light-house and pilot system, only be exacted on the actual use of such depositories or establishments. Toils for traffic passing over the frontier upon highways which serve to unite the contracting parties either together or with foreign countries, may not be higher, according to the relative distance, than the tolls for the traffic limited to the territory of the state in which those highways are situated.
  • Art. 15. With respect to the rates of transport on railways as well as to the time and manner of expedition, there shall exist no discrimination between the inhabitants of the territories of the contracting parties. Especially the conveyances passing out of the territories of one party into the territory of the other party, or in transit through the latter, shall, neither in respect to the expedition nor in regard to the rates of transportation, be less favorably treated than the conveyances passing out of the territory of the respective party, or remaining therein. For the traffic from the territory of one party to the territory of the other, as well as for the through transit to or out of the territory of the other party, the use of railway tariffs which have not been published is prohibited. The published tariff rates are, everywhere and for everybody, to be uniformly applied, with the exception of the return compensations (rebates, abatements, and the like). The contracting parties will endeavor to cause, that violation of this enactment on the part of the railway administrations shall be subjected to appropriate penalties. For the passenger and goods traffic which takes place between the railway-stations that are situated in the territory of one contracting party within these territories by means of uninterrupted railway communication, the tariffs shall be exhibited in the lawful provincial currency of these territories, even in the case when the railway connection employed for the traffic exists wholly or partially within the management of a railway corporation which has its seat in the territory of the other party. At junctions, and so far as it exclusively regards the traffic between the mutual stations situated near the frontier, on the collection of the dues payable for passenger and goods traffic, the acceptance of the medium of payment allowed by the laws of the country in which the place of payment is situated, with due consideration of the existing change-value at the time, shall not be refused, even in the case when the tariff is not expressed in the lawful currency of the province wherein the place of collection is situated. This here regulated acceptance of medium of payment shall in no manner forestall the agreements of the railway directions interested relative to their settlement of accounts.
  • Art. 16. The contracting parties will endeavor to effect that the reciprocal railway traffic in their territories shall be facilitated as much as possible through construction of immediate rail connections between the railways meeting in one place, and by transport of the rolling stock from one railway to the other. The contracting parties engage to endeavor to effect that direct expeditions or direct tariffs in passenger or goods traffic shall be introduced by the reciprocal railway directions, so soon and to such extent as the same shall be indicated as desirable by both parties. For the direct traffic the appointment of separate transport enactments, especially in regard to periods of delivery, continues to be reserved through direct agreement of the competent supreme supervising authorities of both sides.
  • Art. 17. The contracting parties engage to protect the railway traffic between the reciprocal territories against interruptions and obstacles. In respect to the railway rolling stock, which may have crossed in way of traffic from the territories of one of the contracting parties into those of the other, there shall not be allowed in these latter territories any attachment, embargo, seizure, or other measures in execution, [Page 48] even when only for provisional security in judicial or administrative way on account of claims or demands of any sort whatever against the railway company which may be the owner of such rolling stock. Railway carriages in which horses, mules, asses, cattle, sheep, goats, or swine have been conveyed, must, when they shall be afterwards employed for the transport of animals of the said species from the territory of one party into that of the other, be previously submitted to a purifying (disinfecting) process, to be stipulated by mutual agreement, which maybe adopted to completely annihilate any infecting stuff which may exist in the carriages.
  • Art. 18. The contracting parties will in such places where on their frontiers direct rail connections exist and a crossing of rolling stock occurs, release from declaration, unloading, and revision on the frontier, as well as from plumbing, goods which are conveyed in closed carriages, as prescribed, and are forwarded in the same carriages to a place in the interior, at which there exists a customs and tax bureau duly authorized to admit entry, so far as these goods through delivery of bills of lading and invoices are noted for’ entrance. Goods which are conveyed without unloading in the prescribed closed railway carriages through the territory of one of the contracting parties out or to the territories of the other, shall remain free from declaration, reloading, and revision, as also from plumbing, both in the interior and on the frontier, so far as the same by delivery of the bills of lading and invoices are noted for transit. The realization of the above enactments is, however, upon the condition that the railway directions interested be under obligations for the punctual arrival of the carriages without violation of the fastening, at the bureau of entry in the interior, or at the bureau at the frontier. So far as facilities for passing the custom-houses may have been agreed upon by one of the contracting parties with third states and which may exceed those here mentioned, said facilities shall be applicable also to the traffic of the other party, reciprocity being presupposed.
  • Art. 19. The subjects of the contracting parties shall reciprocally be placed upon a full equality with the native subjects in regard to the entrance into the exercise of and the taxes upon commerce and trade. In visits to markets and fairs the subjects, of the other party shall be treated just as the actual subjects. To the trade of apothecary, to the business of commercial broker (sensal), and to the exercise of the trade of peddler, including the occupation of hawking, the foregoing enactments are not applicable. Manufacturers and others engaged in trade, who offer satisfactory proof that they pay in the state in which they reside the lawful imposts for the business exercised by them, shall, when they personally or through traveling agents in their service, make purchases or seek orders, but only when provided with samples, not be obliged to pay in the territory of the other contracting party any further impost. The subjects of one of the contracting parties who exercise the trade of carriers of marine or river navigation between places of different states, shall not be subjected to a trade impost for the exercise of this trade in the territory of the other party. The joint stock companies, commandit associations in shares, and insurance associations of every kind, will in the territory of the other party, in accordance with the legal and regulated enactments there prevailing, be admitted to the exercise of their business and to the prosecution of their rights before the tribunals.
  • Art. 20. With regard to the indication of goods, or their packing, as well as with regard to the fabric or trade marks, the samples and models, moreover the patents for invention, the subjects of one of the contracting parties shall enjoy the same protection in the territory of the other as its own subjects. The subjects of each of the contracting parties must, however, comply with the conditions and formalities prescribed by laws or ordinances in the territory of the other party. The protection of fabric and trade marks will be accorded to the subjects of the other party only so far and for so long a time as they are protected in the use of the marks in the state where they have their home.
  • Art. 21. The contracting parties reciprocally accord to each other the right to appoint consuls in all those ports and commercial places of the other party in which consuls of any third nation shall be admitted. These consuls of one of the contracting parties shall, under the condition of reciprocity, enjoy in the territory of the other party the same privileges, advantages, and immunities which those of any third nation possess or shall possess.
  • Art. 22. Each of the contracting parties will engage its consuls abroad to afford to the subjects of the other party, whenever the latter at the place in question is not represented by a consul, protection and aid in the same manner, without demanding higher fees than to its own subjects.
  • Art. 23. The contracting parties reciprocally concede the right of sending officials to their respective custom stations for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the transaction of business at the same in regard to the, customs system, and the watch on the frontier. The contracting parties will reciprocally communicate to each other every desired explanation in regard to the conducting of accounts and statistical matters in both customs territories.
  • Art. 24. The present commercial treaty will, in conformity with the existing customs and tax union between the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the principality of Liechtenstein, also extend to the latter. This treaty will farther extend to the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, so long as the same belongs to the German customs territory.
  • Art. 25. In those separate districts of the contracting parties which are excluded from their customs territory, the agreement in Articles 5 and 6 of the present treaty does not apply so long as their exclusion continues.
  • Art. 26. The present treaty shall enter into effect from the 1st of January, 1879, and replace the commercial and customs treaty of the 9th of March, 1868. The same shall continue in force up to December the 31st, 1879.
  • Art. 27. The ratifications of the present treaty shall be exchanged in Berlin as soon as possible. In testimony of which the plenipotentiaries of both sides have subscribed the present treaty and affixed their seals.

  • BULOW.